Two men quarreling over the division of an inheritance are taught a valuable lesson in justice, selflessness, and brotherly love by two poor young boys.
You would think that after the loss of a loved one people would be prostrated with grief and could think of little else except the empty space that person left in their lives.
Of course, for most of us, that's just the way it is -- but some immediately start spats over who gets what from the inheritance. Maxwell Pearson had done his best to make sure that didn't happen with his sons -- but he failed.
Steve and Mike never got along, even as boys. | Source: Unsplash
Steven and Michael had never really gotten along from the time they were boys. They always said they didn't get along because they were too different, but Maxwell secretly believed they were too alike!
When Maxwell's health had started to deteriorate he'd made provisions. He called his lawyer and his business manager and they went over his assets. There was no way to divide things equitably.
While they were squabbling over the split of millions, two hungry boys had only an apple to share.
The land and the house were worth a fortune -- but could only be maintained by the profits from the family business. "What shall I do?" asked Maxwell worriedly.
"Give it all to the most worthy!" the lawyer, Guy Pearson said. "People do that all the time."
Maxwell Pearson was a wealthy man with a huge estate and a booming business. | Source: Unsplas
"No!" said Maxwell."My sons are both good men, they're just not good to each other! Too much sibling rivalry."
After days of discussion, Maxwell made a decision, and Guy wrote up the clauses in the will.
When Maxwell's heart gave out just weeks later, both his sons were at his bedside. Steve and Mike put on a show of affability while they organized the funeral and the memorial service.
They each made a pretty speech honoring Maxwell and his legacy, but once the latest clod of dirt hit the coffin, the gloves were off. The two brothers showed up together at Guy's office and demanded to see him.
Steve and Mike seemed t0o be getting along during Maxwell's funeral. | Source: Unsplash
"Gentlemen..." Guy said, and if there was a trace of irony in his tone, neither brother cared.
"The will," snapped Michael. "We want to see it!"
"And the inventory for the house in Malibu and the cabin in Vail," Steven added. "The antiques alone are worth a fortune."
"Of course," said Guy calmly. "Please sit down." Guy opened his desk and pulled out Maxwell's will. He cleared his throat and started to read it aloud.
"Last Will and Testament of Maxwell Warren Pearson... Being of sound mind I hereby bequeath...etc...etc...OH! Here it is. All I own, be it real estate, stock, liquid assets, or ownership of my company..."
The brother's were enraged by the terms of their father's will. | Source: Unsplash
Both brothers leaned forward eagerly. Who was going to get it all? Guy continued: "....are to be shared equally between my sons, Steven and Michael."
"What?" asked Steven. "That's preposterous! I'm the older..."
"We can sell the house and the business and split the cash..." Michael suggested.
"SELL?" screamed Steve. "Sell the house and business that's been in the family for generations? NEVER!"
"Gentlemen," said Guy. "Your father believed you two would be able to work together as brothers, sharing his legacy just like you shared his love. I hope you don't disappoint him. When you've made a decision please let me know."
"Your father believed you two would be able to work together as brothers." | Source: Unsplash
Steve and Mike walked out of the lawyer's office fuming.
"Now what?" asked Mike. "If we do sell we lose a lot of money!"
"Grandmother's house sold to strangers..." said Steve shaking his head. Then he had a brilliant idea. "I tell you what! Why don't you just sign over your interest in the company to me, I give you an annuity and you can live in the guest cottage on the estate!"
"Oh, and you become the big man!" screamed Mike enraged. "I get scraps from the feast and a poky cottage!"
The brothers couldn't agree and things were getting ugly. | Source: Pexels
Things were heating up and might have come to blows but two young kids in shorts and faded T-shirts approached them. "Excuse me," said the taller boy. "Do you have a penknife?"
Steve stared down at the boys in surprise. "NO! Why would I have a penknife?"
But Mike grinned and produced a Swiss Army knife from his pocket with a flourish. "'Be prepared' had always been my motto, boys," he said. "What do you need the knife for?"
The smaller boy piped up, "Mom sent the last apple for our snack, so we have to divide it EXACTLY."
Two poor boys asked Mike and Steve for help. | Source: Pexels
"How do you divide an apple exactly?" asked Steve amused. "There is always a bigger and a smaller bit!"
The taller boy explained: "Our dad taught us how. When we have something to share, one of us divides it up as equally as he can because, you see, the other one gets to pick FIRST. So if you cut one bit bigger than the other, you're only cheating yourself!"
Mike and Steve exchanged a look. "Equal parts...Or we share!" they said at the same time.
"Listen," Mike said. "You were always brilliant at marketing and sales..."
The boys had an apple to divide. | Source: Unsplash
"And you're the best at product development..." exclaimed Steve. "We run the business together..."
"And we can split the house into two apartments so we have our privacy!" added Mike. "This could work!"
In the meantime, the kids had split their apple and were happily biting into their halves. "Here you go mister," the taller boy said to Mike. "Here is your knife!"
"Tell you what," Mike said. "You keep that knife! You boys taught us a valuable lesson in sharing!"
The smaller kid looked a bit sad. "I sure wish it was valuable so we could buy groceries!"
The brothers decided to share their inheritance. | Source: Pexels
"Oh but it can!" said Steve, winking at Mike. The brothers asked the boys for their names and address and the next day their mother was stunned when a chauffer-driven limousine delivered bags full of food, including a bushel of apples.
The chauffeur handed the amazed poor mom an envelope with a check for $50,000 and a note that read: "This is what you boys saved us in lawyer's fees. Use it wisely!"
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