Once there was a man who had five sons. Instead of living together calmly and quietly, these sons were always quarrelling among themselves.
Their father grew tired of their constant bickering . He made up his mind to show them how silly they were.
He picked five sticks, each the same length, from the woodpile. Then he tied them together into a bundle. When this was done, he called his five sons to him. At first they did not hear him, because they were too busy arguing, but in the end they came.
“Listen to me!” shouted their father. “Take this bundle of sticks, and break it over your knee.”
“I can do that easily,” scoffed the eldest son.
He took the bundle and pulled it against his knee with all his force. No matter how hard he tried, he could not break the five sticks in the bundle.
“It can’t be done,” he growled at last.
“Of course it can,” shouted his brothers. They all began arguing as to which of them should be the one to break the bundle. In the end they all tried in turn. Although their knees became sore , the bundle of sticks remained unbroken.
“now let me show you how it can be done,” said their father grimly. He took the bundle of sticks from the others and untied the rope which held them together. Then he handed one stick to each of his five sons . “ Now, each of you break the stick in your hands,” he ordered. The sons did as they were told. Each stick cracked easily, like pieces of matchwood.
“What do you make of that ?” their father asked them.
His sons looked puzzled, shrugging and making no answer. Their father sighed.
“Don’t you see?” he explained patiently. “When a man stands alone, he can be broken as easily as one of those sticks. But when a man stands united with others nothing can break him.”
Only then did his sons understand what their father had been trying to tell them, and they were ashamed of themselves.
Moral: United we stand, divided we fall.