The Clever Farmer – Short Stories

Long ago in a village in Russia there was an inn where all the farmers would gather in the evening. After a hard day’s work they would sit down relaxing and taking among themselves. One evening a trader entered in the inn. Immediately he started boasting to the farmers. “I am a very close friend of the village chieftain. He likes me so much that he makes me sit next to him every day for lunch.” The farmers did not like his boasting.

Amongst the farmers gathered there that evening, was a very poor farmer. He stood up and challenged the trader. “What is so great about having a lunch with the chieftain? Even I can do that”. Hearing this the trader became very angry.

“What did you say? Our chieftain does not speak to ordinary people like you. Let alone have lunch with them. Moreover you are a poor farmer. Do you think it is possible?” asked the trader. The farmer did not hesitate at all. He immediately replied “You just wait and see and I shall show you. In case I fail to do so, I shall serve you as a bonded labourer for three years.” The other farmers cheered him loudly. The trader then said “Alright, if you do have lunch with the chieftain, I shall give you two horses and a bullock. All those present here today shall be our witnesses.”

The next day the poor farmer went to the chieftain’s house.Before the chieftain could ask his reason for coming the farmer began to speak. “Sir, I wish to ask you something. Please tell me softly. How much would it cost me to have my cap embroidered in gold?”

Hearing the word gold, the chieftain pricked up his ears. He thought that this stranger must be very rich. If looked after well, he would probably rewarded with some gold. So he called out to his servants. When they came running he told them “One of you go and bring a cold drink for my friend here. The rest of you make arrangements to prepare a meal fit for a king.” The chieftain bade the farmer to sit next to him.He offered him a cold drink and then they sat down side by side for lunch together. After a splendid meal, the chieftain plied him with fruits and asked the farmer. “Now my good man, how much of gold do you have? Let me see. If you give me a bar, I shall give you two bars of silver in return.”

The farmer said with a puzzled look. “But sir, I do not have any gold with me. I only asked you how much money I would need to get a gold lace on my cap.”

On hearing this the chieftain became very angry .He had spent his time and entertained a fool for nothing at all. “You idiot! Get out of my sight.” The farmer only laughed and replied “I am not a fool my lord. I have not only had a grand feast but have also earned two horses and a bullock for it.”

The trader gave the poor farmer two horses and a bullock as he had promised and from that day onwards stopped his boasting.

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Cleverness Pays More – Short Stories

Once upon a time there were two friends John and Tom. Both decided to the King to seek some work. The King put them in charge of his garden. Everyday John and Tom had to water the plants, pull out the weeds, put the manure in the beds and look after the flowers and fruits in the garden. The King observing both the friends. After two months the King increased the salary of Tom. Seeing this John became displeased and was jealous of Tom. He felt that since both were doing the same work, they should be paid the same wages. But he did not know how to tell the King.

One day the King was taking a walk in the garden. Both John and Tom were working. Seeing nobody else was with the king. John made up his mind to speak to the King. He went up to the king and bowed low. “Your majesty, I too worked as hard as Tom. Yet you have not increased my wages. Please tell me why I paid less,” he said boldly.

At that moment, the sound of a music band could be heard nearby.”Go and find out what that noise is” the King told John. Soon he returned saying that a wedding procession was going in the street. The King asked “Whose wedding is it?” John ran out again. Presently he came back and replied “the Zamindar’s son is getting married.”

“To whom is he getting married?” was the King’s next question. John went again and came back panting as the procession had progressed quite a bit. “My Lord, the Head Priest’s daughter is being wedded to the Zamindar’s son” he said.

The King thanked John and then called Tom who was watering the plants on the other side of the garden. “Go and find out what that noise is” The King made the same enquiry to Tom. John was puzzled at the King’s behaviour.

Soon Tom returned and told the King “Your Majesty, that is a wedding procession. The Zamindar’s son is getting married to the Head Priest’s daughter.” He then went to water the plants. The King turned to John and said “Well, now do you understand why Tom is being paid more than you? To answer my question you had to go three times. Tom went only once and gave me all information I required and went back to his work again.”   John hung his head in shame. He could not find any words. He realized his mistake and decided to take more interest in his work.

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