Bedtime Stories for Kids - Ghoul in The Village

Ghoul in The Village

Sudhakar was the only merchant in the large village of Sambalpur. He was a clever man. Unfortunately, he used his cleverness only to exploit the people. He swindled the villagers through several means. One of those means was to lend them money at a high rate of interest, against the jewellery which the borrowers pledged with him. Generally, the borrowers failed to pay the loans which swelled with interest, on the promised day. The jewellery they pledged became Sudhakar's property. Sudhakar died, rather suddenly of a heart attack. After his funeral rites were over, his only son, Rangu opened his trunk. What he saw amazed him. The trunk was bursting with gold ornaments and silver coins. The sight of the wealth scared Rangu much more than it delighted him. His father had many foes. He was afraid, some of them would try to steal the wealth. His home was not a safe place for so much treasure. He could not sleep at night. He thought deeply about doing something to put an end to his anxiety. At last, a novel idea struck him. Just outside the village stood an old banyan tree. As it is, the tree was known to be the dwelling place of a number of ghosts.

Now, Rangu told some villagers that he had seen a ghoul roaming around the tree. He also confided to them his suspicion that it was his father, Sudhakar, whose spirit had turned a ghoul! What Rangu told a few people, soon became the talk of the village. At night several villagers noticed a white figure sitting on a branch of the tree, dangling its legs, or just circling the tree in an easy stroll. There was panic in the village. Rangu took note of the situation and was quite happy. It was of his making. He had buried his father's treasure under the tree. At night he donned a white gown and loitered around the tree or sat on a branch. Nobody dared to go near the tree. That made the buried treasure safe. He knew that after a few days it would not be necessary for him to pose as the ghoul, for nobody would come out to the open at night. His speculation proved correct. Soon people stopped coming out after the nightfall. The village became the haunt of thieves. They freely stole away cows from sheds and crop from the fields as no one was outside. The villagers even stopped going to the weekly market which was situated some miles away. That was because it became dark by the time they returned from the market and they had to pass by the banyan tree. This was a boon for Rangu. He could sell goods at his stop at twice the normal profit. It was at this stage that Govind, the wanderer, reached Sambalpur, followed by his dog. Soon he heard from the villagers all about the ghoul. Immediately he took a vow to rid the poor villagers of the menace.