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I'm Sorry

A folk tale found in many cultures.

A farmer used his horse to pull a wagon loaded with produce to sell in the market. They had been at the market for a couple of hours when the horse fell over and died. All the farmer's friends and acquaintances gathered around. They felt very sorry for the farmer, because they knew that he and his family needed the horse to run the farm and make money.

"I'm very sorry about your loss," said one friend. "I'm sorry, too," said a woman. "I'm sorry," "I'm sorry," "I'm sorry," said many, many more people for the next hour or so.

Finally, when just about everybody in the crowd had said how sorry they were, a man in the back spoke up. "I'm sorry five dollars worth," he announced.

There was silence for a moment while everybody thought. Then another voice spoke. "I'm sorry five dollars worth, too." Another voice spoke, then another, and another. Sometimes the amounts were different, but soon the whole crowd was offering money.

By the end of the day, the farmer's friends and acquaintances had helped him bury his old horse and given him enough money to buy a new one.

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Last updated on Wednesday, October 26, 2011.

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