Fortune of A Widow :
One day an old widow went to Birbal with her tale of woe. She said, “Sir, I’ve been
tricked. Please do justice.”
“Tricked, by whom?” enquired Birbal.
The widow told Birbal, “Sir, six months ago, I decided to go on the pilgrimage. But I didn’t know what to do with my savings. I wanted to keep them safe. So I went to a sage and said, “I am going on a pilgrimage. I have some copper coins in this bag. They are all my savings. Please keep them with you till I return from my pilgrimage.”
“At this, the sage said, “I am sorry. I am above all materialistic pleasures of life. So I will not touch your money. Dig a hole in any corner of my hut and hide this bag there.”
“I did so and went away reassured. When I returned from my pilgrimage, I went to the sage’s hut to get my bag back. I dug the place where I had hidden the bag. But, unfortunately, I found there nothing. I went to the sage to claim my savings. The sage
said, "I do not know where you had hid your money. I have told you earlier that I don’t touch money. Please dig it out from wherever you had hidden it.”
“I am sure that the sage is a cheat but he is not confessing to the theft. Please, do help me get my copper coins.”
Birbal thought for a while and told about his plan to the old widow. Next day Birbal went to the sage’s hut with a small silver box in his hands and said, “O! Learned one, I have heard much about you and today I have the honour of meeting you. I need your help but I don’t know what to say….”
As Birbal continued, the sage kept eyeing the silver box in his hands, “Oh! What does he have in that small box!” he wondered.
“O learned one,’ Birbal continued, “I know you are no longer concerned with worldly affairs and material goods hold no attraction to you. But, in this world of greedy people, I can only trust you.”
Birbal opened the silver box and said, “Could you keep this box full of precious gems for me? I have to go to Ajmer to meet my brother."
“Oh, son, I will not touch these worldly goods at all. Just dig a hole in any comer of my hut and hide your box in it.”
Just as Birbal was to do so, the sage saw the old widow at the doorstep. He thought, “Oh, this old woman has come to spoil the show. I must return her copper coins. After all, what are they before these precious gems?”
Thinking so, the sage said aloud, “Oh, I am so glad you are here. I think you had forgotten in which corner you had hidden your wealth. Go in the northern corner and look for your bag. Maybe it’s there.”
The old widow found her coins where the sage had hidden them. She went away happily holding her bag of coins close to her heart. Just then Birbal’s servant arrived there and said, “Sir, come home soon. Your brother is here from Ajmer to meet you.”
“Oh, is that so!” Birbal turned to the sage and said, “O learned one, you do not have to
trouble yourself with my wealth. My brother is here so I won’t need to leave the box in your care.”
Then Birbal left with his box and was happy at his successful plan. The sage realized that
his greed had left him with nothing at all. Fortune of a widow was given back to that widow.
Fortune of A Widow
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