A dying rich man left all his money and estate to a maid, and his sons were angry until the woman invited them to come over the day after the funeral to tell them the astonishing request their father had. “Melinda, this is the last task I ask of you. Is it too much?” Mr. Faulkner said on his deathbed. Melinda, his maid, was the only person by his side, as his sons lived far away. They didn’t know their father was sick, but then again, they had not visited in so many years, leaving the older man to run his agricultural empire on his own while they pursued vapid dreams and spent his money.
“No, Mr. Faulkner. I can do it,” she replied, holding his hand gently because it was so frail. The old man died a few hours later. That evening, his sons, Robert, Penn, and Leonard, finally packed their bags to return to Missouri for the funeral. But they were not expecting what happened after the burial during the will reading. “It’s your father’s last wish. You have to do this,” Melinda pleaded with them. “It is my last wish and testament that my entire estate, including my money and my precious fields behind the farm, be left to Melinda, who was by my side during the last years of my life. I hope my sons can respect my decision and move on,” Mr. Faulkner’s lawyer read, and there was a roar of commotion in his office.
Robert and Penn threw fits, yelling and accusing Melinda of tricking their father. Leonard was more reserved but still couldn’t believe their father would renounce them and give all his money to his maid. It didn’t make sense to him. According to the lawyer, there was nothing they could do to oppose the will, and he asked them to please leave the office and forget about it. Robert, Penn, and Leonard went to the local bar that night and drowned their sorrows, lamenting not seeing their father and ranting about gold diggers.
The following day, Leonard was woken up by a strange phone call, as the number marked on the screen was from their father’s farm, their childhood home. “Hello?” he answered sleepily. “Leonard?” a female voice said. “It’s Melinda.” He stood up in bed immediately. “Why are you calling me?” he asked sternly. “Please, listen. I want you and your brothers to come to the farmhouse today. Can you do that?” she requested timidly.
“Why would we do that? So you can rub our faces with what my father did? I don’t think so,” Leonard scoffed, rubbing his eyes. “No. Your father had another request for you. Please. I promise. You three need to come,” Melinda pleaded again and hung up the phone. Leonard told his brothers, and they were too curious to ignore the maid, so they drove to the house that was no longer theirs. “Excuse me?” Robert asked, offended.
“You can’t be serious,” Penn added, shaking his head. Leonard looked at her in confusion but didn’t say a word. “It’s the truth. You have to believe me,” Melinda insisted, looking at them desperately. “And you would give us back millions of dollars? Just like that? With no strings?” Penn continued, crossing his arms. “Yeah, you’re a gold digger. Save this sanctimonious attitude for someone else,” Robert said. “It’s your father’s last wish. You have to do this,” Melinda pleaded with them. “Ok, ok,” Leonard began before his brothers could say more. “So, our dad wanted us to have a section of these fields and grow our crops without help for a year. Whoever grows more gets the entire estate. Is that what you’re telling us?” “Yes!” she nodded.
“That’s preposterous, Leonard. You can’t be considering it! We never worked in the fields. That’s the job of employees, not the owners,” Robert told his brother. He was the eldest of the three, while Leonard was the youngest. “We’re not the owners anymore, Rob. That’s the entire point,” Leonard replied, rolling his eyes. “Still, this is not fair. You should divide the estate with the three of us if you want to make things right,” Penn suggested, looking at Melinda. “I can’t do that. I promised your father,” Melinda said and returned to the farmhouse.
The three brothers sat there and stared at the immense fields they had ignored their entire lives. They never cared about this business, except when it gave them money to enjoy life. But they had never gotten their hands dirty. Robert and Penn scoffed and again ranted about their father and the maid. Eventually, they wanted to leave because they were sharing one rented car, but Leonard wanted to stay. “I think I’m going to stay a while in Missouri,” Leonard said. “You guys go ahead.” “Are you going to do what she wants?” Penn asked sardonically. Maybe,” Leonard pursed his lips. “You’re an idiot,” Robert scoffed, and he and Penn left…never to return to Missouri.
Unlike his older brothers, Leonard stayed, grabbed crops, talked to the employees, and got to work. He had to learn how to use big machines for farming. That’s the only help he received, and he sometimes had dinner with Melinda, who lived in the house and still wore a maid’s uniform. A year later, his field section was full of fresh new crops, which he took to sell at the local farmer’s market instead of his father’s company’s regular distributors. Leonard could not describe the sense of pride this task had given him. He sold everything and returned to the farmhouse. “It’s been a year, and you are the only one who followed what your father wanted,” Melinda told him. “Let’s go to the lawyer. Everything’s yours.”
After finalizing all the details and signing all the paperwork, Leonard couldn’t help but feel…empty. He did not get as much satisfaction by becoming a millionaire as he did while sowing, reaping, and selling his crops. He finally understood why his father loved it. In his nighttime prayers, Leonard thanked him for the lesson. He moved entirely into the farmhouse but kept Melinda as the maid, although he gave her a higher salary. She worked hard and was a great cook, so Leonard didn’t want to lose her. He ran the business as his father did, learned more about environmental innovations, and adapted them to the empire, growing it even more.
He also helped his brothers sometimes, but not often, as they were both too proud to admit that they were wrong about Melinda. If they had just grown crops as well, she would’ve divided the inheritance between them. But they refused. Now, it was all Leonard, and the best part was that he understood the thrill of a job well done, which was better than being handed tons of money. What can we learn from this story? Nothing worth having comes easily. Robert, Penn, and Leonard had an effortless life until their father decided to teach them a lesson. Only Leonard took the opportunity to learn, while his brothers lost a huge opportunity.
Even the wealthiest people have to teach their children how hard it is to make money. Mr. Faulkner regretted what his sons had become and taught them a lesson in death. Only one learned it correctly, which is why educating kids about privilege and hard work is so important. Share this story with your friends. It might brighten their day and inspire them. If you enjoyed this story, you might like this one about a rich man who told his family that the maid was getting all his money.