Once upon a time a man had a big house, and in the house there was a big oven; but this man"s family was small — only himself and his wife.
When winter came, the man tried to keep his oven going all day, so that the entire stock of his firewood was consumed in a month. Now, with nothing to feed the fire, it was cold in the house.
Then the man began to break up his fences, and use the boards for fuel. When he had burnt up（燒毀） all of his fences, the house, now without any protection against the wind, was colder than ever, and still they had no firewood.
Then the man began to tear down the ceiling of his house, and burn that in the oven. A neighbor noticed that he was tearing down his ceiling, and said to him: “Why, neighbor, have you lost your mind, pulling down your ceiling in winter? You and your wife will freeze to death!”
But the man said: “No, brother, you see I am pulling down my ceiling so as to have something to heat my oven with. We have such a curious one; the more I heat it up, the colder we are!”
The neighbor laughed, and said, “Well, then, after you have burnt up your ceiling, then you will be tearing down your house. You won"t have anywhere to live; only the oven will be left, and even that will be cold!”
“Well, that is my misfortune,” said the man. “All my neighbours have enough firewood for all winter; but I have already burnt up my fences and the ceiling of my house, and have nothing left.”
The neighbor replied: “All you need is to have your oven rebuilt.” But the man said: “I know well that you are jealous of my house and my oven because they are larger than yours, and so you advise me to rebuild it.”
So he turned a deaf ear to his neighbour"s advice, and burnt up his ceiling, then his whole house, and in the end had to go and live with strangers.