were two friends who found a great treasure. They were very happy,
for they each had dreams that this good fortune could help make come
friend ran home as fast as he could, and started to build himself
a giant castle. He filled it with fancy comforts and beautiful furnishings,
so that all who saw it would admire him for his good fortune.
friend walked slowly along, humming happily to himself. He too was
about to embark on a lavish spending spree. First he bought new equipment
for the children's playground. Next, he set up a botanical garden
in the park so that everyone could enjoy the beauty of flowers and
trees, right there in town. Then he built a community center where
everyone could gather together.
still plenty of money left in his bag...but he wasn't finished yet.
He thought of his friends, and he knew that they each had dreams that
they had put aside in their struggles to make a living. Secretly,
he arranged for all of them to have the means to pursue their dreams.
The sun was
sinking low when his tasks were finally done. Yet there was still
a small but considerable portion of money left in his bag. He made
one last stop to purchase a few of the comforts for his family that
he had not been able to afford before. Then, finally, he continued
home to tell his family of his good fortune.
travels fast in a small town. In spite of his careful planning to
keep his generosity a secret, his friends soon realized what he had
done. They came to him and asked with teary eyes how they could ever
repay his kindness, and why he hadn't built himself a huge castle
as his friend had done.
he answered, "We have a comfortable home already. The joy in your
hearts is repayment enough, for we have all that we need, and we treasure
you as our friends."
promised that they would pass on the kindness that they had received.
That very evening, the entire town joined in a great, joyful celebration.
by in that small town, and everyone was able to do for a living the
thing that brought them the most joy. Needless to say, it was quite
a happy time.
As the months
passed, the first friend's palace grew bigger, and more and more extravagant,
until one day, while he was away gathering still more fancy things,
the entire huge, tall structure crumbled down -- there was just TOO
MUCH in it! Everything was ruined. When he returned he found he no
longer even had a place to live.
hopelessly crying, on top of the pile of rubble that was left. Suddenly
he heard voices singing. He looked down and saw that everyone in the
town had brought him food and gifts. They continued to sing as they
helped build him a place to live out of the ruins of his past extravagance.
They worked hard together. Before the sun had set, they had helped
build a small, but comfortable home.
I ever repay you for your kindness?" the grateful friend asked with
in your heart is repayment enough," they smiled. "For we have all
that we need and treasure you as our friend."
The sun set