Translation from Italian
Once there was living a boy with a bad character. His father gave him a little sack with nails and told him to hammer a nail in the fence of the garden every time when he loses his patience or quarrels with somebody.
The first day the boy hammered 37 nails in the fence. During the following weeks he learned to control himself and the number of nails hammered in the fence decreased day after day when he found out that it is easier to control himself than to hammer the nails.
At last the day came in which the boy had not hammered a single nail in the fence.
Then he came back to his father and told him that he had not hammered a single nail that day.
Then his father told him to pull a nail out of the fence for each day he had not lost his patience or quarrelled with anybody. Day after day passed and at last the boy could tell his father that he had pulled all the nails out of the fence.
Then the father brought the boy to see the fence and, staying in front of the fence, told him:
My son, you behaved yourself well, but look at the fence. How many holes are now in the fence. The fence is no longer the same as before. When you quarrel with somebody or tell something bad, you leave a wound like these holes in the fence. You can hit a person with a knife and take it out, but there is allways a wound left.
It is not important how many times you apologize, the wound remains. A verbal wound causes the same pain, just like a physical wound. Our friends are rare treasures, they make you smile and encourage you. They are ready to listen to you and when you need it, they will allways support you and they will open their heart to you.
It is a week of friendship now. I wish you a kind week for I believe that you are my friend and I am proud of that. If you can, forgive me please for the wounds , "holes in the fence", which I carelessly caused you.