Once upon a time there were two little boys. One was an optimist. The other was a pessimist.
The two boys each had their own playroom. The little pessimist had a room full of toys. Every Christmas and every birthday, his family and friends brought new toys for him to play with, but each time he would sit in the middle of the room and start to cry, because he had no drum. He wanted a drum so much that he was forever disappointed. The toys lay scattered around him, untouched and unappreciated.
The little optimist wasn’t so lucky. All that he had in his playroom was a pile of manure from the farmyard and a fork.
It happened that the boys’ parents came past one day and looked into the playrooms where their sons were playing. As usual, the little pessimist was howling because he couldn’t find a drum among the vast pile of toys that surrounded him.
But when they looked into the room where the little optimist was playing, they found a happy child, eagerly digging through the pile of manure with his fork. His eyes were alive with excitement, and he was singing as he played. “With all this manure around,” they heard him say, “there’s got to be a pony in here somewhere!”