A METAL BOX that once lived in a household found it very hard to keep secrets. The other boxes in the house avoided giving him any information on personal issues, as he had earned quite a reputation for being 'loudmouth'. "We won't tell you our secrets because you don't keep them", they justified themselves.
"Nobody trusts me with their secrets", the box kept complaining and every time he saw other boxes in the house whispering to each other, he thought it was something that concerned him. As soon as he leaned to listen, however, they immediately changed subject.
One day, the box happened to sit next to the telephone, who knew every secret in the household by heart. "You won't tell anybody, right?", the telephone asked him. "Of course I won't!", the box answered with enthusiasm. The telephone then whispered to his ear: "The housewife forgot where she placed the electric bill, and suspects we'll run out of electric power anytime soon".
The box was rather panicked to hear it, as he knew that without electricity no appliance could possibly work. "But you promised not to tell anybody, right?", the telephone, which functioned without electricity and had little reason to worry, told him.
As soon as the box went back to his room, however, he was deeply troubled about whether he should tell the secret or not. As electric appliances kept passing in front him, he couldn't stop thinking that without electricity they would die out. Every time the toaster or the heater greeted him, he burst into tears. And then he saw the housewife walking around with no sign of anxiety whatsoever, and thought he should take action so as to avoid the disaster. Things got even worse at night, as he could barely close his eyelids from worry and get some sleep.
The next morning, he went to the balcony to breathe fresh air and decide on what he should do with the lethal secret. He then saw a wise owl sitting on a tree branch nearby, and thought of asking her whether it was ok if he revealed the secret so as to save the electrical appliances, knowing that he already had a fame for being a loudmouth and nobody would ever share a secret with him again if he did.
"Wise is the man who can keep a secret. Even wiser is the man who has no secrets to keep", the owl told him. The box was even more confused by her answer, however, not realizing what to do with the secret.
As soon as he went back to his room, the housewife showed up, who opened the box and took a dozen of useless papers from inside it, until she eventually found the unpaid bill. "Well, here you are!", she exclaimed and went directly to pay it. The box felt a huge relief as she walked away with the terrible secret that had troubled him.
"It all ended well", the box told the telephone. "But please don't ask me to keep a secret, ever again!".