Moral Stories For Kids - The Demon's Syndrome

 The Demon's Syndrome

Once upon a time, there was a physician in a village close to a forest. His name was Randan. He knew the secret of beneficent plants and herbs. He collected them from the forest and prepared medicines out of them. He succeeded in curing most of the people who went to him for treatment. But he never demanded any fee from his patients. His wife, Kelly did not approve of this. She always murmured about his generosity. "Even if I don't charge any fee, my patients give me whatever amount they can, don't they? Many of them also bring costly gifts. It's better this way rather than charging a fixed amount as a fee," Randan used to argue. "Besides, I give only medicines. It's God who cures," he would add, modestly. It was midnight, and both Randan and his wife had retired to bed and gone to sleep when someone knocked on the door. "There seems to be no respite from your worthless patients even at this hour of the night!" grumbled Kelly. Randan quietly opened the door but had the shock of his life at the sight of his visitor. It was a demon! "Don't be afraid. I've come to you as a patient," said the demon.

"Welcome," Randan managed to say. "Tell me, what's your ailment?" "I feel drained of all energy and feel sleepy. But sleep never comes to me! I'm always panting, sweating, and feeling thirsty," complained the demon. "I understand. The disease is called the demon's syndrome. I think I can cure you, even though you have come to me rather late," said Randan feeling the demon's pulse. He then prepared some powder and made the demon gulp it with a spoonful of honey. "You'll get relief in an hour. If you take this regularly for a fortnight, you'll get back a demon's strength," said Randan. "I feel so happy. I'll be here again tomorrow, at this hour," said the demon as he left them. Kelly took her husband to task as soon as the demon left, for not charging him a heavy fee. "You can be liberal towards human beings, but why towards a demon? He's not going to be of any service to you in the future!" she said. Randan only shrugged his shoulders and said nothing. The demon showed up every night and looked happier and happier. One night, while Randan was preparing the medicine, Kelly lowered her voice and told the demon, "You know, uncle demon, my husband is too shy to tell you about this, but he spends a lot of money on the medicine which he prepares for you." "Is that so? Well, how much do you think I should pay him?" asked the demon. Kelly hemmed and hawed and said, "How about ten gold coins!" "Ten gold coins!" laughed the demon. After the demon had left Kelly told her husband, "Your midnight patient is a miser."

Randan, as usual, only shrugged. The next day Kelly told her husband that she was going to her parents for a day or two. However, after leaving the house, she sat hiding behind a bush. The demon, as usual, came there at night and the physician handed him the medicine. When the demon left the dwelling, Kelly followed him. After an hour she found out the demon's cave. Instead of returning home, she took shelter in another cave. The next night, when the demon left the cave for the physician's house, she entered his cave and saw two sacks full of gold coins and ornaments. She goggled her eyes in disbelief. She then took both the sacks in her arms and hurried home. Midway she saw the demon returning. She hid behind a tree and then after a while reached home and buried the sacks in the cowshed. It was already dawn. "What was the urgency in leaving your parent's home at night to reach here so early?" asked Randan. She gave no answer, but she began panting and sweating and said, "I feel breathless." "Lie down in peace. Let me see what the matter is with you said Randan. "I feel awfully thirsty," said Kelly. The physician felt her pulse and said, "This seems to be the human version of the demon's syndrome! However, you'll get much relief with the very first dose of the medicine." He gave her the medicine. But, to his surprise, he saw no improvement in her condition till the evening. He felt anxious. The demon reported to him at midnight.

"Sir! I feel as healthy and energetic as I was ten years ago. I hope my treatment is over," he said. "Yes, it's over. You need not worry on that count any longer," answered Randan. "Over the past years, I had collected lots of gold, in the form of coins as well as ornaments. I had arranged them in two sacks to give them to you as a token of my gratitude. Unfortunately, someone stole them from my cave last night. Since my dwelling has become known, I should go over to another cave in the forest. Some day in future, I'll pay back my debt to you," said the demon. "Oh no, you need not. Please take your wealth back," cried out Kelly from the next room. Both Randan and the demon were taken aback. Kelly toddled in and narrated what she had done because of her awful greed. Sobbing, she said, "The gold you had collected through force brought me your disease along with it. Please take it back and save my life. I know, no medicine will work unless I'm relieved of my guilt." The demon nodded and said, "Let's forget whatever has happened. Spend the wealth for some good cause. That'll bring happiness to you as well as to me." He then left. Randan understood why his medicine had failed to work on his wife. However, the moment they decided to spend the wealth for putting up a large hospital for the poor, Kelly began to recover. She became normal in a week. By then the work on the hospital has also begun!

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