Man Loses Gift To Greed

in Stories

In the winter of 2003, it was snowing heavily in the plains of Elefh.

Musa, a young man, was walking down the street as it snowed.

Illustration Asloub Tariq

Along the way, he saw an old woman who had kept a sack containing food by her side.

The sack was too heavy for her to carry.

Let me carry it for you,” Musa told the woman.

She smiled at him as he lifted the sack. They walked through the snow and the woman gingerly followed Musa, making sure she did not slip.

The old woman guided Musa to her home, which was not so far. He placed the sack at the door of her house and left.

Thank you,” said the woman.

Illustration Neha Kumari

Two days later when Musa walked through the same street, he saw the sack at the same spot but he did not find the woman.

He picked up the sack and carried it to the woman’s house once again. As he arrived at the door, he knocked.

Come in,” said the woman.

Musa went into the house. There the old woman was lying on her bed.

I found your sack. Here it is,” he told the woman.

Why didn’t you come to get it?” he asked the woman.

She said: “I am sick. I could not go out of the house to fetch it.”

Musa then placed the sack on a shelf and turned to leave.

Thank you again,” said the woman. “You are a kind man. Will you accept a gift from me?”

The woman then took out a notebook and a pencil from under her pillow and gave it to Musa.

Anything you draw on this notebook with this pencil will become real, but only until it is meant for good or to help others,” she told Musa.

Now, you must leave.”

To test the gift, Musa drew a cup of water to feed a pigeon. The picture immediately came to life.

Musa understood the value of the gift.

Seasons passed but Musa did not see the woman or her sack. He kept using the gift for good.

Summer passed and then came autumn. Musa had to travel to a far-off village for work. There he met a rich landlord, who lived in a mansion bigger than any Musa had ever seen. He had horses, horsecarts, housekeepers and helpers.

Outside the mansion, he saw a hungry dog.

Seeing the riches which the landlord enjoyed, Musa ignored the dog and felt a desire to acquire wealth.

He drew on his notebook a house bigger than the mansion, horses, horsecarts and a heap of gold coins.

As always, his drawing sprung to life and he had all that he had desired.

Musa rushed forward to step into his mansion. But as soon as his feet touched its surface, everything he had drawn disappeared, reminding him of the woman’s word.

Sad, Musa went back to see the woman. As he reached her house, he saw the woman standing by the window, smiling.

I know what has happened,” she said.

When you were kind, you earned the gift. When you gave up your kindness to become someone else, you lost the gift.”

Now, you may leave.”

Musa understood what he had lost. He could not dare to ask any questions. Shamefaced, he quietly left the place.

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