Gateway to the Classics: For the Children's Hour by Carolyn S. Bailey
For the Children's Hour by  Carolyn S. Bailey

The Stone in the Road

T HERE was once a very rich man who lived in a beautiful castle near a village. He loved the people who lived in the village, and he tried to help them.

He planted beautiful trees near their houses, and made picnics for their children, and every Christmas he gave them a Christmas tree.

But the people did not love to work. They were very unhappy, because they, too, could not be rich—like their friend in the castle.

One day the rich man got up very early in the morning, and placed a large stone in the road which led past his house. Then he hid himself behind the hedge and waited to see what would happen.

By and by, a poor man came along driving a cow. He scolded because the stone lay in his path, but he walked around it, and went on his way.

Then a farmer came, on his way to the mill. He complained, too, because the stone was there; but he, too, drove around it, and went on his way.

So the day passed. Every one who came by scolded because the stone lay in the road, but no one touched it.

At last, just at nightfall, the miller's boy came past. He was a hard-working fellow, and was very tired, because he had been busy since early morning at the mill.

But he said to himself: "It is almost dark. Somebody may fall over this stone in the night, and perhaps be badly hurt. I will move it out of the way."

So he tugged at the heavy stone. It was hard to move, but he pulled, and pushed, and lifted until at last he moved it from its place. To his surprise he found a bag lying underneath.

He lifted the bag. It was heavy, for it was filled with gold. Upon it was written: "This gold belongs to the one who moves the stone!"

The miller's boy went home with a happy heart, and the rich man went back to his castle. He was glad, indeed, that he had found some one who was not afraid to do hard things.

— Sarah Arnold   

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