Be sure to keep the box

By Paulo Coelho


 
The old man had worked all his life. When he retired, he bought a farm for his son to manage and decided to spend the rest of his days sitting on the verandah of the big house.
 
His son worked for three years. Then he began to grow resentful.
 
‘My father doesn’t do a thing,’ he said to his friends. ‘He spends all his time staring out at the garden, while I slave away in order to feed him.’
 
One day, he resolved to put an end to this unfair situation. He built a large wooden box, went over to the verandah and said:
 
‘Pa, would you mind getting into this box?’
 
His father obeyed. His son placed the box in the back of his truck and drove to the edge of a precipice. Just as he was preparing to push the box over, his heard his father say:
 
‘Son, throw me over the edge if you must, but be sure to keep the box. You’re setting an example here, and your children will doubtless need the box for you.’

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Comments

  1. Wendy Espinoza says:

    well that story is obouisly fiction… but it has a lot of reality to it as well. i don't know of any one who has thrown his parents to a precipice. but they sure have sent them to elderly homes and forgot about them, just because they are old and the excuse is that ” they are going to be better there, since they will have proffesional help” but what about all those years that the parents took care of their children feeding them dressing them, educating them. going through sleepless nights when they were sick. dealing with them in their rebel times of adolesence. and they did all that and more with love and without expecting anything in return. then it will be time for children to care for the parents . but think the real message in this story is that if you do bad things to someone,someone else is going to do the same thing to you because ” what goes around comes around”

  2. naani says:

    Very Nice stoey Paulo

  3. Marie-Christine says:

    Good one, it can be handy

  4. Karin Bratfish says:

    Boa noite!
    Paulo,em primeiro lugar que lhe dar os parabens pelo seu trabalho,que já acompanho a muito tempo!Atualmente terminei de ler seu livro “A bruxa de Portobelo” e tive curiosidade em saber se existe fotos de Sherine Khalil? Um grande abraço…

  5. Yajna says:

    Dearest Paulo,

    Before i comment on this story, let me just the comments i’ve read so far where really something! Especially leaf. He made me laugh for quiet a while :)
    Seriously though, you can just stick your dad in a box and throw him over an edge just because his old, and doesn’t want to continue working. I mean, the man obviously worked his whole life, to take care of his family, and buy the son the farm..the son is selfish and doesn’t want to take care of his dad, the same dad that took care of him his whole life. Why is it, that all these children see their parents as burden’s as soon as they are adults? Haven’t they got some appreciate for the people that brought them up and help make them who they are. I just wanna say, i love my mummy and my daddy and even when they are old old old, i’l take care of them. I’l work to feed them, with pleasure. :)
    Good story paulo, the box is pretty original. :)

    Thank you for being.
    Yajna

  6. Leaf says:

    Okay, I came back with a more serious note anyway….what if, as often is the case in all societies, I assume;
    The father, who offered anyway, to climb in the box, did so, before he left his son to work on the farm?
    The obvious is, that the son would be missing his father so much, he would appreciate the hard work it took, to acquire such ‘things’ ( I see farmers, shepherds Honourable vocation etc, thanks etc)
    That he’d live either in loving memory
    or guilt, which is inevitably misplaced.
    Or is it?….oooh er.
    Yes, not at all as it seems at first glance.
    Hmm, all will be revealed,
    and if i may excuse myself with the fact that I had only twenty minutes dream time last night, because I was mopping up after a sickly child, who knows what it is to mop up.)
    I’ll just say,
    Love.

  7. fLUXman says:

    outraged at all young uns who dont respect their elders, E L D E R S.
    bo0om
    fLUXman

  8. fLUXman says:

    what have we evolved into, monsters,
    the young man is he a zombie?
    paulo you have opened the pandoras box of our society,
    have we become so insensitive that we dont even feel our own blood anymore?
    all I can say is that its time to switch on our neural networks, not kill them with alchol.
    shame on all young men or women who cant even honour their own parents.
    in our culture we consider our parents next to god .
    bo0om paulo
    fLUXman

  9. manoj says:

    We have a similar story in India. A couple provide their aged Father food only in tin plate.The Father passes on. Their son collects the old tin plate and keeps it with his stuff. His Father asks “why do you need that old plate? Throw it away”. Son replied ” how will i feed you when you get old?”. Thats KARMA

  10. Wendy Espinoza says:

    well that story is obouisly fiction… but it has a lot of reality to it as well. i don’t know of any one who has thrown his parents to a precipice. but they sure have sent them to elderly homes and forgot about them, just because they are old and the excuse is that ” they are going to be better there, since they will have proffesional help” but what about all those years that the parents took care of their children feeding them dressing them, educating them. going through sleepless nights when they were sick. dealing with them in their rebel times of adolesence. and they did all that and more with love and without expecting anything in return. then it will be time for children to care for the parents . but think the real message in this story is that if you do bad things to someone,someone else is going to do the same thing to you because ” what goes around comes around”

  11. Leaf says:

    You made that up didn’t you, sir!?
    Okay, yes, I laughed (so much so I dropped my sword!)
    Now I cannot find it, cos my eyes are blurred with strange tears…Love.

    PS, I don’t believe a son could be so ungrateful, arrogant AND dim-witted, therefore, it is fiction to me, worth a laugh.( my serious self-defensive)

    Worth your ‘wait’ in Gold, Paulo.

    xxxxxx

  12. Ellinor Aspeflo says:

    Minunderstanings do happen when we forget to talk to each other. Many are the times when we see things, and right away we have an opinion about what the situation. Most of the times, we have wrong, we don´t know what have happend before. Therefor, I think that we must be better to talk to the people around us, and most of all, to our friends and family. If we do, the misundertandings will be less, and the love will be be stronger.

    Love E