An old farmer had two sons who fought with each other all the time. The old farmer often told them to stop fighting, but they never listened to him.

So one day, he asked his sons to bring him a bundle of sticks. “Can you break these sticks in half?” he asked his youngest son.

“Of course,” said his youngest son. “Those sticks are thin. I can break them like straw!” He took the sticks from his father, but no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t break them.

“Of course he failed,” said the other son. “He is young and weak. I will succeed because I am oldest and the strongest.”

The oldest son then took the sticks, but he couldn’t break them, either.

Then the father took out two sticks from the bundle and handed one to his sons. “Can you break them now?” he asked. And of course they could.

“You can learn an important lesson from these sticks,” the farmer said to his sons. “Together, you are strong, but when you are alone, you can be broken easily.”