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Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Prosperity (05/11/06)

TITLE: Maybe You Can Take It with You
By Dave Kissling


The rich man had everything: a fleet of limousines, a three-story mansion complete with servants, stock holdings in the hundreds of billions, powerful business connections in high places, and he smoked only the best cigars from Havana. But as with all men, in time he grew older and more frail, and when his highly paid doctor told him he had cancer, he demanded a second opinion, and a third and a fourthóand a fifth from his bartender. But they all agreed that he only had a year at most to live.

What disturbed the rich man most was the proverb he had always heard, that he couldnít take it with him, and he wanted to keep as much of it as he could. Therefore, he set his businesslike mind to work to prove the adage false. He made arrangements to be buried in one of his limousines as his coffin, dressed in his best finery and gaudiest jewelry, with a Havana planted firmly in his mouth. Then he called his butler, his chauffeur and his personal tailoróhis three most trusted servantsóto his bedside for special instructions.

"Now listen," the rich man said. "They keep saying I canít take my money with me when I die, but Iím going to prove them wrong. Iím going to give each of you $500,000 to store away until I die. At my funeral, you put the money in my limo with me. That way Iíll have a million and a half of my wealth with me, even in death."

The butler, chauffeur and tailor all agreed. They each received $500,000 in large bills in a leather bag, and they all stored the bags in their respective safes.

Months later, the old man finally died, and all three servants attended the funeral. There was their former employer, propped up in his usual seat of the sleek limousine, dressed in his finery and jewelry with a cigar between his teeth. The funeral itself was a lavish affair, true to the way he had lived, and when mourners were allowed to past by the casket before the crane lowered it into the elongated grave, each of the three servants bent into the seat to deliver their leather bags of money.

After the funeral, the three were dining together when the tailorís conscience began to bother him. "Listen, I have a confession to make. I didnít put all $500,000 in the limousine. I took $100,000 out for myself."

The chauffeur grimaced and gave a small shrug. "Well ... donít feel too bad. I must confess that I took out $200,000 for myself and left the rest."

The butler was shocked, his harsh accusing eyes alternating between the men. "Why ... Iím surprised at both of you! You should be ashamed of yourselves for stealing from the master, as good as he has been to you. Why, I put in a check for the full amount!"

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This article has been read 549 times
Member Comments
Member Date
Virginia Gorg05/18/06
I've seen this somewhere before - a cute story.
Edy T Johnson 05/20/06
If this idea has been told in a story, before, I think you have done a creative retelling of it! It does illustrate the challenge topic for the week. You do write well, with a flair for words. God bless you!
Helen Paynter05/22/06
LOL. I did know the story, but I liked the way you told it. Well done.
Jan Ackerson 05/23/06
When you re-tell a familiar joke, you risk losing your audience, which is why I suspect that you have few-ish comments. You have really good writing skills, so if you branch out into unfamiliar territory, you'll get more of a readership. Keep writing!