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The Wise Investor


3.2 Corporate enterprises
“Very well, my dear,” John said.
“One sunny afternoon, several of the valley's
families were gathered together, picnicking by the
river. The children played in the water, swimming,
diving and generally having fun. While the children
played, the old people of the families sat in the
shade and talked.
It seemed an ordinary afternoon, a day much like
any other, but this day was special. This day, the
people would take another fundamental step
forward in life of their community.
Grain had been grown in the valley for many
years.
The families had long since learnt to make flour
from grinding wheat, and bread from the flour.
Indeed, bread had become one of the staple diets of
the valley people.
However, grinding the grain was a time-
consuming process. Some families had built small
water wheels by the river to drive the grinding
stones, but these were small devices and had limited
capacity.
The families who were picnicking lived near the
top of the valley, where the river ran through a
narrow gully, and the farm land was less fertile than
on the plains below. As the old men sat talking, one
of them pointed to the children at play and laughed.
The children had built a small dam, blocking off a
small off-shoot of the river. As the water built up
behind the dam, higher and higher, the pressure
grew greater and greater. Finally, when the dam
walls could hold it no more, the dam burst, sending a
torrent of water over the excited children.
So powerful was the flood, that several children
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