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Charcoal. An Aesop fable.
Start of Story
There was once a Charcoal-burner who lived and worked by himself.
A Fuller, however, happened to come and settle in the same
neighbourhood; and the Charcoal-burner, having made his acquaintance
and finding he was an agreeable sort of fellow, asked him if he would
come and share his house: "We shall get to know one another better
that way," he said, "and, beside, our household expenses will be
diminished." The Fuller thanked him, but replied, "I couldn't think
of it, sir: why, everything I take such pains to whiten would be
blackened in no time by your charcoal."