Moral Stories in English - A Costly Mistake

 A Costly Mistake

My story is sad. But it should sound interesting to you, for you are only listening to it. I don't wish you to have the kind of experience which I have had. If you learn some lessons from my story, I shall feel rewarded. I was leading a happy life. What I earned from my meat shop, was more than I could spend. There was no other meat shop in the town to which customers could go for meat of the best quality. They could also depend on me for any quantity. I bought select goats and always kept my courtyard well stocked with them. Although I was a mere butcher, people began to show respect to me. I felt proud of my wealth and position. One day a stranger visited my shop. He was an old man. From his appearance, I knew that he came from a faraway land where things were quite costly.

"Friend, will you sell me some meat?" he asked me and mentioned the quantity he needed. "You have to pay a silver coin for it," I replied. "Friend, are you not asking too high a price?" he protested. "In my land, one can buy a live healthy goat for a silver coin!." "Get out if you don't want to buy," I said in my pride. There was a smile on the stranger's face. He tossed a silver coin at me and took the meat and went away. I was very happy at receiving a silver coin that looked like coming fresh from the mint. It was equal to my full day's profit. I praised myself for my cleverness. The stranger visited my shop the next day. Without a single word, he handed over a silver coin to me. "The price for the quantity is double today," I said mischievously. Without arguing with me, he handed over another coin to me and left with the meat. I felt quite flattered with myself. I decided to play the same trick on him if he came the next day. But at night my happiness changed into disappointment and anger. It was because the three coins had changed into three worthless pieces of wood! The next day, as soon as I saw the old man coming, I caught him firmly by the neck and dragged him onto my verandah and demanded of him, "How dare you deceive me?" "Is it not you who deceived me?" he asked sneeringly. My anger shot up. I manhandled him. He began to shout in a shrill voice. Passers-by and shopkeepers of the neighborhood rushed in. "What's the matter?" they were curious to know.

"He used to buy meat from me for fake silver coins!" I informed them. "Gentlemen, am I a fool to pay him silver coins for some meat? The fact is, I found out that this fellow is selling dog's meat branding them as goat's. Lest I should make his nefarious secret public, he is accusing me of some mischief," proclaimed the old man. I stood speechless at his wicked accusation. "Can you prove what you say?" someone from the public asked him. "I think I can," said the old man. He then led the people into the inner courtyard. Lo and behold! The goats I had kept there had all turned into dogs! I could not explain why some stray dogs should be kept tied up in my courtyard. There was no time for me to tell them that the old man was a wicked wizard. They dragged me to the judge of the city who ordered for the forfeiture of my property. Not only that, they split my skin with a hundred lashes and blinded one of my eyes, and drove me out of the land. After days of travel, I reached another land where I lived as a beggar.

Someone warned me, saying, "Never appear before the Sultan, because the Sultan dreads one-eyed persons as evil omens. He might kill you." One day I heard some shouts and gallops and on inquiry learned that Sultan and his party were coming that way. I ran for life. As the sound of the galloping party came nearer, I pushed up on the door of a house in order to hide inside it. At once three hefty men fell on me and began to beat me, shouting, "At last we have caught you, you who have thrice entered our house at this hour when we are out for work and stolen away our food!." After they had got tired of beating me, they threw me on the road. I swooned away. Later I managed to escape from that land too. Meanwhile, my brother learned of my plight and found me out after a long search. I have survived my ordeals only to tell the people that once you are on the wrong track, you never know what might come upon you. I should be living a happy life had I not been proud and greedy. I had no business to be unfair to that old man, a stranger in my country. I have paid heavily for my arrogance!. 

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