The Mice That Ate The Iron.
One day, after work, Naduk went to visit his friend Bondu who welcomed him warmly. They talked for long. As he was about to leave, Naduk asked Bondu to return his beam.
Once there was a rich merchant called Naduk. Time passed, and his business turned for the worse. Soon it was so bad that he not only lost all his money but also got into debt. He decided to leave the city and find his fortune in a new place. He sold off all his possessions to pay off his debts.
All that he was left with was a heavy iron beam. Before leaving his town, Naduk went to see his good friend, Bondu. He requested him to keep the beam with him till he returned. “Of course, my friend! I will keep the beam safe for you”, said Bondu. Naduk thanked him and left. He traveled far and wide for many years and worked very hard. He started trading in spices and soon became rich again. He returned to his town, bought a new house, and opened a very large shop. Bondu had also heard that Naduk is back in town and has started a new business with the money that he had earned in all these years.
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One day, after work, Naduk went to visit his friend Bondu who welcomed him warmly. They talked for a long. As he was about to leave, Naduk asked Bondu to return his beam. Bondu had no intention of returning it as he knew that, when sold, it would fetch him a good price. He put on a sad face and said, “Something bad has happened. I had kept the beam safely in my storeroom, but the mice have eaten it. I’m very sorry.” Naduk understood what was going on in Bondu’s mind. “Please don’t feel sorry. It is not your fault that the mice ate the iron beam.”, said Naduk. Bondu was pleased to see that Naduk had fallen for the lie. “How stupid can one be”, thought Bondu.
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Meanwhile, Naduk asked Bondu to send his son home with him so that he could hand over the gifts that he had brought for him. Bondu immediately asked his son Pindu to go with Naduk and fetch the gifts. Naduk took the boy home and locked him in the cellar of his house. When Pindu did not return by evening, his father got worried and came to ask about the whereabouts of his son.
Naduk said, “Oh! it was so unfortunate. While we were coming to my house, a hawk swooped down and carried the boy off. I followed the hawk for some time but could not keep pace. I am sorry my friend”. On hearing this, Bondu became furious. He accused Naduk of lying. He insisted that a hawk could not carry off a fifteen-year-old boy.
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A quarrel started and they both went to court. “Your Honour, I had sent my son with this man to fetch some gifts from his house. But my son has not returned since. This man has stolen my son”, cried Bondu. The magistrate ordered Naduk to return the boy to his father. But Naduk insisted that a hawk carried off the boy. The magistrate asked him how it was possible.
To this Naduk replied, “If mice can eat up an iron beam, surely a hawk can carry off a boy!”. The magistrate understood that there was more to it than meets the eye here. He asked Naduk to explain everything in detail. Naduk then narrated the entire story. Everyone in the courtroom had a good laugh. The magistrate ordered Bondu to return the iron beam to Naduk and Naduk to return Bondu’s son.
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