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No money, no worry...
Ever since Mai quit school and returned home, he saw his family's situation worsen. He worked hard to try to make it to the top but it seemed like it was not his time. All his business trips ended in failure and losses and when he switched to teaching, he suddenly became sick. Mai had to sell off parts of his land to pay off the medical bills.
In the end both husband and wife had to rent some land to farm and had to work on other's land to be able to get by. Even though the couple had nothing and finding a meal was hard, they didn't once complain. Mai welcomed Tung warmly into his house when he came to visit.

He introduced his friend to his wife, "This was my closest friend when I went to school in the city. If you count the days since then, it must have been least fifteen years. Go and find food to serve to our guest." Tung saw his friend's wife listened to her husband and then took the basket and left for the market.

Around noon, he saw the woman carrying back a basket full of food but this time around her head was in a black scarf even though it was not the wind season. He did not think of this much at first but soon after when he was roaming the house he saw Mai and his wife by the restroom whispering.

He immediately hid himself on the side so they would not see him. Like something just kicked him in the face, he was shocked walking into the scene. Mai's wife had just taken off her scarf; however, the fine black hair on her head was no longer there.

Tung instantly questioned what had happened to her hair when Mai and his wife walked away from the restroom. Mai's wife knew that they could not keep the secret hidden any longer, she said,

"This morning there was no money when I left the house. I thought I could go and borrow some money from the neighbors but they also didn't have any. However, there was a wig factory in need of long hair, and since I have it I sold it. It is only once in a lifetime a friend like you comes to visit. Do you expect us only to look at each other the whole time? Please do not feel bad. Once hair has been cut it will grow again. Why worry?"

Tung was very touched by Mai's wife's words and actions. Not a moment sooner, he confessed to his friend about his life since the day they went their separate ways including the visit to Truc and how he was treated. After Tung was done talking, he took out a box of jewelry and gave it to Mai's wife and said,

"The hair's root is the basis of a person. I truly regret not knowing beforehand of the situation so that you would have not sold your precious hair. Nonetheless, with that action I discovered what kind of person you are and I want to give you this as a gift. Go ahead and sell this. Spend it however you like while you wait for your hair to grow back and can find work again."

Not long after Tung returned home, he sent money to Mai and dispatched him to Nam Dinh to learn the art of dyeing clothes. When Mai finished learning the skill, Tung helped him open up a dyeing factory in the village. Their business began to grow bigger by the day and before long it became successful.

Mai took what he knew and taught it to the people in the village. The dyeing skill became the most successful business that anyone had ever known. And what happened to Truc? It was not until later on when he heard Tung had become an officer in the capital city that he started to regret it.

Next, he found out with Tung's help that Mai's business was as successful as it was. "If I had known then, I would not have treated my friend poorly rather than harboring the thought he would run away with my money," he said this regretfully.

One day, Truc packed up his luggage and went to search for his two friends. When he arrived to each house, Truc received the same hospitality he had treated them to. He had no choice but to drag himself home.

So, what do you think? I think that every now and then we should be reminded of all the people making a difference in our lives. I hope that you are always surrounded with friends who you can depend on. If you have any questions, do contact me. From where I am and wherever you are, have a good night.

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