An old man had willed his land to be inherited equally by his two sons, after his death. The sons did not get along well so when the father passed away, they erected a fence right in the middle of the land to divide it. Some years passed, each one had built his own house and lived with his wife and children. There was no communication between them.
One day the older brother called a carpenter and said to him, “My fence is in need of repair. I want you to repair it and also raise its height by another four feet. You see my nasty neighbour who happens to be my younger brother, lives on the next farm. Now that our children have grown bigger, they sometimes peep over the fence and chat with my brother’s children. In fact, one day I noticed they were playing lawn tennis across the fence and I didn’t like it at all. If we raise the height of the fence, the problem will be solved once and for all. Please keep in mind while repairing that it looks neat, besides being sturdy and useful.”
The carpenter said, “Sure Sir, I’ll do the job for you.” The carpenter got to work. The farmer had to go to town to buy some paint for the fence, so he was out till late in the evening, while the carpenter toiled hard all day to complete the job.
By the time he got back, the carpenter was just adding the finishing touches to his work. The farmer stared at the fence in amazement. He could not believe his eyes. The old fence had been neatly repaired without being raised. Right down the centre, there was a gate, complete with hinges and a handle. It was a thoroughfare for going into the next farm!
His niece and nephew ran through the newly made gate and gave him a hug. “Dear Uncle! How wonderful of you, to get the gate made. Now we can play together everyday with our cousins. Look Uncle! Mother is coming here. She has baked a plum cake for you, because father said it was your favourite.”
The farmer was totally dumbfounded. He saw his brother running across with arms outstretched and they hugged each other. From the corner of his eye, he saw that the carpenter’s eyes were moist. The elder brother asked, “How can we ever thank you?” The carpenter said, “Just keep the gate open always!”
“Stay for a few days,” said the farmer. “I have many more gates to open…” said the carpenter shyly. He picked up his bag of tools and left. He was a happy man and … he had left behind a happy family.
Would you like to follow this carpenter and open a gate or two?