Mercury and the Woodman

Once upon a time, there was a poor wood cutter. He used to cut wood in the forests and sell it in the market for some money. He was very happy with his life.

One day the wood cutter cutting wood in the forest. It was a hot day and the wood cutter was very tired. His palms were filled with sweat and his ax was slipping. His hand slipped and the Ax flew from his hand straight into a deep pond.

The wood cutter began to cry. He was very poor. He could not buy another ax. He needed an ax to cut wood. He sat near the pool in despair.

Suddenly, the God Mercury appeared before him from within the pool.

Mercury asked, “My child, what has happened? Why are you crying?”

The wood cutter said, “My ax has fallen into the deep pool. Without it, I cannot make any more money to eat.”

Mercury said, “Do not worry, I shall fetch your ax for you.”

Mercury dived into the pond and when he came out, he had a golden ax in his hand. It was stunning and magnificent.

Mercury asked the wood cutter, “Is this your ax?”

The woodcutter replied, “No. That is not my Ax.”

Mercury laid the golden ax on the bank and dived inside again. When he came out, he had a gleaming silver ax in his hand.

Mercury asked the wood cutter, “Is this your ax?”

The woodcutter replied, “No. That is not my Ax.”

Mercury laid the silver ax on the bank and dived inside again. When he came out, he had a wooden ax in his hand.

Mercury asked the wood cutter, “Is this your ax?”

The woodcutter replied, “Yes. That is not my Ax. Thank you so much.”

Mercury said, “I admire your honesty. I shall give you all the three axes.”

Saying so, Mercury gave him all the three axes, dived into the pool and disappeared.

The happy wood cutter narrated this tale to all the wood cutters in the village. They grew jealous and they wanted the gold and silver axes.

They threw their axes into the pond and cried. When Mercury appeared and showed them the golden ax, they said, “Yes, it is my Golden Ax”.

Mercury gave them a hard whack over their head and sent them home. They did not get their wooden ax as well.

 

Moral: “Honesty is the best policy.”

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