“My sons, I am not a rich man. The only thing I have that is worth much is this diamond. Because it cannot be sold or divided, I can give it to only one of you. The diamond will go to whichever of you accomplishes the noblest deed in a week’s time."
A week passed, and the sons returned. They found their father weak and unable to leave his bed. He asked each in turn to tell his story.
“Ah, that is a good deed, but not truly noble. After all, it is our duty to be as generous as we can to the poor.”
“I thought and thought of a deed that would be worthy. Finally, this is what I did. I gathered together all of my property, divided it in half, and gave one half to the poor people of the city.”
“That, too, is a good deed, and yet not noble, all should be willing to risk their lives for the sake of a child.”
“When I was returning home from work one day, I saw a little girl caught in the swift current of the river. Though I can hardly swim myself, I jumped into the river and pulled her out. The current was so swift, I almost drowned.”
“Ah, my son! That is a beautiful story and a truly noble deed. It is a rare person who will risk his life for the sake of his enemy. A noble person. The diamond is yours!”
“We threw ourselves into each other’s arms and swore to be friends forever. Each of us found a friend, where before there had been an enemy!”
Gently I put my arms around him. Suddenly his eyes opened, and I saw he was afraid. ‘Do not fear,’ I said. With that, I pulled him toward me and rolled with him, away from the cliff