There was once a man who lived a humble life in a drab cottage, right at the edge of the village. He had one tin cup for his water, one clay bowl and spoon for his porridge and a simple wooden bed. Then one day, he was lucky enough to inherit a fortune from a distant cousin.
For the first time in his life, he could have anything he wanted and everything he ever dreamed of. This changed him a lot. He started spending as if the money could never run out. He was by himself, but he still moved into a big, fancy house with dozens of rooms.
Every day he spent money faster and faster. He just had to have anything that caught his eye, without even considering whether he needed it. He had many things, but they were many useless things.
Then one day, he noticed that his money was running out. He thought about earning some more, but he didn’t feel like going to work. Why should he? He was still a little rich, after all.
He started to play cards and gamble, hoping to win more money and live on comfortably without having to do very much. But quite the opposite happened! He ended up gambling everything away. The last of his savings - gone! - and even his beautiful house with all the furniture - gone! - gone!
He was left with only one plain winter coat. He didn’t worry, though. He believed that it would get better. That surely his luck would come back again.
The long, difficult winter was over, and spring arrived. The man went out for a walk, with the sun warming his face. There were birds flying above his head and when he saw that…