Once upon a time, two brothers who lived on adjoining farms fell into a conflict. It was the first serious rift in the 40 years of their farming side by side, sharing machinery, and trading labour and goods. Post rift, the long collaboration fell apart. It began with a small misunderstanding and grew into a major difference, and finally, exploded into an exchange of bitter words, followed by weeks of silence.
One morning there was a knock on John's door. He found a man standing, with a carpenter's toolbox. “I'm looking for a few days' work,”said the man.“Perhaps you would have a few small jobs here and there. Could I help you?”
“Yes,” said the older brother,“I do have a job for you. Look across the creek at that farm. That is my neighbour's. In fact, it is my younger brother's. Last week, there was a meadow between us but he took his bulldozer to the river levee and now there is a creek. Well, he may have done this to spite me but I'll do better. See that pile of lumber curing by the barn? I want you to build me a fence, eight-feet long, and I won't need to see his place anymore.”
The carpenter said, “I think I understand the situation. Show me the nails and the posthole digger and I'll be able to do a job that pleases you.” The older brother went to the town for supplies and helped the carpenter get all the
required material. Then, he was off for the day. The carpenter worked hard all day long, measuring, sawing and nailing. At about sunset, when the farmer returned, the carpenter had just finished his job. The farmer's eyes opened wide and his jaw dropped.
There was no fence at all! Instead, it was a bridge, stretching from one side of the creek to the other. The neighbour, his younger brother, was coming across with his hands outstretched.“You are quite a fellow to build this bridge after all I've said and done.”
The two brothers walked from each end of the bridge and met in the middle, taking each other's hands. They turned to see the carpenter hoist his toolbox on the shoulder. “No, wait! Stay a few days. I've a lot of other projects for you,” shouted the older brother.
“I'd love to stay on,” the carpenter said, “but I have many more bridges to build.”