- There was once a stone cutter who was dissatisfied
with himself and with his position in life. One day
he passed a wealthy merchant's house. Through the
open gateway, he saw many fine possessions and
important visitors. "How powerful that merchant
must be!" thought the stone cutter. He became very
envious and wished that he could be like the
merchant. To his great surprise, he suddenly became the
merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than
he had ever imagined, but envied and detested by those
less wealthy than himself.
Soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan
chair, accompanied by attendants and escorted by soldiers
beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy,
had to bow low before the procession. "How powerful
that official is!" he thought. "I wish that I
could be a high official!" Then he became the high official,
carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair,
feared and hated by the people all around.
It was a hot summer day, so the official felt very
uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at
the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected
by his presence. "How powerful the sun is!" he
thought. "I wish that I could be the sun!" Then he
became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone,
scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and laborers.
But a huge black cloud moved between him and the
earth, so that his light could no longer shine on
everything below. "How powerful that storm cloud is!"
he thought. "I wish that I could be a cloud!"
Then he became the cloud, flooding the fields
and villages, shouted at by everyone.
But soon he found that he was being pushed away
by some great force, and realized that it was the wind.
"How powerful it is!" he thought. "I wish that
I could be the wind!" Then he became the wind, blowing
tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees,
feared and hated by all below him.
But after a while, he ran up against something
that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew
against it - a huge, towering rock. "How powerful
that rock is!" he thought. "I wish that I could be a rock!"
Then he became the rock, more powerful than anything
else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the
sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the hard
surface, and felt himself being changed. "What could
be more powerful than I, the rock?" he thought. He
looked down and saw far below him the figure of a
Thanks to Jay Deuel for this story. Jay's home page is: http://www.cc.utah.edu/~jay/