The Stone Cutter

Once upon a time there was a stone cutter who set out to become the most powerful thing in the land. This fascinating tale from Asian mythology has a very powerful message.

Do the Preparation task first. Then go to Text and read the poem or story (you can also listen to the audio while you read). Next go to Task and do the activity.

The Stonecutter

Once upon a time there was a stone cutter. The stone cutter lived in a land where a life of privilege meant being powerful. Looking at his life he decided that he was unsatisfied with the way things were and so he set out to become the most powerful thing in the land.

Looking around his land he wondered to himself what is it to be powerful. Looking up he saw the Sun shining down on all the land. "The Sun must be the most powerful thing that there is, for it shines down on all things, and all things grow from it's touch." So he became the Sun.

Days later, as he shone his power down on the inhabitants of the land, there came a cloud which passed beneath him obstructing his brilliance. Frustrated he realized that the Sun was not the most powerful thing in the land, if a simple cloud could interrupt his greatness. So he became a cloud, in fact, he became the most powerful storm that the world had ever seen.

And so he blew his rain and lightning, and resounded with thunder all over the land, demonstrating that he was the most powerful. Until one day he came across a boulder.

Down and down he poured and his thunder roared, lightning flashed and filled the sky, striking the ground near the boulder. His winds blew and blew and blew, and yet, despite all his efforts, he could not budge the boulder.

Frustrated again, he realized that the storm was not the most powerful thing in the land, rather it must be the boulder. So he became the boulder.

For days he sat, unmovable, and impassive, demonstrating his power, until one day, a stone cutter came and chiselled him to bits.

The Moral of the Story

Sometimes the most important thing to remember is that you have everything you need already, right inside of you. Power is an illusion.


LearnEnglish would like to thank the Sage Arts Unlimited (Martial Arts & Fitness Training) website for letting us reproduce this story, which is on their site.

Task 1

Decide if the statements about the text are true or false.




Language level

Upper intermediate: B2


This tail conveys an essential message to us.
It is fundamental accepting and giving value to ourselves, becouse these approvation and appreciation bestow the power of doing and achiving many satisfying things on us!

Good story. Be thankful of what we have now; the blessing that God has given to us,  instead of being greedy and covetous. You will never be satisfied by always looking  upon somebody else possessions. If our obsessions are greater than our faith, then we are likely going to have the same fate as the stone in the stone cutter story,,,

This story shows us how easy we could be wrong. Our thought, frequently leads us where is not the right place to be. Sometimes this behavior affects not only one person but also a whole community, even a nation. Then, because of this mistake, many bad things happen. War for instance is the worst consequence of that evil wish of power. Although millions of human beings have been killed across the mankind history by this perverse appetite for power, world people are still far a way of an understanding that changing hate by kindness is the unique way to get a better life and a true power.

It's a very humbling story. We all want to be powerful, famous and rich for us to be happy. What we don't realize is that intangible things matter most. Family, peace and health are the most prized assets we have which we easily take forgranted. Happiness does not reside in earthly possessions. It's how we value life and the things around us that brings us joy.
People should give more time to soul searching or meditation. In this way, we can bring out our unique, innate qualities. Each of us has a unique strength, an inner power that makes us stand out. We just couldn't see it because we are so involved looking at the outside. We never seem to be satisfied with what we have. If we go beyond externally and delve into our inner faculties, we will realize that nothing impossible cannot be done. We just need to look into ourselves more thoroughly. Faith can move mountains as long as we believe in it.

it is one of my favorite story!