The Old Man and his Sons

33. THE OLD MAN AND HIS SONS. An old man had a great many sons who were always quarrelling amongst themselves. This made the father sad, for although he did all he could to keep peace among them, they would never listen to him. At last he thought of a way to show them their folly.
He ordered all his sons to be called before him, and, taking a short bundle of sticks, he commanded them, one by one, to break it. They all tried hard and they all failed, for the sticks were so closely bound up that it was impossible to break the bundle.
Then the father, untying it, and giving a single stick to each son told him to break it. This each did easily, upon which the father cried, "Oh my sons, see how strong are all united things! If you would only live bound together by love and friendship one for the other, no mortal power could hurt you. But divided as you are, unloving, unfriendly, it would be as easy for anyone to do you harm, as it was for you to break these single sticks in two." [more info]

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