Once upon a time there lived a pauper and a banker. The first was as poor and the second was rich. So, you’d think that the rich man was happier than the pauper but their nature was the opposite, for the poor man was happy whereas the banker was not. The banker was annoyed with the fact that while he tossed and turned in his bed at night, the pauper slept peacefully and always awoke well rested and full of energy.
One day the banker couldn’t stand it any longer, so he decided to find out why the pauper was a happy man in spite of his poverty. So he summoned him to his house and asked him his yearly income because he believed that happiness could only be measured in terms of wealth.
«I don’t count too well, nor do I really care. I live each day as it comes and never worry about the next.»
«Well, then, just tell me how much you earn in one day,» insisted the rich man.
«I earn what I need. And even that would be too much were it not for all the Sundays and holidays when I must close my shop.»
The banker liked the pauper. He wanted to thank him for coming to his house, so he gave the poor man a bag of hundred gold coins.
Now, to the pauper these coins, which meant so little to the banker, seemed like a fortune. He decided to hide the bag, so that he would have the money if ever he should need it. So, when he returned to his house, he dug a big hole in a secluded corner of the garden, threw the bag into it, and covered it with dirt.
But from that day on, the poor man’s life changed- he began to worry about the safety of his money. Every night he slept a little less, and each time he heard the slightest sound, he became anxious about the safety of his coins.
Finally, he couldn’t bear his unhappiness any longer. He went to the garden, dug up the coins and returned them to the banker.
The pauper had learned an important lesson, and so did the banker.