Thursday, October 20, 2016
The Three Brothers
Can't, Won't, and Try
There was once a poor man who had three boys, named Can't, Won't, and Try. They were very different from one another, and you would not have thought that they were brothers.
Can't was a very lazy boy, and a great coward. He was afraid to jump across a ditch, for fear he should tumble in. He was afraid to climb a tree, for fear he should fall down.
When asked to do anything, Can't was sure to say he could not do it, although perhaps he had never tried. It was just the same at school or in the playground. If he was asked a question, he would say, "I don't know." If he had to learn a lesson, he would say, "I can't do it."
Won't was not lazy, and he was not stupid; but he had a bad temper, and was very stubborn. If he had made up his mind not to do a thing, nothing could make him do it.
If Won't was cross, his school-mates could not get him to play, no matter how much they begged him. If he wanted to play, he would not learn his lessons, even though he was sure to be punished for not knowing them.
He was not good at a game, because he wanted to have his own way in everything; and he did not succeed in his studies, because he would not do what he was told. In fact, nobody liked him, on account of his bad temper and his stubborn ways.
Try was a very little fellow and the youngest of all the three. But he had a brave heart, even if he was little; and he was always ready to do what his parents and teachers told him.
If Try was asked whether he could do any very hard thing, he would say, "I don't know whether I can do it, but I will try." Sometimes he would fail, but almost always he was able to do what he tried to do.
Once he tried to jump across a brook, but it was so wide that little Try fell into the water. Still, he did not cry. He made up his mind that, when he was a little older, he would try again; and before long he could jump over the brook in its widest place.
When Try first went to school, hi teacher said, "Can you read." "No, sir," said he, "but I will try to learn." "That is all I ask," said the teacher: "I want boys in my school who will try to learn."
In a few months Try was at the head of his class, Can't was still at the foot of his, and Won't had gone down tot he foot of his.
Which do you think was the happiest of the three?
All three are grown men now. Can't is servant to a master named Must; Won't is a soldier under Captain Shall; and Try is a partner in the great firm of Success & Co.
Taken from Path's to Adventure, A Beka Book's 3rd grade reading program.