The Gold Prospector

In a hut by the river in the Rocky Mountains, there once lived a gold prospector. Every morning he got up, washed, ate a slice of bread, put on his working clothes and went to the river with his large sieve.

He had lived here for many years and had sieved several tons of sand. On some days he found a bit of gold, but it was seldom more than he needed in order to buy the most necessary food, clothing and tools for his daily needs. He had long dreamed of stumbling across a large amount of gold. But he realized now that this dream would never come true. Because most of the time, when he looked in his gold pan, he found nothing more than little stones which glittered in the sun.

One day an old school friend came to visit him. He was a jeweller from a large town and had amassed a considerable fortune. He was interested to see how this gold prospector lived. “Please show me, just one time, how you prospect for gold”, he asked his old friend.

Reluctantly he stood up, took his pan from the wall and went to the river with his friend. He dipped the sieve in the river, shook it and let the water run out. “See, again nothing”, he sighed and looked up at his friend. “That is unbelievable”, the latter said, and turned pale. “Full of diamonds!”

Treasure Hunting

“In a land deep in your heart, there once lived a people which was as happy or unhappy as any people, and as rich or poor as any people, and as satisfied or longing as any people, and among them lived a boy who had a dream which many boys have: He wanted to search for a hidden treasure. Now this may not seem so peculiar, but this boy was lucky enough – or would you not call this lucky? – not only to have the dream of such a treasure but in fact to have found, in a secret hiding place in the garden, a key to just such a treasure. He had the key, the treasure belonged to him! But how should he find the treasure now, since he did not know where it was hidden? The boy sat down pondering.”

All by Itself

A man stood at the glass door of a department store early in the morning, with the intention of entering. The door wouldn’t even open an inch. He tried to push against it, but nothing happened. He could have knocked or called. He could have tried to open the door by force. The man did none of these. He looked at the sign with the opening times, looked at his watch, and then went for a walk for about ten minutes. Then he came back and stepped in front of the door. The door now opened all by itself, automatically and as if from the hand of a ghost.