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Two friends went for a walk. On the road they saw a purse. There was a lot of money in it. One of the men picked it up. ‘I have a purse full of money,’ he said and put it in his pocket. ‘Don’t say «I», say «we»,’ said his friend. ‘It is our purse, not yours.’ ‘No,’ said his friend. ‘I saw it first. It is my purse. I am going to keep it.’ Then a man ran up to them. ‘That is my purse,’ he said. ‘I saw you. You are a thief. I am going to get a policeman.’ ‘Oh, dear!’ said the first man to the second man. ‘What shall we do?’ ‘Don’t say «we», say «I»,’ said his friend. ‘You picked up the purse, not I.’ Always help your friends.
2. The foolish wives
Long ago there was a man with two wives. One of them was young. She had long black hair. The other was old. Her hair was white. The man was not young and he was not old. Some of his hair was black and some of it was white. They were all very happy but the young wife thought, ‘My husband is older than I am. His hair is grey but my hair is black,’ and the older wife thought, ‘My husband is younger than I am. His hair is grey but my hair is white.’
They did not say anything but they decided to do something. Every day, after dinner, the man had a little sleep. First his old wife came to him and pulled out some black hairs. ‘That is much better,’ she said. ‘I am making your hair white and beautiful.’ Then she went away. Then the young wife came. She pulled out some white hairs. ‘That is much better,’ she said. ‘I am making your hair black and beautiful.’
They did this for many weeks. One day the husband woke up. ‘My head is cold,’ he said. He touched his head. ‘I have no hair!’ he said. There was not one hair on his head! We cannot please everyone.
3. The two friends
One day two friends walked along a road. There were some trees near the road. A big bear came out of the trees and ran at the two men. The first man did not think about his friend. He ran to a tree and climbed up it. He sat on a branch, high above the ground. The bear could not touch him there but he was afraid. The other man did not have time to run to a tree. He lay down. He did not speak. He closed his eyes. The bear went to him and touched the man’s face with its paw. The man was very quiet. The bear touched the man’s nose but the man did not open his eyes. The bear touched the man’s mouth but the man did not say anything. Then the bear put its nose near the man’s nose but ‘the man did not turn his head. Then the bear put his nose near the man’s left ear but the man did not turn his head. At last the bear went away. The man in the road waited for half an hour. Then he stood up and walked to the tree. ‘You can come down now,’ he said. ‘The bear is not here.’ His friend climbed down the tree. ‘The bear put its mouth very near to your ears,’ he said. ‘What did it say to you?’ ‘It did not say much,’ said the man. ‘It said, «The man up the tree ran away and did not try to help you. He is not a good friend»!’ Choose your friends carefully.
4. The two daughters
5. The rich man and the gold
His friend said, ‘Don’t cry. Here is a big stone. Take it and put it in the hole. Then every day you can go and dig it up and look at it.’ A piece of gold in a hole is no better than a stone.
6. The golden eggs
but there were no golden eggs in the goose. ‘Now we shall not become rich quickly or slowly,’ said the farmer. He and his wife were very sad. Don’t be greedy.
7. The lazy donkey
The man took the new donkey home and showed it to the other three donkeys. One of them worked very hard all the time. It was never tired. The second donkey tried to work but soon became tired and stopped. The third donkey was very lazy. It did very little work. The new donkey looked at the three donkeys for a few minutes. Then it went and stood by the lazy donkey and began to eat happily at its side. The man at once took it back to the donkey-seller. ‘Here is your donkey,’ he said. ‘I am not going to buy it. I don’t want it. It is lazy.’ ‘But you had it for only ten minutes,’ said the donkey-seller. ‘You cannot know.’ ‘Yes, I can,’ said the man. ‘He chose a lazy donkey for a friend. He is lazy, too.’ Look at a man’s friends. Then you know the man.
8. The farmer and the eagle
Then the eagle flew down and took off the farmer’s hat. It put the hat on the grass in front of the farmer. He woke up and shouted at the eagle, ‘What are you doing? Where are you taking my hat? I was good to you. I let you go and now you are stealing my hat. Give it to me.’ He walked to the hat but the eagle picked it up and put it down three or four metres away. The farmer ran after it. Then he heard a loud noise. He looked back and saw the wall. It fell down. The farmer picked up his hat and put it on his head. ‘Thank you,’ he said to the eagle and the eagle flew away. Always help people.
9. The jar of sweets
One day a woman said to her son, ‘There are some sweets in the kitchen. They are in a jar. You can go and take some.’ The boy ran into the kitchen and found the jar of sweets. He put his hand into the jar and took a lot of sweets. Then he began to cry. ‘I cannot get my hand out of the jar,’ he shouted. ‘The neck of the jar is too small. What can I do? Help me!’ His mother walked into the kitchen and looked at him. ‘You are a foolish boy,’ she said. ‘Your hand is full of sweets. Drop some. Then your hand can come out.’ Don’t be greedy.