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The Story of an Old Man and His Sons or The Bundle of Sticks Story

Introduction to The Old Man and His Sons Story

Last updated date: 17th Mar 2023
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The Old Man and His Sons, also known as The Bundle of Sticks, is an Aesop's Fable whose lesson is that strength comes from working together. An old man has several sons who quarrel with one another all the time. As he approaches death, he calls them and teaches them the importance of unity. He orders his sons to break a bundle of sticks (or in some stories, spears or arrows). When they fail to do that, he untangles the bundle and either breaks each stick individually or asks his sons to do it for him. In the same manner, he shows them that they are weaker when they are separated but they are stronger when they are united.

Read the article to know more about the story of an Old Man and His Sons.

The Old Man and His Sons Story 

Once upon a time, there was a man who had many sons. The sons, on the other hand, were always fighting with each other. As the man became older and weaker, he became worried that his sons would ruin themselves if they continued to fight. He begged them to live joyfully and peacefully together, but no one listened to him and continued to act in the same manner.

One day, the old man called all of his sons together and handed them a bundle of sticks which were tied together. "I want every one of you to take this bundle of sticks and break it," he said. The sons tried to break the bundle one by one with all their strength, but they were unsuccessful. "Please accept my apologies, father!" "No matter how hard we try, we can't break this bundle!" said all of his boys.

The old guy then opened the rope that bound the sticks together. He then handed a stick to each of his sons. "Now, my sons, try to break it!" he exclaimed. The single stick broke easily. "What does this mean father?" the boys questioned. "No one will be able to break you if you stay together, just like these sticks," the old man continued. “Many individuals in this world will take advantage of you when you are single. If you stay together, you can face any challenges." They all learned a lesson and realised the importance of one another.

The Old Man and His Sons Story

The Old Man and His Sons Story


This story teaches us the lesson of “Power of Unity”. With the reference to a very good example of the bundle of sticks, the old man taught his sons quite well that if they remained unified, and together, they would be stronger, and no one could harm them. Being separated, they will be weak and can't sustain themselves against the evils of the world. That’s why we should live unitedly instead of fighting over small things. Below are given some frequently asked questions related to the above story.

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FAQs on The Story of an Old Man and His Sons or The Bundle of Sticks Story

1. What does the story's moral teach us about the old man and his sons?

"Unity is Strength" is the moral of the story of the Old Man and His Sons. We are stronger when we are united, but we are weaker when we are separated.

2. Why did the old man bring the bundle of sticks and ask his sons to break them?

The old man gathered all of his sons together one day and handed them a big bundle of sticks and asked them to break the sticks. The boys seized the bundle one by one and attempted to shatter it with all their might, but they were unsuccessful. Later, he untied the bundle and gave individual sticks to them and asked them to break it. This time all of them succeeded. With this example, he taught them a lesson on the power of unity. He told them, that like the bundle of sticks, if they remain together, no one could harm them. While being separated, they become weaker just like those individual sticks and could be easily harmed. Hence, they should always be united.