A Cartload of Almonds

Let us enjoy reading this one of Aesop’s Fables of A Cartload of Almonds .
A Cartload of Almonds
A squirrel joined the service of the King of the Forest, the lion.

He did whatever work was given him, quickly and well. The lion became fond of him and promised to give him a cart full of almonds as pension when he retired.

The squirrel envied the other squirrels in the forest because of their carefree life. He longed to run up and down trees and leap from branch to branch like them but he could not leave the king’s side and even if he could he had to move with courtly dignity.

He consoled himself with the thought that at the end of his career, he would receive a cart full of almonds, a food that few squirrels got to taste in their lifetime.

“They will envy me then,” he would tell himself.

The years passed. The squirrel became old and then it was time for him to retire.

The king gave a grand banquet in his honor and at the end of it, presented him with a cart full of almonds as he had promised.

The squirrel had waited so long for this day but when he saw the almonds, he was seized with sadness.

He realized they were of no use to him now. He had lost all his teeth.


Politicians can’t change your life. Your boss can’t change your life. No more than the King could change this squirrel’s life.  If you want to be happy and free you have to rely on yourself. All the squirrel had to do was tell the King, “see ya later!” and he could have enjoyed his time. Instead, he allowed the King to persuade him with the promise of reward later, for time now.

Live in the present. Be here. Be now. Enjoy your time and be grateful for what you already have, instead of focusing on what you don’t yet have.

Have a great Sunday!




10 responses to “A Cartload of Almonds

    • Thanks for commenting purplerays! I agree, it IS sad! I talked to a couple this weekend who are in their 70s when I was having coffee with my friend who is in her 40s. They had just gotten back from a cruise and were planning another trip soon. My friend commented, “aww you guys are always traveling.” And their response was “that’s what you do when you get to be our age, we earned it.” It made me think…has my 47-year-old friend not “earned” that freedom yet? Have I at 25 not “earned” it yet? At what point do you earn the freedom to travel and enjoy your life? Since when is their an age cut off to deserving happiness? I was happy that they are enjoying their retirement years, but I am determined to enjoy ALL of my years if I can manage!

  1. Kaycers,
    A Cartload of Almonds mirrors a passage from The Gospel of Thomas: “There was a rich man who had many possessions. He said, “I will use my possessions that I may sow, reap and fill my barns with fruit, I may have need of nothing.’ These were his thoughts in his heart. And in that night he died. He that hath ears, let him hear.” Thank you for reminding us to stop every now and then to smell the roses.

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