Once upon a time, there were two friends, Tom and Bas, who were playing together in the garden on a sunny day. They had been given a big bottle of lemonade by their mother. If they got thirsty, they would have plenty to drink.
But when they tried to open the bottle, they started to argue. They bickered about who should pour the first glass of lemonade. Tom thought he should do it because the bottle of lemonade had been given to them by his mother. Bas thought he should pour the first glass because it was polite. That’s what his mother had taught him. Guests first, and then yourself.
As they argued, an elderly neighbor walked by and overheard them. She smiled kindly and asked why they were arguing about the first glass of lemonade when there was still plenty left in the bottle for both of them.
She told them a story about a clever horse she had once seen by a river. The horse thought its reflection in the water was another horse. It didn’t want the other horse to drink the water because it was afraid there wouldn’t be enough water in the river. It chased away the other horse because it was greedy and didn’t want to share, wanting everything for itself. How silly of the horse, as the river would always bring new water, more than it could ever drink by itself.
Tom and Bas looked at each other in surprise. They realized they were being a bit silly too. There was plenty to drink, and they shouldn’t argue about it but enjoy the lemonade together as friends. They smiled at each other, poured themselves each a glass of lemonade, and drank it together. They promised each other that they would never argue again about something so small because there was enough for everyone. And so, they happily continued playing in the garden, enjoying the sun and each other’s company.
1. Sharing is Caring: The story emphasizes the importance of sharing. Tom and Bas initially argue over who should have the first glass of lemonade, but they learn that sharing brings more joy and avoids unnecessary conflict.
2. Avoid Greed: The story warns against greed and selfishness. The horse’s behavior, driven by fear and possessiveness, leads to unnecessary stress and conflict. Tom and Bas realize the importance of overcoming selfish impulses and embracing generosity towards others.
By Angelique Sijbolts
Reading English by Kimberley
Reading Deutsch by Thora bat Noach
Inspired by a tale from “Chassidische verhalen en hun betekenis” by Rabbi Rami Shapiro
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