There once lived a wise and wealthy farmer who had three sons: Arnold, Brian and Charles.
One day he thought that after his death his sons might quarrel about the property and decided to divide it. He called his sons and told them about his division . He said the house would go to the person who could fill the room with something bought with the coins he gave to the three sons. The three went to the market. Arnold bought straw. Brian bought sacks of feathers and upon reaching home they waited for their brother Charles.
When Charles appeared, he had nothing in his hands. Arnold and Brian thought that their brother wasn’t able to find anything to fill the room.
Arnold threw the straw on the floor. The room was still more than half empty.
“Well done” said the father and Arnold smiled.
After they picked up the straw and cleaned the room, Brian began to pour out feathers from the sacks.When he had emptied the last sack, the room was still less than half full.
“Now we shall see what our youngest has to offer.” said the father.
Charles went to the middle of the room and took out a small candle from his pocket. Once he lit it, the whole room was filled with a soft light.
Father, Arnold and Brian all believed that the house should go to Charles.
Source | Loosely based on a story found in Paulo Coelho
I came across a variation of this story in the form of a riddle:
An old man wanted to leave all of his money to one of his three sons, but he didn’tknow which one he should give it to. He gave each of them a few coins and toldthem to buy something that would be able to fill their living room. The first man bought straw, but there was not enough to fill the room. The second bought somesticks, but they still did not fill the room. The third man bought two things thatfilled the room, so he obtained his father’s fortune. What were the two things that the man bought?
The wise son bought a candle and a box of matches. After lighting the candle, thelight filled the entire room
PONDER AND CONSIDER
- There is not enough darkness in all the world to put out the light of even one small candle. | Robert Alden