Honesty Always Pays
There in a town lived two peddlers, both dealing in pearl trinkets. While one of them was honest, the other was a crook.
Once the two of them went to the neighbouring town to sell their goods. In that town there was a big building, once owned by a rich diamond merchant. After a sudden loss in the business many of the family members of that household had died. The sole survivors were a girl and her grandmother who did menial jobs to earn their living.
The greedy peddler came to the door of that house, crying, “Pearl trinkets for sale!”
The young girl heard his cry and begged her grandmother, “Please buy me a trinket, grandmother.”
The granny said, “We are very poor, dear. There is not enough grain at home to feed us, let alone money. How do I get you the pearl trinket?”
The girl suddenly remembered an old bowl. “Look! Grandma!” she cried, “Here is an old bowl. Let us try to trade it for something nice.”
The golden bowl belonged to the great merchant, her late great grandfather. After his death, it had been thrown amongst the old unused things. Since it hadn’t been used for a very long time, it looked totally black.
The old woman examined the bowl. Since it was black, she could not realize that it was made of gold. She felt that it may have some value.
She showed the bowl to the peddler, who took it in his hand. Suspecting its real value, he scratched its back with a needle. He assured himself that it was made of real gold, worth several thousand rupees.
He immediately started planning on how to cheat the old woman and the girl. So, pretending to be angry, he growled, “Why did you bring me this bowl? It isn’t worth half a penny!” Then, throwing the bowl onto the floor, he walked out of the house.
Soon, the honest peddler came into that same street. He appeared at the door of the same house, crying, “Beads for sale!”
Once again the young girl made the same request to her grandmother. The old woman said, “My dear, the first peddler refused to take the bowl. What have we got now to offer?”
“Oh, but that trader was nasty, Grandmother. I think this man will take it.”
“All right, then. Call him in.”
When the peddler came into the house, they showed him the bowl. The peddler immediately recognized that the bowl was made of gold. He told the old woman, “Mother, this bowl is worth several thousands of rupees. I am sorry, I can’t take this in exchange to the beads I have. The whole of my stock will not equal the worth of this bowl.”
Stunned at this, the old woman said, “Sir, another peddler who came before you said that it is not even worth half a penny. He actually got angry, threw it on the floor, and went away! It must be your goodness that has made the bowl of gold. Please take it. Just give my granddaughter whatever she wants to have from your collection. We will be happy.”
The peddler gave whatever he had; five hundred rupees and another five hundred rupees worth of goods in return for the bowl, and left the place.
Just then, the greedy peddler returned to the house as if to accept their deal half heartedly. He asked the old woman to bring out their bowl, saying he would give them something or the other for it.
The old woman flared at him saying, “You cheat! You told us that our golden bowl was not worth even half a penny. And now, we feel good that we didn’t make the bargain with you. Another peddler came here. He told us the bowl’s real worth, and has indeed made the deal. We’re happy even if he gave us just whatever he had with him. You are too late!” When the peddler heard this, he was outraged, and hysterical. He cried, “Oh! I’m robbed of my golden bowl.” Then, throwing away all his goods, he tore off his shirt, and ran towards the river, into which he slipped and drowned. The honest trader returned home and spent his life in charity and other good works.
Moral: “Honesty is rewarded”