Once upon a time there was a piece of iron that was very strong. One after another, the ax, the saw, the hammer and the flame tried to break it.

“I’ll master it, said the ax. Its blows fell heavily on the iron, but every blow made its edge more blunt, until it ceased to strike.

“Leave it to me,” said the saw, and it worked backward and forward on the iron’s surface until its jagged teeth were all worn and broken. Then it fell aside.

“Ah!” said the hammer. “I knew you wouldn’t succeed. I’ll show you the way.” But at the first fierce blow, off flew its head, and the iron remained as before.

“Shall I try?” asked the small, soft flame? “Forget it,” all replied. “What can you do?” But the flame curled around the iron, embraced it, and never left the iron until it melted under the flame’s irresistible influence.

– Aesop

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