Folk tales With Morals - The Magic Stick

 The Magic Stick

Long ago there was a poor man who desired to lead a luxurious life. But he was too lazy to work. He turned to beg. But he found it very difficult to make a living with the small coins or morsels of food thrown at him by people in the way of charity. It took no time for him to realize that begging won't make him rich. And he thought of stealing. But what when caught?. The vision of being thrashed did not let him take to that way. Across the forest, there was a temple visited by very few people. He spent a long time in prayer there. His sincerity yielded fruit. He saw the deity emerging from the stone idol and standing before him in all his glory. The beggar's heart jumped in joy. Tears flowed down his cheeks and he prostrated himself to the deity. The deity blessed him and said, "I am pleased with your patience and sincerity. What would you like to have as a boon?" 

The beggar stood up and replied: "My Lord! All I crave on this earth is money. If you give me that, how happy you make me!" "Money? How can that make you happy? If you want to be happy, you must be free from wrong passions like anger, lust.." "God, I know how to be happy with money. Just give me the money and see how I give up all my wrong passions!" said the beggar. The deity quietly handed over a stick to him. The beggar looked at the deity with suspicion. "My Lord! I requested for money, but you gave me a stick!" "If I give you money here and now, you would not be able to carry the load with you. That is why I gave you this stick." "And what do you want me to do with this stick?" asked the beggar. All you have to do is to tap the ground three times with the end of the stick whenever you need money. And at once a hundred gold coins will spring up." replied the deity. Unable to believe the deity's words, the beggar asked, "This stick! Will it be able to produce a hundred gold coins?" "Why not try?" The beggar tapped the ground thrice as advised and to his amazement saw the stick producing a hundred gold coins in a trice. "Wonderful! Wonderful! What a great boon you have given me!" cried the beggar. "How many times can I be benefited by this?" "Any number of times! Whenever you tap thrice, it will work. But always remember that you should never become angry with anyone. The stick will fail to work if you become." The deity vanished. The entire forest became dark again.

The beggar, to make doubly sure, tapped again and rejoiced at the result. He made a bundle of the two hundred gold coins and began walking towards his home. On his way he spoke to himself thus, "Never, never I should become angry. I should not be offended even if I am abused. If by chance I am offended, I should see to it that I run away from the place before I am angry. This miracle stick will make me the richest man on earth. And who will dare to offend the richest man?" He handled his stick like an adept magician and strutted along. He saw a hermit as he would enter the village. "How goes the world with you?" the would-be richest man asked the hermit in a jubilant tone. "You seem to be very cheerful! What's the matter with you?" asked the hermit. "Who will not be cheerful with money yielding stick at his disposal? Look at this. Just three taps on the ground and I am richer by a hundred gold coins."

"Is that so?" the hermit asked in a tone of surprise. "Can you demonstrate?" "Why not! But you should not touch a single coin!" The hermit looked with his mouth wide open as the stick produced a hundred gold coins. "Will it continued to give you so much whenever you tap thrice?" asked the hermit. "No doubt about it," replied the beggar. "How many times will it give you?" "As many times as I please." "A thousand times?" "More!" "Ten thousand times?" "More, more! Did I not say as many times as I please." "A million times?" "Why only a million? As many times...." "Really? Even a billion times?" "You blockhead! Don't you understand me? Didn't I say as many times as I pleased? If you don't understand, get out of my way. Get out. Go to hell!" shouted the beggar making a swish of the stick. The hermit smiled and vanished. Also were gone the miracle stick and the three hundred gold coins.

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