there 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 true.
The first 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
The second 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.
There was 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.
Now, word 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
Smiling, 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."
Everyone promised that they would pass on the
kindness that they had received. That very evening,
the entire town joined in a great, joyful celebration.
Time passed 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.
He stood, 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
can I ever repay you for your kindness?" the grateful
friend asked with teary eyes.
joy in your heart is repayment enough," they smiled.
"For we have all that we need and treasure you
as our friend."
The sun set peacefully.