‘Abdu’l-Bahá’s generosity was natural to Him already in childhood. A story is recorded of the time when young ‘Abbas Effendi went to the mountains to see the thousands of sheep which His Father then owned. The shepherds, wishing to honour their young Guest, gave Him a feast. Before ‘Abbas was taken home at the close of the day, the head shepherd advised Him that it was customary under the circumstances to leave a present for the shepherds. ‘Abbas told the man that He had nothing to give. Yet the shepherd persisted that He must give something. Whereupon the Master gave them all the sheep.
We are told that when Bahá’u’lláh heard about this incident, He laughted and commented, ‘We will have to protect ‘Abdu’l-Bahá from Himself—some day he will give himself away.’
(Honnold, Annamarie, Vignettes from the Life of ‘Abdu’l-Bahá, p. 69)