An old Japanese man kept a sparrow of which he was very fond. One day it flew away and the old man became sad.
He went out looking all over the place for his sparrow At last, near a certain mountain, he met his sparrow.
The old man said joyously, "I missed you very much, sparrow. Will you follow me home?"
Though the sparrow was happy to see the old man, it shook its head.
"Take me to your home and let me see how you live."The old man pleaded. "I will go away happy to see if you are safe."
So the sparrow led the old man to his home. There were many other birds.
They all looked healthy and enjoyed each other's company.
"I am glad you are well and have good companions, dear sparrow. I can go back in peace, " said the old man.
When it was time for the old man to leave, the sparrow gave him a basket to take home with him as a present.
"Well," said the old man's wife angrily when he returned, "where have you been all day? And what have you here?"
"I have been to the home of my lost sparrow and received this basket as a present, replied he.
When she opened the basket sh6 was amazed to find it was full of gold and silver.
The old woman, who was very greedy, decided that she would like a basket of gold, so she set out for the sparrow's home, Unlike the old man who was kind to the sparrow, the wife used to treat it very badly.
"Hello, sparrow, how are you? I missed you very much," cried the old woman hypocritically.
The sparrow said nothing and she finally decided to go home.
Still the sparrow did not give her any present she had hoped for.
Before she left, she unashamedly asked for a present. "My husband got a basket of gold and silver from you, " she reminded the bird.
"Alright, replied the sparrow, "for your husband's sake, I offer you two choices. One basket is light and the other is heavy.
Just choose one. But you can only open the basket when you reach home!"
The greedy old woman cried out, I’ll take the heavy one, " as she thought its weight will contain more gold and silver. "Are you sure?" asked the sparrow.
"Yes. As sure as you see me standing before you! I'll take the heavy basket," she replied. So the old woman panted and puffed breathlessly as she carried the heavy basket all the way.
But when she arrived home and opened the basket, it was full of stones.
Every girl dreams and Li Xie is no exception. She has read dozens of books on how to be a ballerina and Swam.
Lake is her favorite. She hopes one day her dream will come true. She has taken ballet lessons and all her teachers confirm she is a good student.
One day she saw an advertisement that a famous ballerina troupe will be performing in her hometown.
Her thoughts ran wild, "I must meet up with the leader of the troupe and show him my skills, " she murmured to herself.
She dressed herself in her ballerina costume and managed to evade the guards and hid in the dressing room.
To her luck the leader entered and she timidly knocked at the door.
She bravely approached him and handed him a bunch of red roses and in her excitement the thorns pricked her hand but she did not make much ado about the pain.
The leader observed her action as she told him her dream. "Alright, you dance and I will give you my verdict."
But half way through the dance he stopped her and said, "I'm sorry you're not good enough!"
On hearing this Li Xie ran as fast as her legs could carry her and was ashamed. She gave up her dream.
Many years later, she heard that the same ballet troupe was performing in her town again.
Bitter memories of the leader's harsh words came flooding back to her.
This time she was determined to find out Why the leader had told her she was not good enough when all her teachers thought otherwise.
This was his reply, "I tell this to every student." She angrily shot back, "You've ruined my life!一 Then she got a further shock, "
I remember your gift of roses and how the thorns had pricked your fingers but you carried on bravery.
If you only had treated bal}et like that and did not give up so easily; therefore, you still deserve my verdict! "
An artist who had painted many pictures of great beauty found that he had not yet painted the one “real ” picture.
In his search along a dusty road, he met an aged priest who asked him where he was going .
“I do not know, ” said the artist, “I want to paint the most beautiful thing in the world . Perhaps you can direct me to it. ”
“How simple, ” replied the priest, “in any church or creed, you will find it——“faith”is the most beautiful thing in the world. ”
The artist traveled on . Later , he met a young bride who told him that the most beautifu thing in the world is :”love”.”love” makes the world go round.
I builds poverty into riches. sweetens tears and makes much of little . Without love there is no beauty.
Still the artist continued his search and met a weary soldier.
The artist asked him the same question and the soldier answered, “Peace” is the most beautiful thing in the world.
War is ugly and wherever you find peace you’ll find beauty, faith and love.
“How can I paint them- Faith, Love and Peace?” thought the artist.
As he resumed his walk, his mind wondered on the “real ”picture he hoped to paint.He was surprised that without thinking where he was going,he had reached his familiar surrounding.
As he entered the doorway,light glistened in his eyes and he realized thet his search was over.
In the faces of his wife and children,he saw love and Faith."Not a minute passed by thet our children and l hod not thought of you.
We prayed that you would return to us safely,"his wife said as they embraced him.He sat on his pavorite old chair and hia heart was at peace.
The artist painted the most beautiful thing in the wold and called it"HOME".