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Aesop's Fables (Joseph Jacobs)

Jacobs 72. The Bundle of Sticks (Perry 53)

An old man on the point of death summoned his sons around him to give them some parting advice. He ordered his servants to bring in a faggot of sticks, and said to his eldest son: "Break it." The son strained and strained, but with all his efforts was unable to break the Bundle. The other sons also tried, but none of them was successful. "Untie the faggots," said the father, "and each of you take a stick." When they had done so, he called out to them: "Now, break," and each stick was easily broken. "You see my meaning," said their father.

Union gives strength.

The Fables of Aesop, by Joseph Jacobs with illustrations by Richard Heighway (1894). The page images come from Google Books. The digitized text comes from Project Gutenberg. You can purchase this inexpensive Dover edition, The Fables of Aesop by Joseph Jacobs from amazon.com.