Identification of Reef Fish

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Amazing True Gratitude Story

Once upon a time, there were once three brothers, very close in age, who grew up constantly competing with each other for virtually everything -- in sports, at school, with the girls. You name it!

In time, they grew up, finished school, and left home. Before long, all three had become very successful in business (on the competitive plane) and were quite wealthy. Even so, their "sibling rivalry" continued.

One night as their mother's 80th birthday approached, the three got together for dinner and began discussing what each of them had planned to mark this special occasion. Each brother naturally intended to outdo the others with his gift plans.

"Well," the first son said, "neither one of you can top this. I've bought her the most expensive, luxurious Mercedes available and hired her a full-time driver."

The second son snorted: "Ha! That's nothing! I've built her a huge mansion, with magnificent landscaped grounds and a gorgeous swimming pool."

The third son, leaned back in his chair and just smiled at his brothers, savoring the moment of victory he knew was at hand. Then he said, "I've got you both beat.

"You know how much Mom has always enjoyed reading the Bible but has trouble with it now that her eyesight's getting weaker. Well, I've found the most beautiful, exotic parrot -- an extremely rare species, but that's not the most important part. You see, THIS parrot can recite the entire Bible.

"Twenty monks in a remote part of the world spent ten solid years teaching this bird, and I had to pledge $100,000 a year for the next 20 years to the monastery, but it was worth it. Mom just has to name a chapter and verse, and the parrot will recite it, word for word."

The other brothers sat staring, their mouths hanging open in astonishment. Then both glumly admitted that the Bible-quoting parrot was the hands-down winner, and the evening drew to a close with the third son feeling extremely proud to have outstripped his brothers.

Mom's birthday came and went, and a week or so after it each of the three men found a note from her in his mailbox.

"Marvin," she wrote to the first son, "Thank you for the car, but I am too old to get out much. I stay home all the time cleaning this huge house, so I never use the Mercedes. And the driver is just plain rude!"

"Milton," she wrote the second son, "Thank you for the house. But it is so huge. I live in only one room, but I still have to clean the whole thing."

"Dearest Melvin," she wrote to her third son, "Thank you so much. You are my only son to have the good sense to know what your old mother really likes.

"That chicken was delicious."

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