# The Clever Father

A merchant was seriously sick and knew that he had no chance whatsoever of recovering from his sickness.

So he sent for his two sons and said, “*children, I understand that I do not have much longer to live. I have put all the wealth that I own into two tins. They are locked up in my safe. After I die, I want each of you to take one tin and I hope you will both prosper as I have done; with the money and my blessings*.”

Now the merchant was a sharp man, and he was conscious of the fact that his eldest son was not a reliable person, and would think nothing of cheating his younger brother out of his portion of the money.

Therefore, the merchant had taken precautions to see that his younger son, would not be done out of what was justly his share.

The night the merchant died, his elder son took the keys and stole into the room where the safe was kept. He opened the safe and looked inside the tins to see what they contained.

In the first tin, he found the top half was packed with silver coins and the bottom half with balls of mud. In the second tin, he saw exactly the opposite — the top half was stuffed with balls of mud and the bottom half with silver coins.

He had no value for the balls of mud, so he put all the silver coins into one tin and all the mud balls into the other.

A couple of days later, the two brothers went into the room and opened the safe, to see what their father had bequeathed. The elder brother turned to his brother and said, “*Here are the two tins that father informed us about. Since I am older than you, I think it is only fair that I should have the first pick*.”

“Of course you can have the first selection,” the younger brother immediately accepted.

The elder brother picked the tin filled with silver coins and gave his brother the tin filled with the mud balls.

When the younger brother opened his tin and saw nothing but the mud balls inside, he was very disconcerted.

He knew that his father had loved him profoundly and that he would have given him more than just balls of mud, so he broke open one of the balls, and to his delight, he discovered it was filled with gold coins. He broke open all the mud balls, one by one, and in each ball, he found the same number of gold coins.

When the elder brother came to know of his younger brother’s good fortune, he cursed himself for being so selfish and trying to cheat his brother. In doing so, he had been a failure and lost a large part of his inheritance.

The End!

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