Diamond Cuts Diamond (Thai) – Elementary Level
Once upon a time there was a poor man who decided to visit a sick family member. The sick person lived in another city. It would take him a whole day to walk there, so his wife gave him some cooked rice to eat on the way. His family was very poor. They did not have enough money for him to take curry or soup to eat with the rice.
The poor man happened to walk past the house of a rich man whose cook was preparing lunch. She was cooking curry, which smelled so nice that it made the man feel hungry. He sat under a tree and took out his rice to eat. As he was eating he could still smell the delicious curry. He imagined that he was eating his rice with the curry. He surprised himself by being able to finish all the rice that his wife had given him. Normally it was very difficult for him to eat so much rice without having curry or soup to go with it.
After finishing, he went to the kitchen of the rich man to ask for a drink of water. While he was there, he said to the cook that she must surely be one of the best cooks in the land. He explained how he had been able eat all his rice without curry or soup because of the delicious smell of her curry. He thanked her and started walking again.
The cook was very pleased to hear this. She smiled and took the curry and some rice to the rich man. To her surprise, he tested the curry and said that it had no taste. The cook was scared that she might have done something wrong. She told him that all the curry taste must have been used up by a poor man who had just walked past the house. She then explained what the poor man had said to her.
The rich man was very greedy and became angry when he heard this. He sent some men to bring the poor man back to his house. In a soft, friendly voice he asked the poor man to tell him what he had said to his cook.
The poor man explained how he had said to her that she must be one of the best cooks in the land. He told how he had enjoyed the delicious smell of the curry so much that he was able to eat all of his own rice.
“Aha!” the rich man said. “Then you must give me something. You have taken all the smell of my curry and left no taste for me.”
The poor man only had one small coin with him. He said that he could not give this up. He still had a long way to travel and might have to use it in a time of need.
The rich man took the poor man to the village chief, who had the power to make the him pay for the smell. After being told what had happened, the village chief told one of his men to bring a bowl of water. He then asked the poor man how much money he had. The poor man explained that he was so poor that he only had the one coin to be used while travelling. The village chief told the poor man to put this coin in the bowl of water.
As he did this the greedy rich man looked on happily. He thought that the chief was going to make the poor man give him the coin. “Thank you very much,” he said to the chief with a big smile. “You have made a good decision. That is why all the people have great respect for you.” The rich man reached out his hand to take the coin out of the bowl of water. However, the village chief suddenly picked up the bowl and gave the coin back to the poor man.
“All is now well!” said the chief to the rich man. “This man took away the delicious smell of your curry. Now you can take the water of his money in payment for the smell. But you may take only the water. You can not take the bowl because it is mine.”
The rich man’s face suddenly turned white.