THE OLD-FANGLED FATHER
To the third son, and consequently his favourite, who was romantic, being better looking and naturally younger than his elder brothers, the father spoke thus :—
" You, my son, who are the pride of my heart, the joy of my life, the light of mine eyes, search the atmosphere till at your bidding it showers down burning stars; then shall you go to the beautiful Princess who awaits you, and live without labour."
And the three brothers murmured under their breath :—
" Poor old dad ! He's certainly very unwell."
But he had not yet finished.
" Try to realise your ambition, my sons," he continued. " I have shown you the ways you should go. Then, and only then, will you have earned that priceless jewel—Contentment."
The old man then composed himself comfortably, and died a few years later, after a sharp attack of senile decay, leaving many regrets and unsettled accounts behind him.
When that happened the three sons were very sad all day and all night. The very next morning they called to mind his last wishes of a few years ago, and decided to ponder over them, give them the benefit of their doubt, and see if anything could be made out of them. And they