Four Men, Two Shovels
Once there were four men one of whom was Adventurous. Adventurous was usually looking for new things to do and places to explore. One day, while exploring, he discovered what he thought was a gold streak in the side of a hill. He filed his claim to the site and quickly hurried home to tell his friend, TooCheap, about his discovery. "Go get yourself a shovel and come help me dig. We can share the profit." But TooCheap complained, "Do you know how much a shovel costs these days? Twenty-nine, ninety five, and the handle is just made of wood. I am not going to buy a wooden handled shovel for $29.95. That's too much money."
So Adventurous went to another friend, TooLate, the procrastinator, and gave him the same invitation, "Get a shovel and come help me dig and we will share the profit." But TooLate said he would have to ask his friend, TooCheap, what he thought about it and that he would get back to him in awhile.
A few days later however, Adventurous was visiting with another friend, SteadyEddy, when the subject of the mine came up. SteadyEddy offered to help. Now SteadyEddy was not very fast or quick thinking, but you could count on him to do what he said he would do, even if he was a bit slow.
Adventurous made SteadyEddy the same offer he made to TooCheap and TooLate. SteadyEddy agreed, bought a shovel, showed up the next day and the two men began working the claim. After a month of digging with modest success, the two were becoming a little doubtful about the possibility that the mine would pay off. Then the vein opened to about eight or nine inches wide. They were excited and soon sold some of the gold and shared the profit.
Early the next week TooLate called Adventurous and told him that his friend, TooCheap, had said it was probably OK for him to help dig for the gold, but that Adventurous would have to supply the tools to do the digging. After all it was his mine wasn't it?
Adventurous replied that he would not supply the shovel and besides that, TooLate had waited too long to reply. Adventurous had already found another willing partner. TooLate began to complain bitterly and to say bad things about Adventurous, claiming he was mean spirited and greedy because he wouldn't share his new wealth. Adventurous just shook his head and walked away, saying, "You had your chance, TooLate, but now you're too late."
Moral: Work is a rewarder of those that do it.