Bedtime Audio Stories in English - The Great Pumpkin

 The Great Pumpkin

Once upon a time there lived two neighbors in a village one of whom was very poor and the other very rich. Loki the other poor man had a small plot of land. He used to get a meager crop from his field with which he managed his family, needless to say, with much difficulty. But the other man, Harry was a prosperous merchant. He had got a license from the King to trade in rice, cereal, and several such items. He earned a lot of wealth, but he wished to have more, even more. Harry lived in a mansion. Behind it was his big garden. Beside Harry's mansion stood the humble cottage of Loki, the farmer. One day, early in the morning, while Loki was going to his field, he noticed a small pumpkin plant sprouting near the manure heap of Harry's field. Many unwanted plants sprouted on their own on that heap and got uprooted too. No one took notice of them. Loki observed that plant and mused over it for a moment.

Then he went closer to it and cautiously carried it to his own field and planted it. Right from that day he went on watering the pumpkin plant and applied the necessary manure to it. The plant flourished extremely well and unfolded its big leaves to the sun. The farmer made a bamboo frame for the creeper to crawl and rest on it. But as the plant grew, the frame could no more support it. Then the farmer prepared a bigger and stronger frame. He was surprised that an ordinary pumpkin plant could become so big. He had never seen such big leaves in his life. In no time there bloomed flowers in the plant and then the fruit. But now Loki was much worried and unhappy because all the fruit soon withered in their tiny stage. However, one fruit survived and it grew bigger and bigger. Soon it became so big that a whole cart was not spacious enough to carry it. Thought, the farmer, "What am I to do with such a big pumpkin? Who would buy this unique fruit?" Suddenly he thought, why not present it to the King? When he reached the palace, all the King's officers and courtiers were surprised to see such a big pumpkin. The King was no less astonished. But, more than that, he was pleased. He rewarded Loki with a bagful of gold for having yielded such a big pumpkin in his field. "Where did you get the seed for your pumpkin creeper?" asked the King. "My Lord, I found this creeper growing on the manure heap of Harry's garden. I plucked it, knowing well that it shall be destroyed when they remove the manure and brought it to my field and nursed it," said Loki truthfully.

The next day, Harry came to the royal court, knelt down, and submitted, "My Lord, the reward that Loki got should have been given to me because I had sown the seed on my manure heap and daily watered it to germinate and grow. Loki should be punished because he stole away my plant." "Well, Harry, where did you get the seed of this wonderful pumpkin?" asked the King, concealing his feeling. Harry replied, "Oh mighty King when I went to a neighboring country for trade, I bought the seed from an expert farmer. He had advised me to plant it on a manure heap. I did according to his advice. But Loki stole it when it was very young." Proclaimed the King: "Henceforth Harry will not be required to carry on his business. His license for the same may be canceled. He will be allowed only to grow pumpkins in the field. We give him one year. If he is not able to produce plenty of pumpkins of this size, he will be punished for hiding the secret of his great success in agriculture." Harry never expected such a turn of events. He stood speechless then he fell at the feet of the King and cried out, "My Lord, I spoke a lie. Please forgive me. I will never do anything like this once again in my life." The King pardoned Harry, but no longer did he enjoy the royal favor. Loki soon became as rich as his neighbor. That destroyed Harry's peace of mind and the cause was his own greed.

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