Many years ago and far away
There lay a man on his very last day.
Doctors came and Doctors went
All saying that his life was spent.
“There’s nothing we can do,” they said
“Just lay there upon your bed.”
It seemed that he was out of time
So he called for his children who stood in line.
“You will all inherit my money now,”
The old man said with fevered brow.
“Each of you, take a bag of gold.”
And they greedily did as they were told.
Fortunately, the old man made it through the night
And the very next day he felt quite alright.
But now his children cared not if he lived or died,
“We’ve got all your money already,” they cried.
The old man lived for twenty more years
But as he grew frail, he had many fears.
He knew his health was failing fast
And didn’t know how long he’d last.
He would soon need help from his family again
But would they help if there was nothing to gain?
He would have to hatch a clever plan
To make them take care of him, if he can.
The old man called on his oldest friend,
To ask how he could get help when he had nothing left to spend.
His friend was a wise and cunning man
And told the old man of a brilliant plan.
Soon the man sent for his children once more,
And showed them three new bags on the bedroom floor.
“Take good care of me until I go
Then have my loan repayment money, it’s more than you know!”
“But you must all promise not to peek!
Not a single look! Until I’ve been gone for one week!”
The children promised. What could go wrong?
They knew the father did not have very long.
So they took care of their Father very well,
They cooked and cleaned and rushed when he rang his bell
And all the time rubbing their hands in glee
As they imagined all the repayment money.
Five months later, the old man died
With all three of his children there at his bedside.
He was smiling and warm and very well fed.
Then his children’s gaze settled on the three bags instead.
Just one moment after the old man died,
All three children grabbed a bag and looked inside.
Three greedy smiles changed to three great big shocks
When they saw that each of their bags were filled with rocks.