The Old Man and His Blind Sons



The Old Man and His Blind Sons :



Once upon a time an old man went to King Kashyap. He took with him his two sons who were blind. He said, “O King, I have fallen into bad days and need a loan to start afresh. If you will lend me five hundred gold coins, I will leave both my sons with you. When I return I will repay your loan and take back my sons.”

The king asked in reply, "Of what use will your two blind sons be?”

To this the old man replied, “The elder son is an excellent judge of horses. The younger brother is excellent at valuing jewels and precious stones. They can touch and smell and arrive at accurate judgements.”

The king gave the old man the money that he had asked for.

One day a merchant came to the king with a beautiful horse. The king called the elder of the blind brothers and asked him to check the horse out. The blind boy walked all around the horse, touching the animal in various places. He even smelt the horse much to the surprise of the merchant and the onlookers.

Then he said, “The horse is a fine animal and very fast. But he is not stable and will throw the rider down at the slightest provocation.”

The king asked an expert rider to ride the horse. As the rider rode the horse, he dug his spurs into the horse’s sides. The horse reared up and threw the rider down and kicked him. The king on seeing this realised that the blind brother was right. He decided not to buy the horse.

Yet again, a reputed jeweller came to the king with a large ruby. The king called the younger brother. He held the ruby in his hands and felt its cuts.

Then he turned to the king and said, “Your majesty, the ruby will bring bad luck with it. In every house it has entered, there has been a death. Even the jeweller has just lost a brother.”

On hearing him, the jeweller accepted and went his way. After some days the old man returned with the money. The king asked him, “What are you good at?”

To this the old man said, “I am good at judging a man’s background and character.”

The king then asked, “Tell me something about myself.”

The old man’s powers had told him that the king’s ancestors had been butchers. So they had no qualms of putting people to death. The old man told the king, “You are a butcher at heart.”

The king was furious and ordered that the old man and his sons be beheaded.”

Betal said, “Tell me O King Vikram, who was responsible for the death of the old man and his children?”

King Vikram answered, “The king was not responsible for his actions. He acted because of his background. On the other hand, the old man was foolish to reveal to the king his character so bluntly. So it was the old man’s foolishness that caused their death.”

Betal was delighted with his answer. But since king Vikram had spoken, he again took off and went back to the banyan tree. King Vikram followed him back to the tree to resume his task.

The Old Man and His Blind Sons



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