THE WATER OF LIFE}
Three brothers and one sister lived together in a small cottage, and they loved one another dearly. One day the eldest brother, who had never done anything but amuse himself from sunrise to sunset, said to the rest, ' Let us all work hard, and perhaps we shall grow rich, and be able to build ourselves a palace.'
And his brothers and sister answered joyfully, ' Yes, we will all work ! '
So they fell to working with all their might, till at last they became rich, and were able to build themselves a beautiful palace; and everyone came from miles round to see its wonders, and to say how splendid it was. No one thought of finding any faults, till at length an old woman, who had been walking through the rooms with a crowd of people, suddenly exclaimed, ' Yes, it is a splendid palace, but there is still something it needs! '
' And what may that be? '
' A church.'
When they heard this the brothers set to work again to earn some more money, and when they had got enough they set about building a church, which should be as large and beautiful as the palace itself.
And after the church was finished greater numbers of people than ever flocked to see the palace and the church and vast gardens and magnificent halls.
1 Cuentos Populars Catalans, per lo Dr. D. Francisco de S. Maspous y Labros. Barcelona, 1885.