There lived two friends in a village. One of them was named Maryushka and another llyanov. They were fast friends.
When they grew up, llyanov became a rich trader. He went to the city. Maryushka stayed back in the village and tilled his land. He was so poor that he rarely had enough to eat. He worked from dawn to evening but the fields yielded little. He always suffered losses while selling his harvest.
One day his wife said, ‘Why don’t you go to your friend llyanov? He is your childhood friend. He will help you or get you a job.'
Maryushka didn't want to beg for work from his friend. But upon the urgings of his wife, he went to the city.
There was a gatekeeper at the gate of the palatial house of llyanov. Maryushka sent in message to his friend. After some wait he was called in and the friends talked of weather. Then Maryushka explained the purpose of his visit. llyanov arrogantly said, ‘Well you can work here as a servant."
Maryushka accepted it. He worked from the dawn to the evening like a labourer. Every night he got a little food and poor wages.
His earning here was no more than what he earned in the village. After only a few days he got fed up and set out back for his village. Only a little distance away he came across a woman. They talked and became friends. She said, "Come' Come with me.’
The woman revealed that her name was Trouble. Maryushka accompanied her. She led him to a gambling house. Maryushka gambled and lost all he had got. He came out and started for his village. The woman again met him on the way. She again charmed him and
he followed her. This time the woman led Maryushka into a drinking bar. He ordered and drank on. He hard no money. He pledged to mortgage his bulls.
Trouble kept after Maryushka. He gradually lost his plough and the fields. Now Maryushka was a pauper. He had nothing. But the woman walked alongside him. Maryushka asked, 'Now that I have nothing. Why do you come after me?"
Trouble said, “You still have a 'wife and children.'
They kept walking. At one spot Maryushka found a big boulder and a deep big hole. Suddenly, Trouble stumbled and fell into the hole.
Maryushka lunged to help trouble out and peeped into the hole. His eyes widened in disbelief. The hole was filled with silver, gold and precious gems. Maryushka descended into the hole. He collected a bundle of gold and gems which he strapped to his body. He said to the woman, 'Help me get out of this hole. Then I will pull you out."
Trouble helped him climb out.
Once out, Maryushka instead of pulling Trouble out rolled the big boulder and closed the mouth of the hole with it. Now Trouble was trapped inside.
Maryushka reached home with the treasure. He built up a beautiful house and lived happily with his wife and children.
Sometime later, Maryushka celebrated his birthday. llyanov was also invited. llyanov said, “Are you mad? Birthday party is a costly affair. Poor people should not waste money."
But anyway, he came to the party. The riches of Maryushka stunned him. His house was like a glittering palace. He felt very jealous.
The birthday feast was great. A lot of big wigs had come to the party. llyanov asked his friend the secret of his sudden riches. Maryushka told him everything including about the place where Trouble was trapped into a hole.
On his way back llyanov went straight to that hole. He also wanted to collect treasure from the hole. So, llyanov removed the boulder off the mouth of the hole. As soon as he did that Trouble popped out of the hole. She was free again.
Trouble took hold of llyanov's hand and led him like a dog on leash. Within a short time llyanov lost everything he had. He became a poor man. Now he could do nothing. He was wealthy but he greeded for more unnecessarily. And he had mistreated his childhood friend in arrogance.
Now he was always worrying, how to get rid of Trouble?