Once a King's falcon flew away from his palace and landed in the house of an old woman of the neighbourhood. The old woman saw the falcon's long nails and its big wings and cut them short, saying: "With which unworthy person have you lived all this time who kept you like an orphan".
An emperor in the Far East was growing old and knew it was time to choose his successor. Instead of choosing one of his assistants or his children, he decided something different. He called young people in the kingdom together one day. He said, "It is time for me to step down and choose the next emperor. I have decided to choose one of you."
I hired a plumber to help me restore an old farmhouse, and after he had just finished a rough first day on the job, a flat tyre made him lose an hour of work, his electric drill quit and his ancient one-ton truck refused to start. While I drove him home, he sat in stony silence.