Arts & Culture

Ancient Tales of Wisdom: The Stone in the Road

TIMEOctober 17, 2021

Ancient tales of wisdom remind us of the traditions and moral values that have been treasured all over the world. We hope the stories and messages in our Tales of Wisdom series help uplift the hearts and minds of our readers.

“The Stone in the Road” is a short tale that tells of the eventual rewards that come to those who work hard and who genuinely care about others.

This retold tale is part of a specially dedicated children’s collection of audio stories and original illustrations compiled and produced in 2012 as part of the “Ancient Tales of Wisdom” program by the Sound of Hope Radio Network.

Listen to the audio story, or read it below, and be transported into another world!

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(Courtesy of Sound of Hope Radio Network via Michael Anderson)

Listen to Audio Story:

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There was once a very rich man who lived in a beautiful castle near a village. He loved the people who lived in the village, and he tried to help them. He planted beautiful trees near their houses, and made picnics for their children, and every Christmas he gave them a Christmas tree. But the people did not love to work. They were very unhappy, because they too could not be rich—like their friend in the castle.

One day, the rich man got up very early in the morning and placed a large stone in the road that led past his house. Then he hid himself behind the hedge and waited to see what would happen.

By and by, a poor man came along driving a cow. He cursed because the stone lay in his path, but he walked around it, and went on his way. Then a farmer came, on his way to the mill. He too complained because the stone was there; but he too drove around it and went on his way. So the day passed. Everyone who came by complained because the stone lay in the road, but no one touched it.

At last, just at nightfall, the miller’s boy came past. He was a hardworking fellow, and was very tired, because he had been busy since early morning at the mill. But he said to himself, “It is almost dark; somebody may fall over this stone in the night, and perhaps be badly hurt. I will move it out of the way.”

So he tugged at the heavy stone. It was hard to move, but he pulled, and pushed, and lifted until at last he moved it from its place. To his surprise, he found a bag lying underneath. He lifted the bag. It was heavy, for it was filled with gold. Upon it was written, “This gold belongs to the one who moves the stone!”

The miller’s boy went home with a happy heart, and the rich man went back to his castle. He was glad, indeed, that he had found someone who was not afraid to do hard things.

This tale, “The Stone in the Road,” is reprinted with permission from the “Ancient Tales of Wisdom—Student Workbook” published by the Sound of Hope Radio Network, who reproduced it from “For the Children’s Hour” by Carolyn S Bailey and Clara M Lewis (Milton Bradley Company, Massachusetts, 1906). Audio and illustrations by Sound of Hope Radio Network. Copyright © 2012. All rights reserved.

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Epoch Inspired staff cover stories of hope that celebrate kindness, traditions, and triumph of the human spirit, offering valuable insights into life, culture, family and community, and nature.