Short Story - The Honest Woodcutter
Inder was so poor that he owned nothing except the axe he needed to earn his living as a woodcutter. One day, by a stroke of ill fortune, while he was working on the bank of a river, the blade of his axe flew off the handle and sank into the river. Poor Inder was desperately unhappy. Now how could he cut the wood which had always earned him the little food that he ate?
His heartfelt sighs were overheard by a strange, old man. As soon as he was told what had happened, the old man dived into the river and re-emerged a few moments later holding up a golden hatchet.
‘Is this the one you lost?’ he asked.
‘No, that’s not my hatchet,’ Inder replied.
The old man dived into the water again and came up holding silver hatchet.
‘No, that’s not mine either,’ the woodcutter confirmed.
On the third occasion, the old man came out holding Inder’s blade.
‘Yes, that’s mine!’ laughed the happy woodcutter.
‘Take it. You owe me nothing for the help I have given you. Rather, since you have shown yourself to be neither greedy nor dishonest, you deserve to be rewarded. You can also keep both the golden and the silver axes!’