In a land in our time there lived a man, who read a book and found lots of wonderful stories therein. There were true and invented stories, experienced and pensive, enjoyable and painful stories. There were stories which contained stories, and such which were actually not stories. For every story he read, there occurred to him nearly five which he had either experienced or thought up himself. So the thought came to him, that a lot in the world was a story which could be healing for himself and others; he only needed to absorb the healing stories well and to forget the terrible ones immediately. Then he would learn which story he had used when and for what. So he organised his own stories which he knew, and which had become a help to himself and others, or could become so. Sometimes he noted it down when a new story came to his ears and sometimes when a helpful story occurred to him, he memorised it.
Then he saw before him in a picture the storystories of this life arranged in long shelves, as in a large pharmacy. And behind the counter there sat a man who had learnt to listen to himself and others. He was a master of his subjectspecialty. His talent was that he understood how to tell the right thing at the right time to himself and to those who visited him.
On a small island in the middle of the wide ocean grew a wonderful golden yellow flower. No- one knew how it got there, because there were no other flowers of this kind on the island. The seagulls came flying in to look in wonder at this miracle. “It is as beautiful as the sun”, they said. The fish came swimming in. They looked out of the water in order to admire it. “It is as beautiful as a piece of coral”, they said. A crab came onto the land in order to observe it. “She is as beautiful as a pearl on the sea bed”, he said. And they came almost every day to admire this flower.
One day, when they came again to look at the flower, they found the golden petals brown and dried-out. “Oh dear”, said the doves, the fish and the crabs. “The sun has destroyed our flower. How can we refresh our hearts now?” And they were all sad. Yet a few days later, in place of the flower, stood a wonderful, delicate white ball. “What is that?”, asked the animals. “It is as soft as a cloud”, said the doves. “It is as light as sea spray”, said the fish. “It is as fine as the shimmer of the sun in the sand”, said the crab. And all the animals rejoiced. A puff of wind blew over the island and carried this white wonder away across the island in thousands of tiny flakes. “Oh dear”, sighed the doves, the fish and the crabs. “The wind has blown our ball away. What can cheer our souls now?” And they were all sad. One morning, as the sun rose above the sea, hundreds and even more hundreds of wonderful golden yellow flowers shone in the golden morning light. The doves danced in the sky and the fish in the water, and the crabs danced a jig with their friends, and everyone was happy.
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