There were three kingdoms, each bordering on the same lake. For centuries, these kingdoms had fought over an island in the middle of that lake. One day, they decided to have it out, once and for all.
The first kingdom was quite rich and sent an army of 25 knights, each with three squires. The night before the battle, the knights jousted and cavorted as their squire's polished armor, cooked food, and sharpened weapons.
The second kingdom wasn't so wealthy and sent only 10 knights, each with 2 squires. The night before the battle, the knights cavorted and sharpened their weapons as the squire's polished armor and prepared dinner.
The third kingdom was very poor and only sent one elderly knight with his sole squire. The night before the battle, the knight sharpened his weapon, while the squire, using a noosed rope, slung a pot high over the fire to cook while he prepared the knight's armor.
The next day, the battle began. All the knights of the first two kingdoms had cavorted a bit too much (one should never cavort while sharpening weapons and jousting) and couldn't fight. The squire of the third kingdom couldn't rouse the elderly knight in time for combat.
So, in the absence of the knights, the squires fought. The battle raged well into the late hours, but when the dust finally settled, a solitary figure limped from the carnage. The lone squire from the third kingdom dragged himself away, beaten, bloodied, but victorious.
It just goes to prove, the squire of the high pot and noose is equal to the sum of the squires of the other two sides.
Many years ago, a wealthy woman, quite fond of collecting antiques and curiosities, found a vase during her travels.
She liked the vase so much that she decided to paint her entire display room the same color as the vase. She put out an announcement saying that she will pay out a great deal of money to anyone who can come up with the matching color paint.
Many painters came to examine the vase, but try as they might, they couldn't create a paint quite to the woman's satisfaction.
One day, a painter comes along asking to examine the vase and promising that he could come up with a matching color. True to his word, after a minute looking at the vase, he is immediately able to deliver to the owner's satisfaction, and is awarded the job.
This incident made him famous, which he used to launch a thriving business.
Many years later, he decides to retire and hand over the business to his son. His son says to him, "Dad, I have just one question for you. How did you get the paint to match the vase so perfectly?"
His father looks at him and says: "Can you keep a secret?"
The old man comes close to him, leans over and whispers: "I painted the vase."