Sunday, January 13, 2013

< RM > story - The Stonecutter

The Stonecutter

There was once a stonecutter who was
dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.
One day, he passed a wealthy merchant's
house and through the open gateway saw
many fine possessions and important visi-
tors. "How powerful that merchant must
be!" thought the stonecutter. He became
very envious, and wished that he could be
like the merchant. Then he would no longer
have to live the life of a mere stonecutter.
To his great surprise, he suddenly became
the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and
power than he had ever dreamed of, envied
and detested by those less wealthy than
himself. But 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,
who had to bow down before him as he
passed. It was a hot summer day, and 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,
hated and feared 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 stone. "How
powerful that stone is!" he thought. "I wish
that I could be a stone!"
Then he became the stone, more power-
ful than anything else on earth. But as he
stood there, he heard the sound of a ham-
mer pounding a chisel into the solid rock and
felt himself being changed. "What could be
more powerful than I, the stone?" he
thought. He looked down and saw far below
him the figure of a stonecutter.

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