First think, then speak
A girl liked to tell stories about other people. The people who listened to the stories told them to their friends. Some stories were not good. Many people did not like them.
An old man of the little town where the girl lived knew about it. He wanted to make her stop telling stories about other people. He thought of a good plan.
When he met her one day, he said: "I want to ask you to do one thing for me. I have a bag of small stones. When you go home, throw them as far as you can. When you do it, come back and tell me."
It was easy and the girl did what the old man asked her to do. When she came back, the old man said: "I want to ask you to do one more thing for me. Go and find all the stones."
"But father," said the girl. "I can find some of the stones, but I cannot find all of them."
"Yes," said the old man. "These stones are like stories that you tell about people. It's easy to throw them, but you can't find them all. It's easy to tell stories about other people, but you can't call them back. First think, then speak."
The king in one country was very rich, but he was not happy. One day he called a clever old man and asked him: "How can I become happy?"
"You must put on the shirt of a happy man," the old man said.
The king began to look for a happy man. He visited many countries, met kings and rich people, but they were not happy.
One day, when he returned to his country, he saw a poor man. The man had a happy look on his face. He went up to the poor man and asked, "Are you happy? Do you want to be a king?"
"I'm happy", answered the poor man, "and I don't want to be a king."
"Then," said the king, "give me your shirt."
"My shirt?" answered the poor man. "But I have no shirt."
There lived a rich farmer in England who had a friend. His friend had very good apple-trees. One day his friend gave the farmer a young apple-tree and told him he could take it home and plant it. The farmer was very happy. When he came home, he did not know where to plant the tree. He thought: "If I plant the tree far from my house, somebody will take my apples. If I plant it near my house, my children will take the apples." So he planted the tree in a forest where nobody could see it. But there was too little sun and the tree died.
When the farmer's friend heard of it, he asked the farmer why the tree was in such a bad place. "Where could I plant it?" said the farmer. "I could not plant the tree far from my house or near my house. Somebody could take my apples."
His friend listened to the farmer and said: "Nobody can take your apples now, but you lost a nice tree."