News arrived in a town of wine-merchants that in two weeks the king was due to make his annual visit for inspection. The mayor instantly called an emergency meeting in the town square, and attendance was compulsory. As the masses filled the square, the mayor stepped up to the platform and began his speech:

“A short time remains until the king’s arrival, and we must work quickly. In addition to individual preparations, such as cleaning our homes and preparing personal gifts, one general gift will be presented on behalf of the entire town. Every family is ordered to donate one cup of the finest wine to a golden casket that will be set up in the town square.”

The crowd scurried away to carry out the mayor’s instructions.

One couple began discussing the issue of the wine donation. They decided that if each townsman contributes a cup of wine to the casket, and they brought a single cup of water instead of wine, surly no one would realize. So why waste the expensive wine?

Late that night when no one was out, the husband tiptoed down the street and poured a cup of water into the casket. Little did he know that another townsman had shared his brilliant brainstorm, and so had another…

The big day arrived, at last, and everyone arrived in his finest attire to greet the king. The king sat on the golden throne built especially for him, and the mayor rose to speak. The mayor expressed feelings of honor and admiration for the king on behalf of the townspeople. As a token of appreciation he offered the king the magnificent golden casket, filled with rich wine.

As a sample, the mayor’s attendant filled a golden goblet for the king to taste. To his astonishment, the attendant bent down and turned the faucet, only to see water!

—Heard from “Uncle Yossi”

“Details do make a difference.”

“Sometimes, when I consider what tremendous consequences result from little things, I am tempted to think that there are no little things.”