The Return of Balance
Posted On : 16 Apr 2007 Total Views : 4470 Previous | Next

Jeernadhana was the son of a rich merchant. But he had lost all his wealth. He thought he should go abroad. Deciding to go abroad to seek his fortune, he mortgaged with a local merchant the 1000-pound balance his ancestors had left behind.

He went abroad with the money the merchant gave him and after several years came home and asked the merchant to return him the balance. The merchant said, "O my, where is the balance? The rats have gnawed at it for food."

Jeernadhana replied without emotion, "I cannot blame you for what the rats have done. The world is like that. Nothing really is permanent. Any way, I am going to the river to take the purificatory bath. Please send with me your son Dhanadeva to look after my needs."

Afraid that Jeernadeva would accuse him of theft, the merchant called his son and told him, "Son, your uncle is going to the river for a bath. You accompany him taking with you all the things he needs to take his bath."

The merchant's son followed Jeernadeva to the river. After taking bath, he led the boy into a nearby cave and, pushing the boy inside, closed it with a huge boulder. When Jeernadeva returned from the river, the merchant asked him, "O honoured guest, didn't you bring back my son? Where is he? Please tell me."

Jeernadeva told him, "A kite has carried away your boy. There was nothing I could do."

"You cheat, is this possible? How can a kite carry away a boy? Bring my boy back. Otherwise, I will go to the king and complain."

"Yes, just as a kite cannot carry away a boy, rats also cannot eat away heavy iron balance. If you want your boy, give me back my balance," said Jeernadeva.

Both of them took the dispute to the king's court. The merchant complained to the judges that Jeernadeva had kidnapped his child. The judges ordered him to return the boy to the merchant. Jeernadeva told the judges the entire story. Thereupon, the judges ordered Jeernadeva to return the boy and the merchant to give back the balance to Jeernadeva.

Tit for tat.

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