He came from a poor family.
That was bad enough.
What was worse, he had a large family; he loved them all, but there was never enough to go around; his mother was too busy taking care of his brothers and sisters to work, and his father was too ill.
And so he decided that it was up to him to make some money for the family.
He was too young to find a proper job, so he came up with an idea.
“I’ll breed rabbits,” he thought. “People will buy them as pets.”
Trouble was, he knew nothing about breeding rabbits.
And so he went to the library, found a book on animal husbandry, and taught himself as well as he could. With the help of a neighbour, he managed to get a buck and a doe, build a hutch, and soon, he had many rabbits. He decided to sell them at market, at a very low cost.
“I’ll sell more of them if they’re cheap,” he said to himself.
But when he set up at the market, no one was buying; he watched as the people bought fresh flowers and chickens and vegetables; they all passed by him with scarcely a glance.
The day went on. Sunset was coming. He felt that all his hard work had been a foolish waste of time, and that he’d failed his family.
He began to cry.
An old man stopped.
“What’s the matter, son?”
He didn’t want to speak to the man, but he respected his elders, and so he said, wiping away his tears, “I worked hard to breed these rabbits, and no one will buy them. I have to go home soon, and I’ll have nothing to show for it.”
“Do you know why no one is buying your rabbits? It’s because you’re not asking enough. People see how cheap they are, and it makes them think there is something wrong with them, like they’re sick or something. Raise the price. Double it. Triple it, even.”
It didn’t make sense to the boy, but having no other option, he did as the man had suggested.
And he sold all of his rabbits, except for a young buck and a doe.
Then they went about their business, and he continued with his own.