There once was a very poor fisherman. He lived in a very small house with his wife and five children. They were very poor. They never had enough food on the table. One day, the fisherman went to the lake to catch some dinner. But he could not catch any fish. He came home that night and he said to his wife, “I don’t know what we will feed our children today.”
The next day, the fisherman woke up early and went to the lake again. He said, “I am not going home until I bring back a net full of fish.” Suddenly, he caught something. It was very heavy. When he pulled it out of the water, it was a large shiny stone. He thought, “I will bring it home and let my children play with it.”
Now, the fisherman’s brother, who also lived in the village, was very rich. So the fisherman, not having any food for his children, sent one of them to ask his brother for some food. When they arrived at his house, the child said, “Please sir, can we have some food?” The fisherman’s brother looked at the child and said, “No! Go home!” So the child went home hungry.
The fisherman showed the shiny stone to his wife. His wife said, “This stone could be very valuable. I will take it tomorrow and show it to the king. Maybe he will give us something for it.”
So the next day, the wife put the stone in her bag and took it to the King.
“My King!” she said. “How much will you give me for this shiny stone?”
The King looked at the stone and liked it immediately. He said, “I will give you one bag of gold for that stone.”
The wife was so surprised, she couldn’t say anything. So she shook her head because she couldn’t believe it. The King, noticing that she was shaking her head, took it as a no. So he said, “Ok, two bags of gold!” The wife shook her head again in disbelief and the King said, “Alright, three bags of gold for your stone.” The woman took the three bags of gold home, and showed them to her husband. The fisherman said, “We must send one of our children to my brother to borrow the scales so we can weigh how much gold is in the bags.”
When the brother heard, he wanted to come and see for himself. “How did get all this gold?” he asked.
The fisherman made up a story and said, “We collected a sackful of cats from the village and gave them to the King. They have a mouse plague in the castle. He gave us the gold in return.”
Hearing this, the brother left and immediately bought all the cats in the village, put them into bags, and brought them before the King. “What do you have there?” asked the King. The brother opened the sack, and all the cats jumped out. The cats destroyed everything in the castle, including expensive ornaments and vases. Seeing this, the King placed the brother of the fisherman in the dungeon.
From that day forth, the fisherman and his family helped others in need, fed the hungry, and took care of their children. And they lived happily ever after.
(I have received verbal permission to publish this by the original writer without crediting him)
(Image by pixabay)