“Go back, yourself,” replied the black goat, and he pushed against the other.
They were very angry. Each drew back. Their heads came together with terrible force. They locked horns. The white goat lost his footing and fell, pulling the black goat over with him, and both were drowned.
The mill feeders of a great mill—the stomach—met together to talk over their trials.
The hands said, “We are tired of carrying grist to the door of the greedy mill. We would rather spend all our time painting pictures or writing books.”
“We were made for talking and singing,” said the lips, “but much of our time has to be spent in taking grist for the mill.”
“And we,” said the teeth, “give our life to crushing the grist which is brought to the mill. We are wearing out in its service, but what thanks do we get?”
“I have never had a holiday,” said the tongue. “I do not mind talking, but I do not like to work for the mill. Three times a day or oftener, I must help the teeth to prepare the grist. I am tired of it.”
The gullet said, “My whole life is given up to carrying the grist to the mill. I do not like such work. Let the mill feed itself. It has no business to work us to death.”
“Let us all stop work,” cried the mill feeders. “We will stop at once;” and so the mill shut down.
Many hours after, the lips said, “How strange that we should not feel like talking now that we have nothing else to do!”
The hands said, “We are too weak to paint or to write. We never felt so tired before.”
The tongue became parched and all the mill feeders were unhappy.
More hours passed; then the mill feeders held another meeting. It was a short, quiet, earnest meeting.
“We have been fools,” they all said. “The mill was working for us while we were working for it. Our strength came from the grist which we sent to it. We can do nothing without the help of the mill. Let us go to work again. If the mill will only grind for us, we will gladly furnish the grist.”
“Boys, why are you always quarreling? That is no way to live,” said a farmer to his sons one day.
The sons would not listen to their father. Each wanted the best of everything. Each thought the father did more for the others than for him.
The father bore the quarreling as long as he could. One day he called his seven sons to him. He had in his hand a bundle of seven sticks.
“I wish to see which one of you can break this bundle of sticks,” he said.
The oldest one tried first. He was the strongest, but he could not break it though he used all his strength. Then each of his brothers tried hard to break the bundle. None of them could break it.