In which we celebrate Saturday Stories : wisdom for families

I like to give this story to young married couples. If you know somebody who would like it, send it! --A

Three Reeds

A man had three sons who were always fighting, bickering, arguing amongst themselves.

The man worried about his boys : what would become of them when he was gone?

He called the oldest son to him. “Son, will you do something for me?”

“Of course I will, Father.”

“Go down to the pond, and pick the two strongest reeds you find growing there.”

So off went the son, down to the pond.

The father called his middle son to him, Son, will you do something for me?”

“Of course I will, Father.”

“Go down to the pond, and pick the two strongest reeds you find growing there.”

So off went middle son, down to the pond.

Then the man called to his youngest son, and sent him to the pond on the same task.

When the boys returned, he asked the eldest son to choose the strongest of his two reeds.

The boy did that and gave it to his father, who broke the reed between two fingers.

Then the middle son selected the strongest of his two reeds, and it too, broke easily between two fingers.

The youngest son’s strongest reed was quick to break.

“Now,” said the father, “each of you, give me the other reed you chose—the reed that was less strong.”

The father took the three weaker reeds and braided them together. Then he handed the braid to his sons. “Break it,” he said.

Though they pulled, and tugged and strained, the braided reeds would not break.

“You see,” said the father, “that you three must become like the reeds:

Alone, you can easily be broken. Only by working together will you become strong.

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