Narrated by: Tarika Sanduja, a resident of Pitampura
Tale passed on to her by: Grandmother
In a small town, lived a boy and his parents. He was an only child. The parents of the boy were very troubled with their child. Whenever the little boy got angry or hurt, he used to use harsh words. The boy had a bad temper.
Because of his temper, the boy did not have any friends. Their neighbours avoided the boy. The boy’s parents became very concerned with his temper. They gave several advices to the boy but nothing worked. Finally, the boy’s father came up with a brilliant idea.
The father gave his son a hammer and a bag of nails and said, “Every time you get angry, hammer a nail in the fence.” After receiving the bag full of nails and a hammer, the boy was amused. He thought that the task of hammering nails was a great idea. The first day, he hammered thirty nails! The next day the number of hammered nails reduced. The boy found hammering nails a tiresome task. “Hammering these nails is very tiring,” he thought, “It would be easier if I controlled my anger.”
Soon the boy started controlling his temper. It was difficult in the beginning, but gradually he learned how to control it. The boy started hammering comparatively lesser nails. Every day the number of nails would decrease.
Then came a day, when the boy hammered no nails in the fence. Several days went by and he still did not hammer any more nails. The boy’s father saw all of this; he then gave the boy a new task. “Now, every time you control your anger, pull a nail out of the fence.”
The boy set about to pulling the nails out. He managed to get most of the nails out of the fence. Only a few remained, no matter how hard he tried, he simply could not pull those nails out. The boy told his father about the nails he could not pull out.
“What do you see?” the father asked his son. “A hole,” the boy eagerly replied, “I see a hole in the fence.”
“Now do you see what anger does?” The boy did not understand what his father was saying. So the father continued, “Think of the nails as your temper and the fence as people. Now you see that the nails can be pulled out, but it will leave a hole in the fence forever. Some of the nails can’t even be pulled out. You can fix the fence, but it will always have those scars. Similarly, with people you can apologize, but the wounds will still be there.”
“Words can do more damage than anything else. You won’t be able to see the wounds, but they will be there. Use your words to spread warmth and build relationships,” said the father. At last, the boy realized where he had been wrong. He has learned from his mistakes and decided not to repeat them.