Diamond Cuts Diamond – Thai Folktale
Once upon a time there was a poor man who travelled to visit his sick relative in another city. The distance was a one-day walk, so his wife gave him a lump of rice to eat on the way. As his family was so poor, so he could not afford to have curry or soup to eat with the rice.
The poor man happened to walk past the house of the millionaire whose cook was preparing curry for him. The smell of the curry was so nice that it made the man feel hungry immediately. He then sat under a tree and took out his rice to eat while taking a deep smell of the curry. He imagined that he was eating rice with the curry. The smell of the curry from the kitchen stimulated him to eat all the rice. Normally, it was very difficult for him to swallow rice without curry or soup.
After finishing his meal, he went to the kitchen of the millionaire to ask for water to drink from the cook. Before taking leave, he praised the female cook that she was surely a good cook as the curry produced a very delicious smell. He told her that he could eat all the rice without curry or soup because the smell of her curry helped him to eat it all. He thanked her and took leave. The cook was very pleased to hear it.
The cook smiled and then took the curry to serve her master. To her surprise, the millionaire tested the curry and complained that today his cook had prepared the curry poorly for him. The cook was afraid of her guilt, so she told him that the curry became tasteless because its smell had just been stolen by the poor man who happened to walk past this way. The poor man ate his rice only with the smell of curry spreading out from our kitchen.
The stingy millionaire was very angry to hear this. He told his servants to bring the poor man to meet him and enquired about the whole story. The innocent man admitted that he had taken away the delicious smell of that curry without permission. The millionaire then demanded compensation from the poor man who was reluctant to pay as he had only one small coin in his possession. He still had to travel a long way to visit his sick relative. He might have to use it at the time of need.
The millionaire arrested him and took him to be investigated by the village chief. After being told the whole story, the village chief instructed his servant to bring a bowl of water. He then asked the poor man how much money he had. The poor man told him frankly that he was so poor, so he could manage to have only one coin to be used while travelling alone.
The village chief then told the poor man to put his only coin in the bowl of water. While the stingy millionaire was very happy as he thought that he would get the coin in exchange for the smell of his curry.
“Thank you very much Village Chief. You have given a fair judgement. That’s why all people have great respect for you” , said the millionaire with a broad smile. The millionaire quickly stretched his hand to pick up the coin from the bowl of water, but the village chief suddenly took back the bowl of water and told the poor man to take his coin back.
“Alright! This man took away a delicious smell of your curry, now you can take the water of money from him in exchange for your loss. But you are allowed to take only the water. Don’t take the bowl because it belongs to me,” said the village chief to the millionaire whose face suddenly turned pale.
The morale is: Don’t be mean to others. Don’t own all benefit on your own and share with everyone.