A sage presented a prince with a set of three small dolls. The prince was not amused.
"Am I a girl that you give me dolls?" he asked.
"This is a gift for a future king," said the sage. "if you look carefully, you'll see a hole in the ear of each doll."
The sage handed the prince a piece of string and said, "Pass it through the ear of each doll."
The prince picked up the first doll and inserted the string into the ear. It came out from the other ear. The prince then inserted the string into the ear of the second doll. It came out of the mouth. The process was repeated to the third doll. The string did not come out from any part of the doll.
The sage then told the prince that the three dolls represent three kinds of men. The first does not retain anything told to him. The second cannot keep hold of what he hears. He repeats it to everyone else. The third type of doll represents a person who keeps everything that you tell him locked up in himself.
The prince then asked the sage, "Who is the best type of person?"
The sage replied that the best type of person is one who is trustworthy, a man must know when not to listen, when to remain silent and when to speak out.