The fountain

The man was shown into an old garden. It was overgrown with weeds and the plants had long since died away. The ground was hard and dry and as they moved through the tangled weeds his companion pointed out something practically hidden in the undergrowth. As they drew closer the man realised the ground around the structure was a little damp, and the grass around the base was greener than elsewhere.

“What is this?” he asked his companion. “It is the old stone fountain” his friend replied, “it used to bring fresh water to the garden to keep the plants alive and birds came and bathed in its water. The man looked harder and began to discern the outline of the old stone fountain and he realised how beautiful it was. “Without the fountain’s water the garden dies” continued his friend.

Hearing these words the man pulled at one of the weeds clogging up the fountain. It was hard work and he began to perspire with the exertion but eventually the weed loosened and as it did so a tiny rivulet of water appeared. Sensing movement he glanced at the branch of a nearby tree and noticed that a small bird was looking down at him. The man smiled and touched the water with his finger. He suddenly realised beyond doubt what he needed to do and turned to his companion to thank him.

His friend had gone.