Sunday, August 16, 2009

The clever old man (Part 2)

Part 2 of 4
Go to part 1
They decided to buy the donkey and asked the old man its price. The old man said, "This donkey is the only means of sustenance for us. He passes out 10- 20 silver coins with the dung in the morning, which is the only earning we have. We cannot offered to feed him anything but grass. If only I could manage to feed him 2 kg grams everyday, he would pass out more of silver coins for sure."
Thugs' wives could not resist their greed. They purchased the donkey for four thousand silver coins.
Then the old man purchased 2 deer for 50 silver coins and brought them home. He tied a deer inside the room and instructed his wife to prepare kheer for the four guests he was to receive. He further told her, "I am carrying the other deer to the field in the nearby hill. You tie the other deer outside once I leave."
The thugs' wives were eager to get more of silver coins from the donkey. In their enthusiasm, each of them fed the donkey 2 kg gram seeds. The donkey could not resist eating them. But it was just not possible for him to digest 8 kg of grams. He tossed and turned in pain and finally died.
When the thugs returned, they were surprised to see the dead body of the donkey. Then their wives told them the whole story.
Next day, the thugs went to the old man's place and asked his wife where the old man was. The old woman showed them the path to the field in the hill where the old man had gone. After they left, she brought the other deer out of the room and tied it in the courtyard of her house. Thereafter, she got busy preparing the kheer.
The thugs found the old man in the field and told him that the donkey had died. The old man
replied, "I had told your wives to feed him 2 kg of grams and not 8 kg."
Then the old man spoke the deer grazing nearby, "Balvant, go home, Son, and tell Mother to prepare kheer for 4 guests." Saying this, he released the deer. The deer moved around in the forest and was lost.
The thugs were surprised to see the old man giving order to a deer. They decided to find out" whether Balvant really conveyed the message. They went to the old man’s house. There they found the other deer tied in the courtyard. Soon, the old woman came out and offered them kheer. The thugs were taken aback. They offered the old man 4000 silver coins and requested him to sell the deer.
Next day, the thugs untied all their cows and sent the Balvant as cowherd to look after them. Soon after that the owner of the adjacent plot of land came to them complaining, "Your cows have damaged my crops."
The thugs told him, "But we had sent a cowherd with them." And they told him about the witty deer. To their surprise the owner of the field said, "That deer is grazing in the field, too."
Go to part 3

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