Moral Stories For Kids - Greedy Wood Cutter

Greedy Wood Cutter!

 In a certain village lived a young man named Ballav. He was a woodcutter by profession. Though the forest near his village abounded in trees, life was not easy for him. He had to work hard to earn a living. One day, as he set out for the forest, his wife, Leena, told him, "Look here, tomorrow is our daughter's birthday. Yesterday she saw a toy parrot in the market. She wants to have it. Try to cut down some choice trees today so that they can fetch a good price. Buy the toy for her after selling the wood." "Let me see what I can do," said Ballav as he went out into the forest. He looked for a handsome tree. Suddenly his eyes fell on a new tree, the like of which he had never seen before. He raised his axe to fell it. "Wait!" said some strange voice. Ballav saw a luminous figure before him. "Must you fell the only sandalwood tree in the forest? Don't do so!" the divine figure said. Ballav guessed that she was the deity of the forest. He bowed to her and said, "What can I do? It is my little daughter Sia's fond wish to buy a doll, a toy parrot. How can I disappoint her on her birthday which is tomorrow? For that, I need some extra money." "I will give you a live parrot, a talking parrot at that," said the deity. She just looked towards the sky and the next moment a beautiful parrot came down flapping its wings and sat down on her hand. She gave it to Ballav. 

"Will it really talk?" asked Ballav. "How dare you doubt the deity of the forest?" asked the parrot. Ballav was very much impressed. He thanked the deity. As soon as Ballav entered his house the parrot spoke out, "Sia, we will be friends and play together, shouldn't we?" Leena and Sia could not believe their own eyes and ears. Parrots can utter some words when taught. But can a parrot speak like a human being? Sia kept playing with the bird till late into the night. In the morning Ballav's wife had a new idea. "You need not go for felling trees anymore. Carry this parrot to the town. Announce loud that you own a miraculous parrot that can talk better than any man! But whoever wishes to talk to it, must pay a fee of a coin," she told her husband. "Oh no, I don't want to part with my parrot!" exclaimed Sia. But Leena pushed the child into a room and locked it. She compelled her husband to carry the parrot to the town. The town was not far from the village. People in the town knew Ballav who sold them chopped wood. They were surprised when he claimed miraculous powers for his parrot, but they could not dismiss his claim as nonsense. Soon the bird became the talk of the town. By noon more than a hundred people had paid Ballav a coin each and had talked to the parrot. It so happened that the king was slowly riding through the town, while his soldiers kept pace with him, jogging. The king's attention went over to the crowd. When he found out what the matter was, he got very angry with Ballav. 

"Does the fellow not know that such a wonderful bird should be with the king? How did he forget to make a gift of it to us?" he shouted. Then he asked his soldiers to whip Ballav seven times and take over the parrot from him. The king's orders were carried out. Ballav returned home feeling quite humiliated. But Leena was not sorry on account of the loss of the parrot. "I have a bright idea," she said. "Go near the sandalwood tree once again and raise your axe as if you were about to cut it down. The deity will ask you not to do so. You can then say that you need money to buy a gold necklace for me as my birthday falls tomorrow." Ballav did not like the idea of lying to the deity, but he had to act according to Leena's wish. The deity asked him not to fell the tree and gave him a gold necklace. It was a costly necklace indeed. Leena was very happy to receive it. Proudly she started showing it to everybody. A burglar who heard about her necklace and saw it from some distance entered her room at night and gave it a sudden pull. The necklace snapped. The burglar escaped with it. Leena was left with pain in her neck. But in the morning Leena had yet another idea.

"Again pretend to fell the sandalwood tree. When the deity would stop you, tell her that you will not spare the tree unless she gives you a sackful of gold! Once we get the gold, we will go over the town, buy a house, and live happily," said Leena. Ballav disliked her idea more than ever. But what can he do? He had to do as advised. And the deity waved her hand in front of Ballav popped a sackful of gold. Ballav was returning home with the gold when he came face to face with two soldiers. "What are you carrying?" they demanded to know. "Wood.. oh no..soil oh no.. grass.. oh no vegetables," answered a nervous Ballav. The soldiers naturally grew suspicious. They opened the bag forcibly and were amazed to see its content. They concluded that Ballav was a robber. They dragged him to the king. The king was no less amazed at the sight of the gold. He said, "I had never known a thief like you. But you were caught just when I needed money. That is why I will award only light punishment to you." Ballav was kept in jail for a year. When he was released, his wife told him, "Go to the forest and pretend to..." "Sorry, the tree is no longer there. I came from jail through the forest. I did not find the tree. Surely, it was uprooted by the last cyclone," he told Leena. Only Ballav knew what the truth was!   

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