Moral Story For Kids - Fruit of Labour

 Fruit Of Labour

In a certain country, there was a poor scholar. His entire property consisted of a small cottage and a small backyard. He maintained himself and his wife by going out and begging rice, just enough for both of them. The wife cooked the rice and prepared some vegetables that grew in the yard. Things went on like this until the scholar became too feeble with age to go out begging. His wife, one day, said to him, "You never thought of the morrow. They say that the king is a great helper of the poor. If you see him he will be able to eradicate our poverty." So the scholar went to see the king. "What can I do for you?" the king asked him. "Sir," The scholar replied, "You possess endless wealth, but I cannot ask for a share in it. But I can accept from you the fruit of your own labours, whether it is much or little." The king was surprised at his request. He had plenty of wealth but he hadn't earned a pie of it by his own labour. If he wanted to give the scholar anything, he had to earn it first. So he told the scholar to see him the next evening. The scholar took leave of the king and went away. The next morning, the king dressed himself as a working man and started out in search of work. In the artisan quarter, he saw a potter about to start working. "Brother," the king said to him, "can you give me work?"

"That I can," said the potter. "You can prepare the clay while I attend to the wheel. Work till evening and you shall have four silver coins." The king agreed. But he was not accustomed to labour. His feet ached intolerably while he trod the clay. Soon he was so tired that he had to stop working to regain his breath. "You are unfit for work, my man!" said the potter. "Since I promised you I am giving you the four coins. I warn you, you shall never get work from me again." In the evening the scholar went to see the king. The king gave him the four coins and said, "This was all I could earn with my effort." "O King," replied the scholar, "I do not ask for more." He blessed the king and took leave of him. Meanwhile, the scholar's wife was imagining the king's gifts arriving at her house in numberless carts. She was sorely disappointed to see her husband return without anything. "What happened?" she asked the scholar. "Did the king postpone the gift again?" "No," said the scholar, "I got the gift. Here are the four coins." He put the coins in his wife's hand. The wife was both disappointed and fiercely angry. "You go to the king himself and this is all you bring! Are you not ashamed to accept this pittance from him?" She flung the coins into the yard indignantly. It was already too dark to search for the coins and the scholar thought of finding them the next morning.

But when he looked for them the next day he could not find them. He saw only four strange plants instead. In a very short time, these plants grew up into trees and even bore fruit. The scholar did not know what fruit they were or what they were good for. His wife cut one of them to see how it tasted, and she was stunned to see lots of pearls inside it. The poor couple was simply amazed. When the pearls were shown to the merchant and the goldsmith they said they were rare pearls of very high value. At last, the couple was rid of poverty. The four trees went on bearing so many fruits that the scholar could distribute the pearls to all the persons in the village. Soon the king came to hear about the riches of the scholar. He could never understand how this scholar could make gifts of pearls to everyone in the village. To clear his doubt, the king one day came to see the scholar in his house. "Sir," the scholar said to the king, "I never spent the four coins you had given me. My wife got angry with me for having brought them and threw them in the yard. The next day I could not find the coins, but I found these strange trees. These trees have made me rich." The king realized how precious the fruit of labour was. That very day he proclaimed that everyone in his kingdom should live by the fruit of their own labour and he himself did likewise.   

For More Bedtime Stories  Click Here