In a remote village in the Philippines once lived Alfonso the old lumberjack and his son, Emilio. As he had now reached sixty, it was the time for Alfonso to pass on the two generation axe that he had been holding for nearly half a century to Emilio.
The young Emilio received the powerful and elegant axe with exhilaration. At night, the dark hair, muscular man kept gazing at the sharp, shiny, light metal that his father had just bequeathed to him. He wondered what kind of day would be like tomorrow when he held the mighty tool in his hands.
So Emilio went to the forest the following morning. After spending the whole day in the forest, Emilio went home feeling ecstatic. Pompously he told his father that he was able to cut down ten trees. Reminiscing his old days, Alfonso recalled that in his prime he could only cut down seven trees.
Emilio’s achievement was not only the pride of his father but also that of his neighbors. When in the following day he maintained cutting down ten trees, he was even more admired. In two days he had earned both fame and fortune in the village terms. With his strength and a mighty axe, a glimpse that his glory would last forever struck Emilio’s mind.
But the time came when in the fourth day Emilio could only cut down nine trees. And seven in the following day. Even worse, at the end of the seventh day he could only manage cutting down four trees.
People began having doubts about Emilio. The great brawny brute examined himself and found that he was even more muscular than the first time he started the job seven days ago. “There mustn’t be anything wrong with me,” he said to himself. Engulfed in frustrations, he came to his father.
“How long have you been holding the axe, my son?” Alfonso asked.
“A week. Yes, about a week.”
“Within the week, have you ever sharpened the axe?”