It happened a long long time ago. There was a poor farmer in a village. He had a small field in which he grew vegetables and hardly made both ends meet. It was the family's only source of income.
The farmer was always short of money. He was of very jealous nature. So, he was not on good terms with any of his neighbours or relatives.
He was growing old. Labouring in the field was becoming difficult for him. He had no bulls for ploughing the field. For irrigation he was dependent on rains. There was no well nearby for him to draw water from for watering the field.
One day, the farmer was returning home dead tired when he met an old man with a white beard. The old man spoke, "What is the matter? You look very sad and washed out."
The farmer said, 'How to tell you about my miseries, old sir? I am very poor. Had I got just one bull, I could have ploughed, sowed and irrigated my field easily."
The old man asked, 'If you get one bull, what exactly will you do?’
“The first thing I will do is to be happy. My joy will know no bounds. My field work will become very easy. But where shall I get the bull from?" the farmer sighed.
“I give you a bull right away. Here take this bull home. When you reach home send your neighbour to me as well,' the old man said.
The farmer said, “I am very happy that you are giving me a bull. But sir, why do you want to meet my neighbour?’
The old man spoke, “Tell your neighbour that he can take two bulls from me."
It angered the farmer. Jealousy made him turn green. He said dryly, ‘You don’t know that my neighbour has everything. If you want to give him two bulls then I won't like any bull from you."
The old man pulled the bull towards him and spoke in a pained voice. "Do you know what your problem is? It is not poverty but jealousy. Had you been content with what you had got instead of being jealous with your neighbours and relatives, you would have been a happy man."
The old man disappeared into the jungle. And the farmer brooded over the jealous nature of the man.
A bull, the farmer had always been praying for was granted but his jealous mind lost it meaninglessly.