My door had been closed for a long time. Then one day I heard a knock, and my door opened.

A voice spoke to me, and it said: “You are the heart of a rich man. What have you done with your wealth? Have you used it to do good things for your family? Have you considered the necessities of the poor? Have you been content with what you have, or do you always want more?”

I wasn’t slow in answering. “I have been hard and pitiless. I have never shown kindness to my family. Whenever I saw a beggar, I turned my eyes away. I haven’t thought about anything except for increasing my wealth, and, frankly, if everything under the sky were my own, I still would not have had enough.”

It was a shock to the farmer to hear me speak so plainly. Then he heard a knock on his own door.

Heart of a Rich Farmer in The Grave Mound, Grimms, Painting by John Singer Sargent.

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