One day in a tiny shop there was a couple who saw a beautiful teacup. "Oh! May we look at that one?" they asked. "We've never seen one quite so beautiful." As the lady handed it to them, suddenly the teacup spoke. "I haven't always been a teacup, you know. There was a time when I was raw, ugly clay. But my master picked me up, moulded me and squeezed me over and over until I cried out, "Let me alone!" But he only smiled and said, "not yet". "Then he placed me on a wheel," the teacup continued, "and suddenly I was spun around and around and around. "Stop it! I'm getting dizzy!" I screamed. But the master said, "not yet". Next he put me in the oven. I never imagined such heat. I wondered why he wanted to incinerate me, and I yelled and knocked at the door. I could see him through the window and I could read his lips as He shook his head,"not yet". Finally the door opened. He took me out of the oven and put me on the shelf to cool. "There, that's better", I breathed. "But my relief didn't last very long, because the next thing I knew, he was brushing me and painting me all over. The fumes were horrible. I thought I would gag. "Stop it, stop it!" I begged. He only nodded, "Not yet". "Then suddenly he put me back into the oven, but this was much worse than the first time. This time the oven was twice as hot and I knew that I would suffocate. I begged. I pleaded. I screamed. I cried. All the time I could see him through the opening shaking his head saying, "not yet". "Then I realized there was no hope. I would never make it. I was ready to give up. At that moment, the door finally opened and he took me out and set me gently back on the shelf. Then, an hour later he handed me a mirror and said, "now look at yourself". "Curiously I peered into the mirror...and gasped at my reflection, "That's not me!" I exclaimed, "It can't be me! It's beautiful!" I want you to understand", he said, "that I know how much it hurts to be moulded and shaped, but if I had stopped, you would have dried into an ugly lump of clay. I know that it made you dizzy to spin around on the wheel, but if I had stopped, you would have crumpled. I know that it hurt and was hot and disagreeable in the oven, but if I hadn't put you there, you would have had no strength. I know that the fumes were terrible when I brushed and painted you, but if I hadn't done that, you would have never reached your potential, nor would you have developed your own beautiful character. And if I hadn't put you back into the oven the second time, you would have eventually leaked and your color would have faded away. But now you are a strong, beautiful teacup fit for use at the finest table'. "You are now what I had in mind when I first formed you."