The 1992 short children’s story The Rainbow Fish, by Marcus Pfister, was read to nearly everyone in my age-group as they were growing up. The Rainbow Fish was “the most beautiful fish in the entire ocean” because of the sparkling poly-chromatic scales that covered his body. The other fish revered the Rainbow Fish for his beauty and longed for his attention. Rainbow Fish, being a pompous jerk, would simply swim on by when the other fish would call out to him.
When another fish asks Rainbow Fish for one of his scales, scales being a part of his essential being, RF responds “You want me to give you one of my special scales? Who do you think you are?” Now a simple “no” would have done the trick, but RF didn’t want to rip off a piece of his awesome skin and give it to someone else.
After this event and RF’s heinous desire to keep his own skin, the other fish no longer revered him and would no longer call out to him to play. (Keep in mind that RF didn’t play with the other fish in the first place because he was a pompous jerk.)
Saddened by the new nature of his loneliness, RF consulted the expertise of the Wise Octopus. Wise Octupus decrees that RF should “give a glittering scale to each of the other fish.” After a silly bit of “how dare I give away a piece of being and get nothing in return,” RF complied and started to give his scales away.
At the end, every fish has one shiny scale and everyone was happy.