100 Moral Stories

THE FATHER AND HIS SONS A father had a family of sons who were perpetually quarreling among

themselves. When he failed to heal their disputes by his exhortations, he

determined to give them a practical illustration of the evils of disunion; and for

this purpose he one day told them to bring him a bundle of sticks.

When they had done so, he placed the faggot into

the hands of each of them in succession, and

ordered them to break it in pieces. They tried with

all their strength, and were not able to do it. He

next opened the faggot, took the sticks separately, one by one, and

again put them into his sons’ hands, upon which they broke them


He then addressed them in these words: “My sons, if you are of one mind, and unite to assist each

other, you will be as this faggot, uninjured by all the attempts of your enemies; but if you are

divided among yourselves, you will be broken as easily as these sticks.”

In Union there is strength. Divided we fall; United we stand.


Next autumn, when you see geese heading south for the winter, flying in a “V” formation, you

might consider what science has discovered as to why they fly that way. As each bird flaps its wings,

it creates uplift for the bird immediately following. By flying in a “V” formation, the whole flock

adds at least 71 percent greater flying range than if each bird flew on its own.

People who share a common direction and sense of community can get

where they are going more quickly and easily, because they are traveling

on the thrust of one another.

When a goose falls out of formation, it suddenly feels the drag and

resistance of trying to go it alone and quickly gets back into formation to

take advantage of the lifting power of the bird in front. If we have the

sense of a goose, we will stay in formation with those people who are heading the same way we are.

When the head goose gets tired, it rotates back in the wing and another goose flies point.

It is sensible to take turns doing demanding jobs, whether with people or with geese flying south.

Geese honk from behind to encourage those up front to keep up their speed.

What message do we give when we honk from behind?

Finally - and this is important - when a goose gets sick or is wounded by gunshot, and falls out of

the formation, two other geese fall out with that goose and follow it down to lend help and

protection. They stay with the fallen goose until it is able to fly or until it dies; and only then do

they launch out on their own, or with another formation to catch up with their own group.

If we have the sense of a goose, we will stand by each other like that.