Once, long ago, there was a stone cutter who was often dissatisfied with himself and with his position in life.
One day he passed a wealthy merchant’s house. He saw many fine possessions and important visitors. “How powerful that merchant is!” Thought the stone cutter. “I would like to be like him and have such power.” And so he became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever imagined.
After a time, a high official passed by carried in a sedan chair, he had attendants and was escorted by soldiers. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow low before the procession. “How powerful that official is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a high official and wield such power.” And so he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair.
It came to pass one very hot summer day that the stone cutter turned high official was in his sedan chair feeling very uncomfortable in the stifling heat. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. “How powerful the sun is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the sun and be so powerful.” And so he became the sun, shining hotly down.
As it happened, a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth and his light could no longer shine on everything below. “How powerful that storm cloud is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a cloud!” And so he became the cloud, blocking out the sun.
Presently, he found that he was being pushed away by some great force, and realized that it was the wind. “How powerful the wind is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be the wind!” And so he became the wind, and found he could blow over anything he came across. Then he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forcefully he blew against it. It was a huge, towering rock. “How powerful that rock is!” he thought. “I wish that I could be a rock, strong and unmovable.” And so he became the rock, feeling more powerful than he had thus far.
As he stood there feeling empowered, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel and felt himself being changed. “What could be more powerful than I?” he wondered. And so he looked to see what it was and there he saw below him the figure of a stone cutter.