The Old Man Who Had All the Gold in the Kingdom

 There was once an old man who lived in a hole at the base of a tree in the middle of an enchanted wood. One day, a little boy came to visit the old man.

    'Why do you live in a hole in the ground?' the little boy asked the old man.

    'Well,' began the old man, 'when I was not much older than you I came across a handful of magic beans. I sold them for all the gold in the kingdom. And then, do you know what I did?'

    The little boy shook his head.

    'I spent it,' said the old man.

    'All of it?' asked the boy, who couldn't even fathom what all the gold in the kingdom might look like, let alone spending all of it.

    'All of it,' the old man said.

    'What did you buy?' the little boy asked.

    'Everything,' the old man said. 'And do you know what?'

    The little boy shook his head again.

    'I didn't like a single thing I bought better than this hole in the ground,' the old man said.

    'But don't you have any gold left at all?' the little boy asked.

    'Not a single piece,' the old man replied. 'And do you know what?'

    The little boy shook his head a third time.

    'I don't miss it at all,' came the old man's final answer.

    And since the little boy knew that good answers came in three, especially in the middle of an enchanted wood, he never thought much of gold the rest of his life.

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