THE CRACKED POT
Once upon a
time there was a water-bearer in India who had two large pots, each hung on
each end of a pole which he carried across his neck. One of the pots had a
crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full
portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master's
house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.
For a full two
years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pot
full of water in his master's house.
Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end
for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed of its own
imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it
had been made to do.
After two years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the
water-bearer one day by the stream. "I am ashamed of myself, and I want to
apologize to you." "Why?" asked the bearer.
you ashamed of?"
been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this
crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master's
house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work and you don't get
full value from your efforts, " the pot said. The water-bearer felt sorry
for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, "As we return to
the master's house, I want you to notice the beautiful flowers along the
Indeed, as they
went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun warming the
beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path, and this cheered it some.
But at the end
of the trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so
again it apologized to the bearer for its failure.
The bearer said
to the pot, "Did you notice that there were flowers only on your side of
your path, but not on the other pot's side?
because have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I
planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back
from the stream, you've watered them. For two years I have been able to pick
these beautiful flowers to decorate my master's table. Without you being just
the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house."
text-indent:45.0pt'>Soon the Little Red Hen had ground all the wheat into
flour and had put it into a bag. She threw the bag over her shoulder and
started on her way to her home. When she got to her kitchen her friends were
already home sitting at the table playing checkers. She said, "Who will
help me make the bread?"
The cat said, "Not I". The duck said,
"Not I". The pig said, "Not I".
The Little Red Hen said, "Very well then, I will
do it myself." And she did.
The Little Red Hen worked very hard making the bread.
She added the ingredients to the pan and stirred and kneaded the dough. When it
was ready she put the dough into the oven. The bread smelled so delicious as it
Soon it was time to take the bread out of the oven.
She took it from the oven and put it on the table. She said, "Who will
help me eat the bread?"
Her animal friends were so hungry now that the cat
said, "I will". The duck said, "I will". The pig said,
The Little Red Hen who had done all the work by
herself was disgusted with her friends. She said, "I did all the work and
I will eat it myself." And she did.