• What good is clever alone?
  • Francis Leavey

What good is clever alone?

What good is clever alone?

I know lots of clever people. I'd go as far as to say that I like being around clever people as I learn a lot and it helps me on my struggle up the clever ladder. Even more than clever people, I like being around kind, considerate people.

I wrote a story for my then 5 year old son in an effort to get this point across. (Hard to believe that was almost 10 years ago)! I came across it today, trimmed off some excess fat and tidied it up a bit. I hope you enjoy it. Of course you will because you're clever and kind.


The Cleverest Man In The World

In the great city at the foot of the mountain there lived a man whom people said was the cleverest man in the world. People came from far and wide to ask him difficult questions. Sometimes they wanted an answer to a difficult problem and other times they asked him about some obscure fact that they were sure he wouldn’t know. He always knew!

Yes indeed this was a very clever man. As time passed he became proud and began to think that he was more important than everyone else just because he was so clever.

One bright summer day a particularly large crowd had gathered to ask questions and to admire the cleverest man in the world. Sure enough as with every other day the questions were met with answers and the man sat back and smiled from ear to ear as the people cheered for him.

A little boy stepped forward from the crowd that day. He was no more than five years old and looked thin and hungry. The clothes on his back were ragged and he wore no shoes on his feet.

The old man looked at the urchin standing before him. Then the boy spoke. ‘Sir, my name is Toto. My father works in your garden. He is not a senior gardener but he has worked there for many years under the hot sun, in the rain and wind and when the snow falls. You have a beautiful garden do you not?’

‘Indeed I do Toto. I have the most beautiful garden in all the city.’ declared the cleverest man in the world for he was also the wealthiest man in the city.

‘I have listened to the peoples questions and your answers all day sir. You are indeed the cleverest man in the world. May I ask you a question sir?’ asked Toto and the crowd sniggered at the thought of this little boy being able to catch out the cleverest man in the world.

‘Yes, you may Toto.’ came the answer although the cleverest man in the world also sniggered.

'What is my father’s name?’ asked Toto softly.

The crowd grew silent. Nobody dared breath as they looked from Toto to the cleverest man in the world and back again.

The cleverest man in the world stared at Toto. Beads of sweat appeared on his forehead and his face lost its colour. After what seemed a very long time indeed he spoke. ‘Toto I do not know your father’s name.’

‘His name is Paolo sir.’ said Toto and with that he turned and walked away through the crowd leaving the cleverest man in the world sitting with his head bowed toward the ground.

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    Francis Leavey

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