Greta was an elderly lady who lived alone in a huge, dilapidated mansion. The mansion was in terrible condition. It was covered with filth, and most of the furniture was broken. Plus, the kitchen sink leaked water all over the floor. Greta was too old to do housekeeping and repairs herself, so she hired a butler named Gordon.

Gordon was a young, muscular man. His muscles were a testament to his strong work ethic. He believed that if he worked hard, great things would happen for him. On his first day, he worked for hours cleaning and making repairs. He swept up mounds of dirt. He tightened the valve underneath the kitchen faucet to stop the leak. He even bought timber to build new stools for the kitchen. He worked so hard that his fingers went numb, and he got cramps in his shoulders.

Gordon worked hard every day. Even when tasks were boring, he was never reckless. He made sure there were no flaws in his work. Gordon was worried, however, that Greta wasn’t pleased. She never expressed thanks or said that he did a good job. The lack of appreciation evoked unhappy feelings in Gordon. He even thought about quitting. But he decided the right thing to do was to keep working hard.

One day, while Gordon was sweeping, Greta said, “Gordon! I have a surprise for you!” He went to Greta’s room and saw a beautiful slate statue. It looked just like him! It was adorned with a banner that read: “Welcome home.”

Greta said, “You’ve made this ugly old mansion look new again. I’m so thankful for your hard work that I want you to have it. I’ll move into a smaller house.”

He grinned and gave Greta a big hug. He said, “I’m in bliss! My hard work really paid off!”

The two said their farewells, and Gordon spent the afternoon admiring his beautiful new home.