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There’s nothing we like better at GreatFence.com than a good fairy tale about a Great Fence! Aluminum fencing, commercial fencing, residential fencing – you name it, we love them all! But what really makes us smile is when a residential fence becomes the central metaphor in a heart-warming fable that we all could draw a lesson from. Often referred to as the “nails in the fence” story, here is our rendition of a widely told tale that teaches us to bite our tongue and mind our temper.

Nails In The Fence (The GF Version)

Once upon a time, not that long ago (but before maintenance-free residential aluminum fence was available) there was a little boy who was charming, playful and smart – but he also had a wickedly bad temper. It wasn’t hard to set the little boy off and though he never really meant the words he said, they were hurtful to his family and friends all the same.

“They’re just words” the little boy scoffed, every time someone reminded him that his words stung.

His mother and father were clearly worried that the little boy had no friends, and even family members stayed away from him. The little boy didn’t seem to care, but as he got older, his parents recognized that if he didn’t learn how to hold his temper and get along with others, they might be stuck living with him until they died.

One day the little boy’s father handed him a bucket of nails and an impressive hammer. “When you lose your temper, drive one of these nails into our wooden fence. Just let all your anger out on that nail and pound it into the fence.”

The boy didn’t seem to mind, he liked to swing a hammer.

However, the fence was thick and the nails stubborn. It took several swings and a lot of sweat to drive a nail into that fence. It was a lot harder than the boy imagined.

By the first day there were 25 nails in the fence, but as the week went on the number of nails (and possibly his energy) began to decline. The boy realized that it took much less energy to hold his anger and bite his tongue than it did to drive nails into a sturdy, wooden fence.

One day, the boy didn’t get angry at all! He did it. He didn’t have to drive a nail into the fence! He learned his lesson!

Or did he?

His parents were very proud of him, but the lesson was only partially learned. To celebrate his success, his father told the boy “everyday you don’t flip out, you can remove a nail from the fence.”

So it began. Day by day, little by little, the boy removed each nail until after a few months every, single nail was removed.

The boy was proud. The father prouder. But the story incomplete.

As the father put his arm around his son he showed him the fence, littered with holes.

“Take a good look at the fence, buddy. You managed your anger, but those holes will always be in that fence. You can hammer a nail in, and you can pull the nail out, but the damage is always there. When you say or do angry or mean things to people, they scar – just like that fence, and you can’t take any of it back.

Instantly the boy understood.

“I’m sorry for all the holes I put in you and mom and the people I love.”

The father put his arm around his son and they walked back to house.

It wasn’t that the boy didn’t get angry ever again. He just knew where to place it this time. Isn’t that story great reminder to all of us? It’s so easy to get angry in a world where we are constantly busy, stressed and pushed to our limits. It’s hard to find the time to cool off, assess a situation and choose how to handle our anger. But it’s not just worth it, but necessary for the sake of our relationships and our own happiness.

While this is a widely circulated fable, we also want to thank Leading Personality for sharing one of our favorite renditions online! We also loved this slightly different version of the same story. Thanks for making a difference 🙂 Do you have a thought provoking story in which a fence plays an important role? Please share in the comments below!