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The Happy Man
Based On an African Folktale
Long ago in Africa, a man became the chief of all the people in his land. “Now that I am the chief, I will be rich,” said the man. “That will make me happy.” The chief became rich, but he was not happy.
“I need a kind and loving wife,” said the chief. “That will make me happy.” He married a kind and loving woman. Still he was not happy.
“I must have many children,” said the chief. “That will make me happy.” The chief had five children. Still he was not happy.
The chief called his servant and asked, “How can I be happy?”
“You must find a man who is truly happy,” said the servant. “Take off his shirt and put it on. Then the man’s happiness will go into your body and you will be happy.”
“That is an excellent idea!” said the chief. He sent soldiers to search all across the land to search for the happiest man they could find. Everyone they found was unhappy about something.
One day the soldiers found a man who said, “I am the happiest man in the world!” The soldiers took the man to the see the chief. The chief looked at at the man and cried, “You have no shirt!”
“I am very poor,” said the man. “I do not own a shirt.”
“If you are so poor, how can you be happy?” asked the chief.
“It is easy,” said the man. “I think happy thoughts.”
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1. Who are the two most important characters in this story? Choose all that apply.CorrectIncorrect
2. What problem is the chief trying to solve in this story?CorrectIncorrect
3. Why is the chief surprised when he meets the happy man?CorrectIncorrect
4. The story suggests that the chief can solve his problem by thinking happy thoughts.CorrectIncorrect
5. What lesson does this story teach?
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