A small clock, which had just been finished by its maker, was put on a shelf in his shop between two old clocks that were busily and loudly ticking away the seconds.
“So,” said one of the old clocks to the newcomer, “you’ve just started this task. I feel sorry for you. You are bravely ticking now, but you’ll be very tired once you’ve ticked thirty three million times.”
“Thirty three million ticks?” said the startled clock, “but I could never do that!” He immediately stopped in desperation.
“Come on, stupid,” said the other clock. “Why do you listen to such talk? That’s not how things are. At each moment you only need to tick once. Isn’t that easy? And then again. That’s just as easy. Carry on like that.”
“Oh, if that’s all,” the new clock cried, “then that’s easy enough. Off I go.”
And he began again to bravely tick each moment, without paying attention to the months and millions of ticks. When the year was up, he had ticked thirty three million times without realising it.