"What can I ask for, Rebbe?" the man answered, "Thanks to G-d, I have money. I am healthy. There is only one thing I want; We had children, but now for many years my wife has not been able to bear any more. We have asked doctors what the problem is, but they have found nothing wrong."
The holy Ari contemplated for a moment, and then said, "I see the reason. Know this, my friend: The trait of compassion, which is a mark of the descendents of our forefather Avraham, is very important. A person must be extremely careful not to cause suffering to his friends, to other people, or to any living creature.
"You have a chicken coop. In the past, a small ladder was fixed at its entrance, so that the chicks might go down to find bowls of food and water. When your wife noticed that the ladder and ground beneath it were becoming dirty, she had the ladder removed and placed the food directly in the coop. From that day on, the chicks have been greatly distressed: for the pleasure of going up and down the ladder has been taken away from them.
"In their distress, the chicks have chirped, and the sounds of their sorrow have risen to the Throne of Glory, where they stand as an accusation against your wife. Since then, she has been prevented from bearing children."
The host listened with amazement. He quickly ran to find the ladder and returned it to its original place, at the entrance to the coop.
It was not long before G-d blessed the man's wife, and she began to bear children as before.
A person must be extremely careful not to cause suffering to his friends, to other people, or to any living creature.