Once upon a time there was a poor but very brave man called Ali. He worked for Ammar, a rich old merchant.
One winter’s night Ammar said: “nobody can spend a night like this on top of the mountain without a blanket or food. But you need money, and if you can manage to do that you will receive a great reward. If you don’t, you will work for thirty days without pay”.
Ali answered: “tomorrow I shall do this test”.
But when he left the shop, he saw that a really icy wind was blowing and became scared, so he decided to ask his best friend, Aydi, if it was crazy of him to accept that bet.
After reflecting a while, Aydi answered: “I shall help you. Tomorrow, when you are at the top of the mountain, look ahead. I will be on the top of the mountain next to yours, where I will spend the whole night with a bonfire lit for you. You look at the fire and think about our friendship – that will keep you warm. You will manage, and later on I shall ask you something in return.”
Ali won the test, got the money, and went to his friend’s house: “You told me you wanted some payment.”
Aydi answered: ”Yes, but it isn’t money. Promise that if at any time a cold wind passes through my life, you will light the fire of friendship for me.”
(in “The Aleph”, to be published world wide in 2011) ~from Paulo Coelho's Blog