Gateway to the Classics: Fairy Stories and Fables by James Baldwin
Fairy Stories and Fables by  James Baldwin

The Farmer and His Sons

A farmer had seven sons, who could never agree among themselves. He had often told them how foolish they were to be always quarreling, but they kept on and paid no heed to his words. One day he called them before him, and showed them a bundle of seven sticks tied tightly together.

"See which one of you can break that bundle," he said.

Each one took the bundle in his hands, and tried his best to break it; but it was so strong that they could not even bend it. At last they gave it back to their father, and said:

"We cannot break it."


Then he untied the bundle, and gave a single stick to each of his sons.

"Now see what you can do," he said.

Each one broke his stick with great ease.

"My sons," said the Farmer, "you, like these sticks, will be strong if you will stand together, but weak while each is for himself."

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