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 good
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
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
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
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 had done.
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
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
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 home.
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
The sun set peacefully.