Bedtime Stories in English - The Good Bad Husband

 The Good Bad Husband

Abu was a good man, but he was an opium-eater. "My husband, all your honesty and virtues will prove meaningless unless you give up the habit of taking opium," Abu's wife told him time and again, but her advice made no effect on Abu. "I'll give up the habit soon," he would say with a smile and that was all he did. He never gave up his bad habit. One day Abu was on his way to a market to sell a cow. At the roadside, he found a tavern that sold opium. "I'll sell the cow for a good deal of money. There is no reason why I should not enjoy a little opium now," he said t himself and sat down and took the stuff. When he left the tavern, he found himself unable to walk steadily. He sat down under a tree and thought, "Some customer will surely pass this way and I can sell my cow to him." No customer approached him. 

The sun was going to set. Suddenly Abu heard a crow cawing. In his dazed condition, he took it to be someone's query about his cow. "You take it and pay me the price at my home. Just now I am in no position to count money," he said with a kind wave of his hand. Then he stood up and toddle towards his home. "How much did you receive?" his wife asked him. "I'm yet to receive anything. The gentleman who bought my cow will pay the bill tomorrow," Abu informed the lady. He was sober by morning. The day grew, but no one came with any money. Abu's wife grew suspicious. "I hope you know the gentleman who took the cow from you!" she said. "At least I know the place where I handed it over to him. I'll locate him soon." Abu went out in the direction of the tree. But he could not have avoided the tavern on the way! He had a dose of opium and soon the world appeared very different to him. Reaching the tree he heard the crow cawing again. "You won't have to apologize for the delay. It'll be all right if you pay me now," he said looking at the crow.

The crow flew off and sat down on a mound of earth. Abu headed towards the mound. The crow took off again and sat down on a broken earthen jar lying near a bush at a deserted place. Abu was there soon. The crow cawed again and flew away and disappeared from Abu's vision. "What did you say? The money is here? All right, let me see." Abu upturned the broken jar and was happy to see a lot of silver coins inside it. He took only the amount that was the cow's value and returned home. "It is surprising that a man whom you hardly knew was honest enough to pay you," his wife commented. "If he was honest, I was no different. I too took from his deposit only what was the value of the cow," said Abu. His wife grew curious. She asked him and found out how he got the money. In the evening she went to the deserted place and found the jar and brought home all the money that contained. Abu came to know of it. "It is bad to possess someone else's money!" he told his wife sternly. "I'll make good use of the money. Surely, I propose to improve our lot, but also I'll help my poor neighbors with it," she explained. "No, no, no. You must carry the money back and leave it where it lay!." "Only to be found out by someone else? I'll not be that foolish!" she spoke adamantly. "In that case, my dear wife, I must report to the police when it is morning," Abu announced his decision and went to bed after a dose of opium. At midnight Abu was woken up by his wife. "What's the matter?" asked Abu.

"There was a shower of flowers! How strange!" Abu came out of his room and looked at the courtyard. Indeed, there was water all over and there were flowers too! He marveled at the strange rain and fell asleep again. In the morning, true to his announcement, Abu went to the police chief and reported the case with his plea. "You may forfeit the money, but kindly do not harass my foolish wife!" But the police led the lady to the Kazi though they did not find any money in Abu's house. "My lord, my husband dreams of queer things and thinks them to be true," the lay said. The Kazi looked at Abu and asked, "When did your wife go to get the money?" "In the evening, my lord. Please take pity on her. She must have been scared when I told her that I'll report to the police. She could not sleep at night and woke me up when it rained flowers!" Abu started. "Rained what?" the Kazi queried. "I'm speaking of the queer happening last night. Did it not rain flowers along with water?"

The Kazi and all those present there burst into a big laugh. "I'm sorry for this good lady. I can understand how hard it would be for her to live with such a mad dreamer. Keep the fellow in confinement and let a physician attend upon him," said the Kazi. Abu was thrown into a solitary chamber. He went without opium for several days. His wife met him and said, "If you wish to get back your freedom, tell them that it never rained flowers!" The next day she met the Kazi and said, "My lord, my husband is cured of his funny nature. You may graciously set him free." Abu was brought before the Kazi. "It rained what?" asked the Kazi. "My lord, I'm afraid, it never rained that night. It must be my wife.." He wanted to say that his wife must have splashed water and scattered flowers on their courtyard. But before he had said so, the Kazi laughed and said, "Yes, it is your wife who appealed for your release. Go home and live sensibly!" Abu gave up the habit of opium eating.

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