One day a young prospector with a heart of gold went off to roam the mountains in search of gold. Each day he would search for gold and each night he would make camp and build a fire. Long into the night he could be seen sitting by the fire writing stories. Often he would take a break from writing and gaze long into the fire and dream about all the fine things he was going to do and buy when he struck it rich. He dreamt about going to town to seek out and ask the finest lady to marry him. He would know when he found her, for she too would have a heart of gold. They would have lots of children and live in a big house furnished with nothing but the finest. They would eat in the finest restaurants and attend the most prestigious of events. Just thinking about it gave him great personal satisfaction.
On occasion he would go into town, sell some of his stories, and
purchase badly needed supplies. Some of the townspeople would laugh
and make fun of him. They would ask him, "Well, have you struck
it rich yet?" The prospector would only smile and say to them, "Up
to this moment in time I have not yet found any gold; but this I
do know, the greatest riches lay within you!"
As the prospector headed out of town back into the wilderness he
would stop to visit a woman he admired and
adored very much. He liked her because she too had a dream. In her
dream she was going to meet and marry a fine man. They would have
lots of children and live in a big house furnished with nothing
but the finest. They would eat in the finest restaurants and attend
the most prestigious of events. Just thinking about it gave her
great personal joy. She had been waiting for a long time for the
right man to do all this with, but he had not yet come along. At
the end of each visit the prospector would thank her for her friendship
and encouraged her not to give up on her dream. He would give her
a big affectionate hug and with a tear in his eye head back out
into the wilderness, more determined than ever to find that gold
and strike it rich.
The days turned into weeks, the weeks into months, and the months,
turned into years. The seasons would come and go: the newness of
spring; the warmth of summer; the colors of autumn; and the bitter
cold of winter. Throughout it all the prospector persevered in searching
for that gold. Then one day, way off in the wilderness, in the bitter
cold of winter the prospector now an old man, became ill and died.
But just before he died he wrote something down on a piece of paper
and put it in a sealed container.
The bitter cold winter turned into spring. From the same town that
the old prospector had come from, a new young prospector came into
the wilderness in search of gold. One day he came across the corpse
of the old prospector and found a container grasped in one hand
and a shovel of all things, in the other. Curiosity overwhelmed
the young prospector and he picked up the container and opened it.
Inside he found a pen and a stack of paper. On the top piece of
paper were written the following words: "In the event you come across
my corpse, could you be so kind enough to bury me, and upon digging
my grave you find gold, "Just remember who found it first!" The
young prospector had a good laugh over this, it was a good deep
laugh that echoed throughout the wilderness. He remembered his mother
telling him stories about a prospector who used to come to town
and visit her. He wondered if this was the man. The next trip
back into town for supplies he would ask her more about him.
young prospector also had a heart of gold. Respecting the old prospectors
wishes he picked up the shovel and began to dig a grave to bury
him. And what do you suppose he found...