Hard Times

Paulo Coelho

A man was selling oranges in the middle of a road. He was illiterate, so he never read newspapers. He put some signs along the road and spent the whole day praising the flavor of his wares.

Everyone bought from him and the man thrived. With the money he placed more signs on the road and began to sell more fruit. Business was growing fast when one day his son – who was educated and had studied in a big city – asked him:

– Father, don’t you know that the world is going through very hard times? The economy of the country is in an awful state!

Worried by this, the man reduced the number of signs and began to sell fruit of inferior quality because it was cheaper. Sales slumped immediately.

“My son is right,” he thought. “Times are very hard.”

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