An old man turned to me and asked,
"How many friends have you?"
"Why, ten or twenty friends have I,"
And I named off just a few.

He smiled a knowing smile at me
And sadly shook his head.
"How lucky you must be
To have so many friends," he said.

"But think of what you're saying.
There's so much that you don't know!
A friend is just not someone
To whom you say "Hello"!"

"A friend's a tender shoulder
On which to softly cry,
A well to pour your troubles down
And raise your spirits high.

A friend's a hand to pull you up
From darkness and despair,
When all your other so-called "friends"
Have helped to put you there!

A true friend is an ally
Who can't be moved or bought,
A voice to keep your name alive
When others have forgot.

But most of all a friend's a heart,
A strong and sturdy wall,
For from the hearts of friends there comes
The greatest love of all!

So think of what I've spoken,
For every word is true.
And answer once again, my child,
How many friends have you?"

And then he stood and faced me,
Awaiting my reply.
I smiled at him and answered,
"At least ONE friend have I!"

- Author Unknown