In which the Gift of Stories continues: what not to do for parties

Ten Jugs of Wine (Japan)
Ten old men decided to celebrate the New Year with a big crock of hot sake wine.

Since none of them could provide enough wine for the entire group, they each agreed to bring one jug of wine for the large heating bowl.

However, on the day of the celebration, one of the men thought to himself, “I am not rich like my friends.  I cannot afford to buy wine to share.  Everyone else can bring the wine and I will bring a jug of water, and nobody will ever know.”

On the same day, another man in the group thought to himself, “My wine is much better than the wine that any of the others will bring.  It would be a waste to mix my good wine with inferior wine.  Everyone else can bring the wine and I will bring a jug of water, and nobody will ever know.”

A third man thought, “If I share my wine with these men, I will have none for my family.  Everyone else can bring the wine and I will bring a jug of water.  Nobody will ever know.”


And so, when the ten old men gathered with the jugs they brought, all ten men poured the contents of their jugs ceremoniously into the big bowl, and then looked sheepishly at one another as they heated and poured out hot water for all.

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