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J. H. Stickney

The Bundle of Sticks

A N OLD Man had many Sons, who were often quarreling. He tried to make them good friends, but could not. As the end of his life drew near, the old Man called them all to him and showed them a bundle of sticks tied tightly together.

"Now," said the Father, "see if you can break this bundle of sticks."

Each of the Sons in turn took the bundle and tried with all his might to break it, but could not. When all had tried and given up, the Father said, "Untie the bundle, and each of you take a stick and see if you can break that." This they could do very easily. Then said the Father:

"You saw when the sticks were bound together how strong they were; but as soon as they were untied, you broke them easily. Now, if you will stop quarreling and stand by each other, you will be like the bundle of sticks—no one can do you any harm; but if you do not keep together, you will be as weak as is one of the little sticks by itself, which any one can break."