They tell of a very rich and smart man who lived many years ago in a city far away. He had a big family – a wife, children and grandchildren – and was beloved by all. He was generous to his family and friends.
At first, he needed for nothing, and his children visited him often. But slowly, the children and grandchildren stopped showing. At his elder son’s house he became resentful, he often had no food, his clothes weren’t fixed properly, and he was ashamed to walk outside in them.
One day, the old man said to his son, “gather everyone and the mayor, I have something to tell you.”
When everyone gathered, the man said: “I have told you I sold everything, but that wasn’t the truth. I still have a suitcase filled with gold and jewelry. Since my day is coming fast, I want you to have it. It is locked with two keys, one I will give the mayor and the other my elder son. It’s buried under the big tree in front of our old house, and when I am dead you can open the suitcase and divide what is in there.”
Everyone was very excited to hear this, and from that day the man wanted for nothing again, surrounded by children and given food, clothes, and money. He lived the rest of his life in peace.
After his death, his family gathered around the big tree as the men began digging. And indeed they found the big suitcase, and with great ceremony opened it with the two keys.
But inside, all they found was the edge of a donkey’s tail and an envelope. The envelope contained a letter with only one line.
“Only an ass gives everything away too soon.”