The Happy Man A/N - Just an attempt at one of those "once upon a time"-tales. This one has a message in it, I hope.

THE HAPPY MAN

Once upon a time there was a little town were all the people were always depressed and angry. They always worried about things and always complained about everything. All the people in the little town were like that, but they were much too worried about their own problems and troubles to care for anyone else. Therefore, all of them thought that their life was much more miserable than the lives of everyone else.

In the town lived only one man who would wake up every morning and be happy about life. He was not very rich, but still he never worried about anything, and he never complained about things either. But every day when he went out in the city, the happiness and smile disappeared from his face, because everyone around him looked so angry.

One day the man was tired of all this, and decided to go into town and try to make everyone a little happier. He smiled at all the people he met, but it didn't appear to help a lot. Some people just stared at him, as if he just did something very strange, while others smiled back. However, the man noticed that the smile never reached their eyes, and that the smiles were wiped off their faces as soon as he had passed.

Because of this, he thought that he might as well try something else to make the people happy. So the next day he went into town and started giving small presents to everyone. At the same time, he smiled just like he did the day before. The people were happy about the presents and thanked him and smiled. But as soon as the presents were not completely new anymore, the people were just as depressed and angry as they had always been.

The usually so happy man could not understand this, so he sat down on a bench in a park and cried. What could he do to make the people happy, when neither smiles nor presents helped? He wondered about this, because he was always happy himself, and there were never anyone who smiled at him or gave him presents. While the man was pondering this, the other people in town had started to discuss him. Even if they didn't usually care about other people, they thought the happy man was so strange that they agreed on asking him why he was always so happy.

The man was still thinking when he started to walk home. But suddenly he noticed some birds singing in a tree nearby, and then he smiled because their beautiful song filled his heart with happiness. While he stood there listening to them, a woman bumped into him. She yelled angrily because he stood in her way, but then she saw that he was happy, and she stopped yelling and asked him why he was so happy.

"Well", the man said, "I'm listening to the birds singing in the trees. Their song is so beautiful". He looked up in the trees to see if he could spot the birds. And suddenly the woman who had been so angry just a moment ago was also listening to the birds' song, and the man saw that her eyes were twinkling happily.

The next few days, many people walked up to the man and asked him why he was always so happy. Every time, he had a new answer. The sun made him happy because it could shine on him, the rain made him happy because it gave the flowers water so that they could grow. Small insects made him happy just by making their small sounds, and the waves from the sea made him happy just by rolling in on the beach.

This way he got many people to become happy about the small things that surrounded them in their daily life, and more and more people in the little town were happy. Happiness was spreading rapidly, just like depression had done before. Soon, all the people in the little town were happy. And if they haven't died, they are still as happy as ever!