55. The Brahmin and the Snake

The Brahmin and the Snake

There lived a poor Brahmin in a village. His name was Haridatta. He had a small farm to till, but in spite of all his hard work nothing grew in his farm.

Once, after finishing his work in the farm he felt so much tired that he fell asleep under a tree. When he woke up, he saw a snake sitting outside a hole at a little distance from him. Seeing the Brahmin the snake hissed loudly. The Brahmin became frightened.

He thought to himself: ‘It must be lord cobra who is highly annoyed with me, because I never offered him milk. This might also be the reason, why nothing grows in my farm. So, I must offer milk to lord cobra and pray to him.’

The Brahmin offered a bowl of milk to lord cobra and prayed to him for wealth and happiness.

After finishing the milk, lord cobra said to the Brahmin, “I’m pleased with you. Bring a bowl of milk for me daily.” Then he crawled back into his hole.

When the Brahmin went to collect the empty bowl of milk, he was astonished to find a gold coin lying in it. The Brahmin became very happy to get that gold coin. He thought it to be a blessing from lord cobra. Thus, he offered a bowl of milk everyday to lord cobra and each day he collected a gold coin in return from the bowl. In this way, the Brahmin collected hundreds of gold coins. His barren field began yielding a lot of crops. His days had changed.

Soon the Brahmin became a rich man. He started a big business in the neighbouring town. But he continued tilling his farm, as before.

Once the Brahmin had to go to a distant town for purchasing seeds of fruit and vegetables. He told his son to look after lord cobra and offer him a bowl of milk everyday.

The Brahmin’s son offered a bowl of milk to lord cobra everyday as instructed by his father. Lord cobra drank the milk and soon thereafter, a gold coin appeared in the bowl, as usual.

One day, the son of the Brahmin thought to himself: ‘There must be a lot of gold coins in the stomach of lord cobra,’ what a fool my father was to collect only one coin a day.’

The next day he kept a bowl of milk outside lord cobra’s hole and waited at a distance with an axe in his hand.

As soon as lord cobra came out of his hole to drink the milk, the son of the Brahmin cut off the neck of lord cobra with his axe.

Lord Cobra died. The son of the Brahmin slit the stomach of lord cobra, but he could not find any gold coin inside it.

After a few days, when the Brahmin returned home, he found lord cobra dead. He said to his son, “Oh! my foolish son, why did you do this? You killed lord cobra. Now we won’t get even a single gold coin. It is better, you get out of my sight.

Moral:– Unthoughtful actions have no value.

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