Morale of the story – HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY.
Two friends Suresh and Girish lived in a village. While Suresh was to true to his friend on the other side Girish was a dishonest man. He thought that if he could get Suresh to start some business with him, he could cheat him of his share and become a rich man. With this evil thought he went to Suresh and said, “Friend, I have an idea. There is nothing much left for us in this town, let’s go into another town and make some money.” Suresh agreed to his proposal and they set off towards the nearest town.
With luck on their side, they soon made a lot of money and were on their way back home. As they were passing through a jungle Girish asked his friend to halt and uttered,“A thought just struck me that it is not safe to take all the money back with us. Let’s take only a small sum and bury the rest here.” Suresh agreed. So the two friends set to work, they dug a big pit in the ground and soon money was safely tucked away.
“Now there is no fear of thieves or burglars,” exclaimed Girish but in his mind he had already decided that he would come back and collect it all. They soon reached home.
That night Girish returned quietly to the place where money was buried and took it all for himself. The next day he went to Suresh’s house. “Friend,” cried Girish, “ I have finished all my money. Let’s go and fetch some more.” Suresh was surprised that his friend had spent it all so soon. But being a good friend, he agreed. So off they went.
But when they dug up the pit, the pot of money was nowhere to be seen. Girish was quick to place the blame on his honest friend. “You thief you call yourself my friend. Return the money or I’ll take you to the judge.” Suresh was shocked at the accusation. “I am an honest man. How could you suspect me?” he cried.
Quarreling all the way, they went to a judge. Judge inquired both of them and Girish began to narrate his false stories to the judge. “This man has stolen my money. If you don’t believe me then let’s go and ask the forest god, he is my witness. He will speak the truth.” So it was decided by the judge to visit forest God the following day. Hearing this Girish went straight home to his father and said, “Father, I need your help, I have stolen Suresh’s money. You will have to do as I say to save me.” His father agreed.
Next morning Suresh, Girish, the judge and village elders went to the tree where money had been buried. Girish cried confidently, “O tree god. Tell us who the thief is!” Girish’s father, who was hidden in the hollow of that tree, said, “SURESH IS THE THIEF.” Everyone was stunned to hear forest god speak. While the others were busy discussing the case, Suresh was busy collecting dried leaves and twigs. He placed them under the hollow of that tree and set them on fire. As the tree started to burn, Girish’s father came out of that tree crying that it had been his son’s fault. He asked me to support him in his ill doing. Judge understood everything and was very angry. He asked Girish to return Suresh’s share to him and punished Girish for stealing and telling a lie.