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Three Fountains
by Dallas Landrum
07/23/03
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Two women were sitting together.
The first woman was very young
And still naïve in the ways of the world.
The second woman was very old
And had seen every good and evil in the world.
The first woman asked the second woman,
“If you stood before three fountains named
Love, Wisdom and Wealth,
And you could only drink from two of them,
Which two would you choose?”
The old woman answered,
“I would drink first from the fountain of Wealth,
Because I would have all the possessions I ever desired
And my life would be easier to live.
Then I would drink from the fountain of Wisdom,
So I would know whom I could trust as a friend
And whom would become my enemy.”
Then the old woman asked the young woman,
“Which fountains would you drink from?”
The young woman answered,
“I would drink first from the fountain of Love,
Because, no matter if I was rich or poor,
I would at least have someone whom I could give my love
And that someone would give me his in return,
And I would always consider myself the wealthiest woman in the world.”
The old woman shook her head heavily.
She thought the young woman’s choice childish
And knew it would never come to pass.
“And which fountain would you drink from a second time?”
The young woman said,
“Love.”
The old woman was perplexed.
“But you have already chosen to drink from the fountain of Love.”
The young woman smiled and said,
“I would drink from the fountain of Love twice.
Because with much Love comes much Forgiveness;
If I gave someone all of my love but they refused to return it,
I would not grow old with bitterness and hatred in my heart.
I would be able to forgive and live happily
Knowing that at least I have the capacity to love.”
The old woman shook her head again,
Not out of shame for the young woman
But out of shame for herself;
For she knew then how she had grown old.


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