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Fifty-two Story Talks To Boys And Girls by Howard J. Chidley

THE HAPPY MAN

Once upon a time there was a king who was very rich, but very unhappy. He had a beautiful marble palace, with extensive parks and grounds, fine horses and carriages, but he was not happy.

So one day he called together his court-messengers, and sent them out into the world, telling them to travel far and wide until they found a man who was happy beyond all others, and when they found him, to take off his shirt and bring it to him. For he thought that perhaps by wearing this shirt he might gain the happiness he sought.

The messengers went forth, and after a long search finally found a man who seemed happier than all his fellows. And as he sat singing in the sunshine the king's messengers pounced upon him to take away his shirt; but lo, when they took his coat off they found he had no shirt!

The story means this, that happiness does not depend upon what you have or have not. It comes from within, and not from without. If you have the right spirit you will have a song, riches or not. But if you have not the right spirit you will not be happy, no matter what you have.

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