The Two Hermits
Upon a lonely mountain, there lived two hermits who worshipped God
and loved one another.
Now these two hermits had one earthen bowl, and this was their only
One day an evil spirit entered into the heart of the older hermit
and he came to the younger and said, 'It is long that we have
lived together. The time has come for us to part. Let us divide
Then the younger hermit was saddened and he said, 'It grieves
me, Brother, that thou shouldst leave me. But if thou must needs
go, so be it,' and he brought the earthen bowl and gave it to him
saying, 'We cannot divide it, Brother, let it be thine.'
Then the older hermit said, 'Charity I will not accept. I will
take nothing but mine own. It must be divided.'
And the younger one said, 'If the bowl be broken, of what use would
it be to thee or to me? If it be thy pleasure let us rather cast
But the older hermit said again, 'I will have but justice and mine
own, and I will not trust justice and mine own to vain chance. The
bowl must be divided.'
Then the younger hermit could reason no further and he said, 'If
it be indeed thy will, and if even so thou wouldst have it let us
now break the bowl.'
But the face of the older hermit grew exceedingly dark, and he
cried, 'O thou cursed coward, thou wouldst not fight.'
by Khalil Gibran