Once upon a time two brothers who  lived on adjoining farms fell  into conflict. It was the first serious rift in 40 years of farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading  labour and goods as needed without a hitch. Then  the  long collaboration  fell apart.  It began with a small misunderstanding  and  it  grew  into  a major  difference,  and  finally  it exploded  into  an  exchange  of  bitter  words  followed  by  weeks  of silence.

One morning there was a knock on John’s door. He opened it to  find a man with a carpenter’s  toolbox. “I’m  looking  for a  few days work,” he said. “Perhaps you would have a  few small  jobs here and there I could help with? Could I help you?” 
“Yes,” said the older brother. “I do have a job for you. Look across the creek  at  that  farm.  That’s  my  neighbour;  in  fact,  it’s  my  younger brother. Last week there was a meadow between us and he took his bulldozer  to  the  river  levee  and  now  there  is  a  creek  between  us. Well, he may have done  this  to spite me, but  I’ll go him one better. See that pile of lumber by the barn? I want you to build me a fence–an 8-foot fence–so I won’t need to see his place or his face anymore.”

The carpenter said, “I  think  I understand  the situation. Show me  the nails and the post hole digger and I’ll be able to do a job that pleases you.”

The older brother had  to go  to town, so he helped  the carpenter get the materials  ready and  then he was off  for  the day. The carpenter worked  hard  all  that  day measuring,  sawing,  nailing. About  sunset when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer’s  eyes  opened wide,  his  jaw  dropped.  There was  no  fence there at all. It was a bridge–a bridge stretching  from one side of  the creek  to  the  other! A  fine  piece  of work  handrails  and  all–and  the neighbour,  his  younger  brother,  was  coming  across,  his  hand outstretched.

“You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I’ve said and done.” The two brothers stood at each end of the bridge, and then they met in  the  middle,  taking  each  other’s  hand.  They  turned  to  see  the carpenter hoist his toolbox on his shoulder.

“No, wait! Stay a  few days.  I’ve a  lot of other projects  for you,” said the older brother.

“I’d  love  to  stay  on,”  the  carpenter  said,  “but  I  have many  more bridges to build.”


(moral; sometimes others can see what we need more than we can ourselves. Anger and other emotions sometimes cloud our thoughts and it takes a third party to set us back on the right path, or place a bridge in the right place for us to take the right path)