The Fruits of Labour

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There once lived a rich businessman who had a lazy and fun-loving son. He hated hard work, and enjoyed relaxing and playing all day long. But the businessman wanted his son to be hard-working and responsible. He wanted him to realise the value of labour and effort. He didn't want his son to be lazy.

One day he called his son and said, "Today, I want you to go out and earn something. If you don't, then you won't have your meals tonight."

The boy was callous and cunning, and not used to any kind of work, This demand by his father scared him and be went crying straight to his mother. Her heart melted at the sight of tears in her son's eyes. She grew restless. In a bid to help him she gave him a gold coin.

In the evening when the father asked his son what he had earned, the son promptly presented turn with the gold coin, thinking that the father would think that the boy had earned the money from doing some work. But the father asked the boy to throw the gold com into a well So the son did as he was told.

The father was a man of wisdom and experience and guessed that the coin was given to him by the boy's mother,

The next day, he sent his wife to her parent's town and asked his son to go and earn something with the threat of being denied the night meals if he failed. This time he went crying to his sister who sympathised with him and gave him a rupee out of her own savings.

When his father asked him what he had earned, the boy showed the money that his sister had given him. The father again asked him to throw it in a well- The son did it quite readily.

Again the father's wisdom told him that the coin was not earned by his son. He then sent his daughter to her in-laws house. He again asked his son to go out and earn with the threat that he shall not have anything for dinner that night,

But this time since there was no one to help him out the son was forced to go to the market in search of work. One of the shopkeepers there told him that he would pay him two rupees if he arried his trunk to his house. The rich man's son could not refuse and was drenched in swear by the time he finished the job. His feet were trembling and his neck and back were aching. There were even rashes on his back,

As he returned home and produced the two rupee note before his father and was asked to throw it into the well, the horrified son almost cried out He could not imagine throwing away his hard-earned money like this. Sobbing, he said, "Babal My entire body is aching. My back has rashes and you are asking me to throw this money into the well?"

At this the old man smiled. He told him that a person feels the pain only when the fruits of hard labour are wasted. On earlier two occasions he was helped by his mother and sister and therefore had no pain in throwing the coins into the well

The son had by then realised the value of hard work- He vowed never to be lazy and would look after his father's wealth. The father handed the keys of his shop over to the son and promised to guide and help him, the rest of his life.


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