Paulo Coelho

Stories & Reflections

The city and the army

Author: Paulo Coelho

By Paulo Coelho

According to legend, when Joan of Arc was marching towards Poitiers with her army, she came across a boy playing in the middle of the road with some earth and twigs.

‘What are you doing?’ asked Joan of Arc.

‘Can’t you see?’ replied the boy. ‘This is a city.’

‘Excellent,’ she said, ‘now if you will please leave the road, my men and I need to get past.’

The boy got angrily to his feet and stood before her.

‘A city does not move. An army might destroy it, but the city itself stays where it is.’

Smiling at the boy’s determination, Joan of Arc ordered her army to leave the road and go around the ‘city’.

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