Whipped this up earlier today. It’s based on an old Tibetan metaphor, and is written with the intention of sounding like a fairy-tale or fable. Enjoy. Also, I hope I preach to the converted, but don’t plagiarize this work.
A young man by the name of William was walking home from a day in the fields when he stumbled upon a beggar at the side of the road; having no means of coinage to offer, the man instead tucked his hand in his pocket and removed a portion of food he had neglected at lunch. He handed it to the beggar, who thanked him earnestly, and started down the road again. Some way down he came upon a dog trapped in a hunter’s snare, whimpering for freedom. Taking pity on the animal, William freed the beast and watched as it ran to find its master, and then he continued on his path home. Perceiving William to be weak, and easy to fool, a fairy came down from a nearby tree to greet him.
“You mustn’t be scared,” it said, a voice so heavily that even the birds stopped their called to listen. “I wish to offer a gift, for a kind human is rare indeed, and such actions ought only to find encouragement.” But fairies are known tricksters, and so, William refused any praise and continued on his way. Desperate, the fairy halts him once again. “Alright,” she says, “I will give you two items, and you must tell me which is more precious. If you succeed, I will help both of the creatures you rescued today.” Finally, the man agrees.
The fairy puts both hands behind her back, and summons a magical glow. When she presents them again before the man she is holding two items. The first is an old bone, white as fresh paper with yellowing marrow on the inside. In the other hand the fairy is holding a jewel, sparking in the sunlight; a diamond. “Which is more precious?” the fairy asks, and the man begins to think about his answer. But the young man, whose name is William, has always been told of the nature of magical creatures hiding about the fields. He thinks about the beggar and the dog. With his head high he looked deep into the Fairy’s eyes and asks “What am I?” Puzzled, the fairy stares back. “Well, What am I? If I am a man, the diamond is of most precious; I might sell it, buy myself a house and land, be happy in my wealth. But, if I am a dog, what use is fortune? The bone is more precious for I may eat it. Both are as precious as each other.”
Dumbfounded, the fairy was forced to keep her word. In the pocket of the beggar sprung a cluster of beautiful diamonds, and each day the dog woke to find a bone, and the Fairy never bothered a human again.