Long ago there lived four friends in a village. There was a forest near the village and a stream of sweet water passed through that forest. Every day in the summer they gathered under the shades of the trees to spend their time in a cool place. They discussed the matters related to philosophy, poetry, art and nature and shared their knowledge with each other. This was their favourite pastime and they liked it best.
One day, three of the four friends gathered at the usual noontime hour by the stream, and waited for the fourth one to arrive. But he did not. After a while they became very much alarmed, and worried that he might have come upon some sort of accident. They decided to go in search of him.
One of them said he will check at his home, the other said he will check his workplace and the third one decided to look for him in the forest. They looked for him at every possible place but could not find the fourth friend. “The four of us have always been friends,” said one of them. “We can’t just let our friend face difficulty alone.” We will keep looking for him they decided.
So they all went in the direction they had decided and when one of them reached his home he noticed a crowd in front of the house. He asked a man whether everything is alright or there is some problem. They told him that their friend has had an accident while working in his shop and now his neighbors are taking him to the hospital. This was sad news for him. He wanted his other friends to know this sad news immediately and at the same time he wanted to stay with his friend.
The friend who has gone to check the workplace also came to know about the accident but he thought that he is not family and it is only the duty of his family to take him to the hospital for treatment. So he went back to the side of stream where his friend was waiting. When he was on his way to the forest he suddenly heard some noise in front of him and saw that there were two bears coming towards him. He got scared and tried to hide behind a tree trunk but in vain. The bear has already seen him. He got so scared that he could not move from his place The bears were getting ready to attack him and he was unable to do anything.
He was attacked by the bears and died in the forest. The fourth friend who was to look for his friend in the forest has not moved from his place. He was thinking whether it was his duty to look for his friend or not. He decided not to go anywhere rather wait for others to bring some news. After two hours of relaxing he left the place and went back to work.
As they have not helped each other in the time of need they not only lost a friend but also were separated from each other.