THE GIFT OF LIGHT

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

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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

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THE WISE FARMER AND HIS LAZY SONS

A hard-working and generous farmer lived with his three lazy, greedy sons. He was elderly, and just before he died, he called them to him and told them that their inheritance was buried in his fields, and that they would have to dig it up in order to receive it. No sooner than his spirit left him than his sons went out and tore apart the fields looking for the buried treasure. Having dug up the entire farm and found nothing, however, they began to wonder if it was a trick, and if their father, in his generosity, had already given all his money away to the poor. One of the sons said, “Well, we’ve already dug the fields, we might as well sow a crop to take advantage of it.” His brothers agreed, and they planted wheat in the fields, took in a good harvest, and sold it for a large sum.
After the harvest, the sons wondered if they might have just missed the treasure when digging for it, so they dug up the fields once again just in case; having found no treasure, they once again planted a crop and sold it. This continued for a few years, until the sons had at last become accustomed to the labor and realized the lesson that their father had left them with on their deathbed. They became honest and content, and lived their lives in peace.

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Another shorter version:
Once upon a time there was a farmer who had three lazy sons. While he and his wife worked day and night to tend their vineyards the sons refused to lift a finger. On his deathbed the farmer told them that he had buried a treasure in the vineyard. The sons dug up every inch of the vineyard trying to find the pot of gold. After many years of searching, they never found the spot where the treasure was hidden. However, all of their digging cultivated the ground in the vineyard. Soon the grapevines produced such abundant fruit that the three lazy sons grew wealthy, unwittingly, from their own hard work.
PONDER AND CONSIDER
  • There is not such thing as a fruitful harvest without the sweat of sowing and planting.