A brother said to Poemen, "If I give my brother something, for instance a piece of bread, the demons made the gift worthless by making me think that it was done to please men."
Poemen said to him, "Even if it is done to please men, we still ought to give our brothers what they need." Then he told him this parable:
"In a town there were two farmers. One of them sowed seed, and gathered a poor harvest; the other was idle and did not sow, and had no harvest to gather. If famine came, which of them would survive?"
The brother answered, "The one who sowed seed, even if the harvest was poor."
"It is the same for us," said Poemen. "We sow a few seeds, and they are poor, but in the time of famine we shall not die."