There once was a gentle boy called Samuel. He lived at the edge of the forest with his parents and two older brothers. His family often treated him poorly. They didn't know that he was capable of much greater things, until the day that he met a strange old man in the woods. That day began as Samuel's oldest brother went to cut wood. Their mother packed a sweet cake and a bottle of cider for her oldest son to take into the woods. Samuel stayed at home and chopped nuts. In the woods, Samuels's brother came upon a little gray man. The man kindly said good day and asked, "Will you share your meals with a tired old man? I am very hungry and thirsty." Samuel's brother yelled at the man. "If I share with you, I won't have enough for myself," he said. "Now out of my way!" The brother left the man standing there and went to chop a tree. After a few strong swings, his ax slipped and hit his arm. He suffered a deep cut and could no longer continue his work. The little man saw all this happen. He smiled as the oldest brother hurried home to dress his wound. Now, the second brother was called to get the firewood. Their mother gave him sweet cake and cider for his journey, as she'd done for the oldest brother. Before long the second brother also met up with the old man in the woods. The man kindly said good day and asked if he would share his meal with him. This next brother was as selfish as the first. "If I give you my food and drink, I won't have enough for myself," he said. "Now get out of my way!" The second brother walked away and found a tree to chop. He swung so strongly with the ax that the head dropped off. It fell right on his foot, and so, he also had to go home hurt. Back at the house, young Samuel said, "Let me go and cut wood, Father." "You know nothing about it," replied his father harshly. "But if you want to get hurt, then go." Samuel's mother gave him some stale bread and a jug of warm water. In the forest, Samuel met the little gray man as well. "Would you share some food and drink with a tired old man? I am so very hungry and thirsty," he said. "I have only stale bread and warm water," Samuel said, "but if you don't mind that, we can eat together." They sat in the woods to eat.