Moral Stories For Kids - Truthful Vs Clever

 Truthful Vs Clever

It was night and two travelers had lodged themselves in a roadside inn. "What's your name?" one asked the other. "Truthful is my name. And what's yours?" asked the first one. "Clever is my name. My father could not have chosen a better name!" said the second proudly. "I wish my father had given me a different name. Truthful is a great word. It is so difficult to be always truthful. All I can say is I try!" said the first one. "But it is not so difficult to be clever. I mean for one who is really clever!" said Clever. The capital town of the kingdom was the destination for both. The regular road would require eight days to be there. But if one dared pass through the forest, it would take half that time to reach the town. Truthful and Clever had become friends. So, they decided to pass through the forest. Both had brought with them their food for the road. Said Clever, "Instead of opening both food parcels at the same time, we can open one parcel first and later the other parcel. What do you say?" "Fine!" said Truthful. "Let's open my parcel first. Then we can open yours." Clever happily agreed to it. Both shared Truthful's food for the first three days. The food would have lasted for another day or two, but Clever ate much more than what Truthful ate. On the fourth day, a storm broke out. Luckily they found a deserted house and they took shelter inside. Clever opened his food parcel but ate from it himself without offering any share to Truthful. Had he forgotten that his companion, too, needed food? Truthful was too shy to murmur. The storm subsided, but the rain continued.

The next day, when Clever started eating his food, Truthful hemmed and hawed and told him, "My friend, how do you eat without offering me my share? Don't forget that my food was finished because you shared it!" "My friend, I'm merely being truthful to my name. I'm being clever. I don't know for how long the rains would continue. Shouldn't I preserve food for myself?" replied Clever. Truthful sighed and said, "I don't mind going hungry. But someone told, me in my dream that if you don't give me my share, you shall one day be shared by others in an undesirable way." "Never mind your dream!" commented Clever. Next morning, when Truthful opened his eyes, he saw that the rain had stopped and Clever had departed, probably in the company of some other travelers who were passing by. Truthful satisfied his hunger with some fruits which he found on some nearby trees but felt too tired to resume walking. He thought of passing that day in that house, hoping that he too would meet with some travelers and join them. At night he saw some beasts coming towards the house. He hid behind a huge stone lying in a corner. In the faint moonlight, he saw a lion, a tiger, and a jackal entering the house. "I smell a man!" said the lion. "Possibly some travelers had taken rest here. They must have left, leaving their smell behind! Nobody would dare to pass a night in a haunted house in the forest!" said the tiger. Then they talked of several things. "The princess is seriously ill. Nobody is able to cure her. I know the cure. But how can I enter the palace and disclose it?" said the jackal. "What's the cure?" asked the lion. "If the palace guards would not allow jackal to enter the palace, do you think they would allow a lion to do so? However, the cure is in a mysterious root with which a farmer feeds his cattle. His cattle are the healthiest in the kingdom. But he does not tell his secret to anybody," said the jackal and he told about the farmer and his village. Before dawn, the animals left the house. Forthwith, Truthful left for the farmer's village, and met the farmer, and requested him to treat the princess with those special roots. "My friend, I feel nervous at the very sight of the palace. Why I will faint at the sight of the king! I shall give you the roots. I'm sure you'll receive a handsome reward from the king. You may pass on a share of it to me!" said the farmer.

Truthful reached the palace with the roots and claimed that he could cure the princess. "Young man, should it be found that you were merely kidding, you shall lose your head!" he was warned. Truthful nodded. He treated the princess who got well in a few days. Truthful's success, his conduct, his speech, and, above everything else, his truthfulness pleased the king so much that he toyed with the idea of making him his son-in-law! And soon the king found out that the princess, too, would like that to happen! So, amidst great pomp and show, Truthful was married to the princess. The couple shifted to a magnificent palace. The first thing Truthful did after that was to reward the farmer with a basketful of gold. It so happened that while he was strolling on his palace roof one evening, he saw Clever passing by the house. He sent his chief servant to call him. Clever could not believe his eyes when he recognized Truthful. He fell at his feet and said, "Sir, pardon this sinner!" "Don't call me sir. I'm your friend. Had you not left me alone, I would have remained the poor man I was!" remarked Truthful. Since Truthful was always truthful, he frankly told all that had happened to him at his companion's query. Clever enjoyed Truthful's generous hospitality that night and bade him goodbye in the morning. Straight he proceeded to the deserted house in the forest and hid behind the stone in a corner. He expected the beasts to come there and talk of more mysteries from which he could profit. The beasts did come. As soon as they entered, the lion said, "Once again I smell man!" "Well, last time we did not pay heed to your suspicion. In a sense it was good, for the man who heard us from his hiding cured the princess and married her too! But we were deprived of a good dish. We need not suffer the same loss every time!" said the tiger. Before long they found out Clever. As they began tearing him to share among themselves, Clever remembered Truthful's dream. But now it was too late. 

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