Once there was a boy. . . who listened to an old man.
And, thus, began to learn about The Precious Present.
"It is a present because it is a gift," the contented man explained.
And it is called The Precious Present,
because it is the best
present of all.
When the boy asked why, the old man explained.
"It is the best present a person can receive because anyone who receives such a gift is happy forever."
"Wow!" the little boy exclaimed. "I hope someone gives me The Precious Present.
Maybe I'll get it for Christmas."
The boy ran off to play.
And the old man smiled.
He liked to watch the little boy play.
He saw the smile on the youngster's face and heard him laughing as he swung from a nearby tree.
The boy was happy.
And it was a joy to see.
The old man also liked to watch the boy work.
He even rose early on Saturday mornings to watch the little laborer across the street mow the lawn.
The boy actually whistled while he worked.
The little child was happy no matter what he was doing.
It was, indeed, a joy to behold.
When he thought about what the old man had said, the boy thought he understood.
He knew about presents. . .
Like the bicycle he got for his birthday and the gifts he found under the tree on Christmas morning.
But as the boy thought more about it, he knew.
The joy of toys never lasts forever.
The boy began to feel uneasy.
"What then," he wondered,"is The Precious Present?
"What could be so good. . . so much better than any other present. . . that it is called The Precious Present?
"What could possibly make me happy forever?"
He found it difficult to even imagine the answer.
And so he returned to ask the old man.
"Is The Precious Present
a magical ring? One that I might put on my finger and make all my wishes come true?"
"No," he was told.The Precious Present Has Nothing To Do With Wishing.
Excerpted from The Precious Present by Spencer Johnson. . Excerpted by permission of Doubleday, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.