I heard a band of travelers,
    their laughter ringing true.
        Crossing trails ahead of me,
    still too far away to view.
        "What could be so merry,
    and make so many sing?
        Perchance they've found gold
    or some exotic thing!"
        I gathered my belongings quickly
    and followed after them.
        Not knowing where I was going,
    just moving on this whim.
        "A nugget of treasure is what I need
    to keep me fed and well.
        And surely they won't need all of it,
    As far as I can tell!"
        Their laughter was easy to follow
    it echoed over the wind.
        I knew that I could capture them
    around the very next bend.
        So I laid my traps and snares
    to gather what I thought was mine.
        I used metal and steel and copper
    and twisted pieces of line.
        With all my traps in hidden places,
    I hid behind some fallen trees.
        And their jolly laughter grew louder
    like breezes in Aspen leaves.
        One by one, or in small groups
    each stepped into my snares.
        I jumped from behind the trees
    to steal their precious wares!
        But what I found in treasure
    could not be measured as gold.
        It is as timeless as the ocean
    and cannot be bought or sold.
        It was the gift of friendship
    that each one offered me.
        No angry words, no hardened hearts
    Were anywhere I could see.
        Though this story is old,
    and said many times before.
        It is not just of my fancy
    or some folksy homespun yore.
        I speak it from the heart
    as they did not long ago,
        "Come! And be our friend!
    And let your goodness show!
        Put away your anger and
    we'll shield you from the pain.
        Join our merry band of travelers
    and you will smile again!"                   - Author Unknown -