He became thirsty and went to his favorite brook in the hills, to take a drink. As he was drawing the crystal clear water in his palm and putting it to his mouth, something caught his eye.
He saw drops of water falling on a huge stone – drip, drop – and directly where the drops were falling, there was a deep hole in the stone. Akiba was fascinated. He gazed at the drops, and at the stone.
“What mighty power there is in a drop of water, the shepherd thought.” “Could my stony heart ever be softened up that way?”
– About Rabbi Akiba, from D’Rabbi Natan, retold by Nissan Mindel