Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Wise Prospector

An ol’ prospector came across a large nugget one day while panning in a stream high in the mountains. It was as large as your fist!
He left for town with his new treasure and also a smaller nugget he’d found a few days prior. Hard work and perseverance finally paid off.
When he was almost to town, a local swindler spotted the prospector and approached him with deviltry in mind.
“Sir, can you spare some change, I haven’t eaten in days!” asked the slacker.
Without batting an eye, the prospector pulled out the smaller nugget and offered it to the man. In the process of doing so, the swindler got a good look at the larger nugget.
The man excitedly talked about what he could do if he only had a nugget as big as that one. He’d be on easy street the rest of his life. His children would wear the finest clothes. He would hob-nob with the most important folk in town! He laid it on real thick.
“Sir, if you would only let me borrow THAT nugget, I would repay you when I could.” The sly man begged, knowing in his heart it was a lie. On and on he went...
Incredibly, the ol’ prospector reached out and handed him the treasure. “You seem to be very needy of this,” was all he said. Then he turned around and headed back towards the hills, waving good bye.
The slacker could not believe his good fortune! He’d really pulled one over on that prospector. Now, he would have it all!
A couple weeks later, back at the stream, while panning for nuggets, the prospector spotted the swindler coming towards him.
“I am so glad to have finally found you. I have been looking for you for days,” he said.
“What can I help you with?” Asked the prospector.
“I come for a treasure.”
“But I have not found any other nuggets,” said the prospector,  “I already gave you all I had.” 
“I have come for something far greater than a nugget,” said the man.
“What is it you want?”
“When I talked you into giving me that huge nugget, I thought I would never see a poor day again in my life. I thought it would buy me happiness and prestige. I showed it around town. People wanted to be around me, buy me drinks. Some asked for money, others tried to con me out of it. But I was not happy. I was constantly fearful of losing it.
“Well, maybe I was happy for a little while, but it quickly faded. But you - you gave up your most prized possession and then came back to the mountains to work again while I stayed in town, living the so-called high-life. Why did you give me the nugget?”
The prospector thought about it for a second and said, “Because you seemed like you needed it more than me. I figured with a little hard work, I’d get another one. In the mean time, I have all that I need.”
“That is exactly the treasure I now seek,” said the man. “I want to know how to be the kind of person who can be happy while giving away his things to those who need them more than he does. I want to find the happiness that I could not buy with the large nugget. I will gladly give it back to find this kind of treasure, for I did not find happiness in the nugget alone.”
The wise ol’ prospector smiled and said, “Finding that kind of treasure is easy, why it’s much easier than finding a big golden nugget. To find what you seek, all you must do is first find God, then follow his instructions.”


About Me

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Jim Olson is a ranch-raised cowboy, author and entrepreneur. Growing up on the high plains of eastern New Mexico he learned to ride young colts, tend to cattle and drive heavy farm equipment at an early age. 

Jim spent a few years competing in the calf roping event at the Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association level, qualifying for the circuit finals a few times. He lives on and operates a ranch near Stanfield, Arizona, once a part of John Wayne’s Red River Ranch, and also owns Western Trading Post, dealing in Cowboy and Indian collectibles. 

These great life experiences Jim now uses in his writing career. He writes stories about interesting and extraordinary people of the west including short stories of both fiction and nonfiction. He has a monthly column titled “Cowboy Heroes,” published by several Southwestern and national magazines. Jim has written three books and is working on other projects as well. He can be reached via the web: www.JimOlsonAuthor.com 


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