A wealthy lord was renovating his mansion. He had added another story to his home with large windows that overlooked the farmers’ pastures on the eastern border of his land. Around the mansion, he then erected a great wall. He built an arch for the gate out of huge slabs of stone. The lord was overjoyed with the addition to his home.
However, one day while he was sitting on the terrace, some farmers knocked at his door. He invited them in. Despite his hospitality, the farmers appeared to be in a foul mood.
“Why are you so upset?” the lord asked.
One farmer replied, “That is actually the reason for our visit.” He then handed the lord a petition. It alleged that the shadow cast by the mansion was harming their pastures. “Your mansion now casts a shadow over several hectares of our land,” the farmer explained. “The turf in the shadow has died, and our cattle now have less grass to eat.”
“It is too late for me to revise my plans,” the lord answered. “You will just have to live with the change.”
His reply only heightened the farmers’ anger. They left, but they assembled that night outside the mansion’s gate. They planned to destroy the mansion. The lord’s servants tried to defend the house, but the farmers outnumbered them.
The servants fled, and the farmers rushed into the mansion and set it on fire. Everyone got out of the house, and there were no casualties. However, the fire soon spread from the house to the adjoining pastures that belonged to the farmers.
Both sides’ properties were destroyed. The lord and the farmers were sorry for their actions. The lord promised to pay for the burned pastures, and the farmers promised to rebuild the mansion. They had learned that when you fight, both sides lose.