There once was a stonecutter who was dissatisfied with himself and his position in life.
One day, he passed a wealthy merchant's house, and through the open gateway, saw many fine possessions and important visitors. "How powerful that merchant must be!" thought the stonecutter. He became very envious, and wished that he could be like the merchant. Then he would no longer have to live the life of a mere stonecutter.
To his suprise, he suddenly became the merchant, enjoying more luxuries and power than he had ever dreamed of, envied and detested by those less wealthy than himself. But soon a high official passed by, carried in a sedan chair, accompanied by attendants, and escorted by soldiers beating gongs. Everyone, no matter how wealthy, had to bow before this procession. "How powerful that official is!" he thought. "i wish that i could be a high official!"
Then he became the high official, carried everywhere in his embroidered sedan chair, feared and hated by the people all around, who had to bow down before him as he passed. It was a hot summers day, and the official felt very uncomfortable in the sticky sedan chair. He looked up at the sun. It shone proudly in the sky, unaffected by his presence. "How powerful the sun is!" he thought. "I wish i could be the sun!"
Then he became the sun, shining fiercely down on everyone, scorching the fields, cursed by the farmers and labourers. But a huge black cloud moved between him and the earth, so that his light could no longer shine on everything below. "How powerful that storm cloud is!" he thought. "I wish i could be a cloud!"
Then he became a cloud, flooding the fields and villages, shouted at by everyone. But soon soon he found he was being pushed away by some great force, and realised that it was the wind. "How powerful the wind is!" he thought "I wish i could be the wind!"
Then he became the wind, blowing tiles off the roofs of houses, uprooting trees, hated and feared by all below him. But after a while he ran up against something that would not move, no matter how forceful he blew against it - a huge towering stone. "How powerful that stone is!" he thought. "I wish i could be that stone!"
Then he became the stone, more powerful than anything else on earth. But as he stood there, he heard the sound of a hammer pounding a chisel into the solid rock, and felt himself being changed. "What can be more powerful than i the stone?" he thought. He looked down and saw far below him the figure of a stonecutter.