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The Stonecutter

Based on a wisdom tale of Japanese origin.

Once upon a time, there was a stonecutter. He spent his life cutting up rocks for use in this and that and the other. He liked his work. He was a happy man. At least he thought he was, until one day he was cutting stone for the house of a rich family.

"Wow!" said the stonecutter. "Look at that palace! That's for me. I want to be fat-cat rich and have a house like that and be happy!" He sighed a deep, unhappy sigh.

Suddenly a mighty voice thundered through the air. "That's what you want, that's what you get," it said. "So shall it be."
"This is the life," said the rich man who once was a stonecutter as he looked out from his mansion. "How could life get better than this?"
But one day he had an answer. Out walking in the hot sun, he saw a prince ride by in a royal carriage. "Cool," said the rich man. "It's miserable out here in the sun, but I could be happy in that."

A mighty voice thundered through the air. "That's what you want, that's what you get," it said. "So shall it be."
But the carriage was not all that cool, found the prince who once was a stonecutter and rich man. The sun still burned his face from time to time. "I know the fix for that," said the prince. "I want to be the sun so I can do the burning."

A mighty voice thundered through the air. "That's what you want, that's what you get," it said. "So shall it be."
"Hot stuff!" said the sun who once was a stonecutter and a rich man and a prince, and he smiled a great big smile. Until a cloud came along and blotted him out. "Hey," he said. "The cloud has a more interesting life than the sun. Look at it bouncing around in the sky raining and snowing whenever it likes. I want to be a cloud!"

A mighty voice thundered through the air. "That's what you want, that's what you get," it said. "So shall it be."
"This is the life," said the cloud who once was a stonecutter, a rich man, a prince and the sun. "I guess I'll go cause a flood." Which he did. Rivers overflowed, and crops disappeared. But stones did not. Stones stayed right where they were. "The stone is stronger than I am!" cried the cloud. "I want to be a stone."

A mighty voice thundered through the air. "That's what you want, that's what you get," it said. "So shall it be."
"At last," said the stone who once was a stonecutter, a rich man, a prince, the sun and a cloud. "I'm the mightiest thing on earth. Nothing can destroy me!"

Then "WHAM!" And "WHAM" again. "Oh no," said the stone who once was a stonecutter, a rich man, a prince, the sun and a cloud. "I am under attack! By a man with a chisel! He is mightier than the stone. I want to be him!"

A mighty voice thundered through the air. "That's what you want, that's what you get," it said. "So shall it be."
And so it was. The man who once was a stonecutter and a rich man and a prince and the sun and a cloud and a stone was a stonecutter again. And happy again. So happy, in fact, that he never again wished to be anything other than what he was.

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Last updated on Thursday, October 27, 2011.

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