Moral Stories in English - The Copper Ring

 The Copper Ring

Sean had lost his parents in his childhood. He was brought up by his grandfather. Being the only grandson, he was much pampered. So Sean grew up to be a young man but without knowledge of any specific work. After losing his grandfather, Sean tried to get a job in his village. But, no one would give him one. "What work do you know? Have you ever learned any work all these days? You lazy fellow! Begone!" said, everyone. Sean decided to go to the town, where people did not know him, and seek work. But, there the business people said, "You are a stranger to our village. How can we trust you? Sorry, we cannot employ you." Disappointed, Sean spent his days in a townhouse where accommodation was free. One night, he heard running footsteps in the house adjacent to the townhouse. When he peeped over the dividing compound wall, he saw to his surprise a young maiden running towards a well. He jumped over the wall, ran, and caught hold of the maiden just when she was about to jump into the well. "You foolish girl, What are you doing?" scolded Sean. "I've decided to end my life," replied the sobbing maiden. "Whatever your difficulties, you should never end your life. It is a great sin," said Sean.

"Sin or no sin, I can't help it. How can I marry a man of sixty years and a cruel man at that? It is better to end it this way," replied Viva. Viva's stepmother was very unkind to her. She tormented her, heaping on her all the household chores while she pampered her own daughter. She wanted to give Viva in marriage to an old wealthy man so that the money received from the old man could be used to find a wealthy and handsome young man for her own daughter. After hearing the sad tale from Viva, Sean managed to send her back that night. The next morning, he went straight to the parents of Viva and asked her for Viva's hand in marriage. "What a foolish man you are!" said Viva's stepmother. "You have neither a home nor a job for yourself, and you want to marry my daughter! How Stupid!." Sean left the place and again went in search of a job. Evening came and still, he had no job. Not wanting to return to his place, he walked, absent-mindedly and remorsefully, into a forest and lay down under a big banyan tree. At midnight he heard a terrific sound and he woke up startled from his sleep. He saw in front of him a weird form. "You mortal! I am amazed at your audacity. How dare you occupy my place of rest?" asked the spirit. "Well, I've known human beings much crueler than you spirits can be. Why should I be afraid of you?" "What do you say? Are men worse than us? How is that?" asked the spirit. Sean then told him about his sad story and said, "Men are heartless. They are harsh too."

"Do not bother, young man," said the ghost. "I shall help you. We spirits are better than human beings! Didn't you say so?" The spirit then went to a nearby tree, dug out a little hole at its roots, and brought out an old copper ring. Giving it to Sean, he said, "Put on this ring. It will bring you whatever you wish for. But, mind you. you can get only three wishes out of it, no more." The next morning, Sean went to the wealthiest merchant in town and said, "I would like to have a job in your shop." "Surely," said the merchant. "In fact, I was looking for someone like you. Please join us right away." He was one of the merchants who had earlier refused even to listen to Sean. That evening, Sean went to Viva's step mother and said, "Mother, now that I have got a job, I'll be happy if you let me marry Viva." "I'll be happier if you do so," replied the stepmother. "We can fix an auspicious date for the marriage right next week." And, Sean and Viva were married the next week. A few days after their marriage Viva asked her husband, "How could you get a job in one day and then make my stepmother give her consent to our marriage, especially when she was so particular about a very wealthy son-in-law?." Sean then told her about the magic of the copper ring. Viva gave out a shriek. "What happened to you?" asked Sean. "About three days back when I was cleaning the house I found the ring in a trunk. Seeing that it was an old rusted ring, I threw it away at the back of the house," sobbed Viva.

"Do not be upset about it. We have no use of it anymore," said Sean. But Viva searched for it and retrieved it from a heap of dust and broken things. "The ring has such great magic power and how very silly of you to have asked for just two simple things!" said Viva. "You should have asked from the merchant a share in his business, and, you should have demanded a house from my parents. In any case, the ring has granted you only two boons. A third one is yet to be got out of it!" She put on the ring and said, "I hope you have no objection if I ask for the last boon, have you?" "Surely not," replied Sean, and then he laughed. "Why what has happened?" asked Viva, puzzled. "Well, the third wish is over! You asked me for something and I consented to it, so your wish is realized," explained Sean. Viva was disheartened. She began to weep. "It is no use crying now. One should not be greedy. Did you not tell me a few weeks back that you would be most happy if you married me and that you desire nothing else? Well, you see, this is how man's greed increases endlessly bringing sorrow and disappointment in the way!" explained Sean. After a few days, Viva quietened down and one day she told Sean, "I've now realized how beautiful it is to be contented with the little things of life."  

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