In which today's story is good to tell on New Year's Eve--so share it!

I've heard many versions of this tale.  This version is mine. Pass it on.

Writing in the Sand (Iraq)
There were once two friends who were traders. 

One day, they set out together in a caravan with their goods, camels, horses and servants. They headed into the mountains of Northern Persia and soon came to a swiftly flowing river, dangerous to cross.

The younger man offered to go first. He started across the river holding a rope to guide the rest of the caravan. Halfway across he lost his footing, fell into the swirling waters and dropped the rope. His friend did not hesitate. He jumped into the river, reached the other man, and pulled him to the shore.

What do you think  the younger man did then? He called his servants and said, ‘‘I want you to carve my words on these cliffs here beside the river.”

That afternoon and evening, while others made camp, his servants chiseled into the rock: ‘‘Wanderer, in this place, my friend heroically saved my life.’’ 

The merchants travelled on for many months and eventually returned to the same crossing with loads of tea and silk. This time the water level was lower. The group rested and talked by the stone cliff where the heroism had been recorded.

Heaven only knows what caused them to disagree, but somehow they began to argue.  And then, in fit of anger, the older man struck his friend in the face.
What do you think the younger man did then?

He picked up a stick.   With it, he wrote on the sand by the river. ‘‘Wanderer, in this place, in a trivial argument, my friend broke my heart.’’ 
His servants asked him, ‘‘Master, do you not want us to carve your words in the rock as before?’’ 

To this he replied, ‘‘I hope to forget this argument before the wind and water erase my words from the sand.’’

Hold a true friend with both your hands.
-Nigerian Proverb


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