Reshaping Destiny

Reshaping Destiny :

As you walk on your way to school, you find a small purse with five five-hundred rupee notes in it. The owner's name and address are written in the purse. What would you do? Would you return the purse or not?

Here is a story of a man who found himself in such a situation. Read the story with your friend and find out what he did.

Once there was a woodcutter. He had a small family - his wife and two daughters, Kanu and Manu. He sent his daughters to school. He used to say, “I could not study, but I want my daughters to study and have a good future."

The woodcutter's ambition was great but not his luck, for he never had enough money for his family. However hard he tried, he was hardly able to make ends meet. At times, he felt very unhappy but he never gave up hope.

Though he was poor, he had a heart of gold. One day, a sadhu came to his house. The woodcutter gave the sadhu food to eat. The sadhu blessed him and said, "I am pleased with you, but I cannot change your destiny. You will never have any money, and you will die in poverty, no matter how hard you try. If you become rich, you'll have a short life."

One day, when the woodcutter was returning from the forest with a load of wood on his head, he found a big wooden box. It was full of gold coins. There was so much money in it that he could live in comfort without working for the rest of his life. He was overjoyed to see the money. The very moment when he was thinking about becoming rich with the wealth in the wooden box, he recalled what the sadhu had told him. All his joy of finding the gold disappeared. He left the box and walked away.

Hardly had he walked a few steps ahead than he thought that the box would be of no use to anyone, as it was lying hidden in the forest. If he took it, he could do so much with it, even if he had to die soon afterwards! So he went back, left the wood in the forest, picked up the box and carried it home.

On his way, he met the grocer of his village. The grocer asked, "What is in the box? Did you not bring any wood today?" The woodcutter replied, "The box is full of gold coins. I found it in the forest. As I had to carry it, I left the wood in the forest." The grocer laughed loudly. What the woodcutter said was just not possible!

The woodcutter was very confused. He did not understand what made the grocer laugh that way. So he left hurriedly.

Now, it so happened that whoever met him on his way, asked him the same question, and they all found his reply funny. None of them believed him.

When he reached home with the box, his wife asked him about it. He told her the whole story and about his plan of using the money for their family. His wife said that they should not use the gold coins for themselves as the money did not belong to them. So they kept the box in the corner of their room. The family never gave in to the attraction of easy money.

The woodcutter did not give up his occupation. He earned his money by cutting wood and selling it in the market as usual. Over the years, his hard work paid off. He became rich and enjoyed all the comforts in life. His daughters had a good education and got good jobs. It was a surprise for all of them that the sadhu's forecast had not come true. The woodcutter lived a long, happy and healthy life. As for the gold coins in the box, he spent the money on those who needed it in the village.

Adapted from Tannu Books (Children Book Division)

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