Bibi is busy in her herb garden when the children knock at the door. As soon as they come in, Saba takes them to see Bibi. They were astounded by the huge leaves of the herbs in the little garden. The green plant had quite unusual shine to them.
“Saba dear, could you please bring some more water for the herbs.” said Bibi with a smile.
Saba came back holding a golden bowl which looked quite old. The water inside it had a kind of sparkle to it. There was certainly something different about this bowl!
****The Magic Bowl and Greedy Merchant****
Once upon a time in a faraway land there lived a farmer who had a lot of hens and roosters. Every day he used to take lots of freshly laid eggs to the market and sell them for quite a good price. These eggs were quite special because, without exception, they each had three yolks, which were quite a rich golden colour.
Everyone was puzzled as to how the hens lay so many eggs and the fact that they all had three yolks and such a rich colour. One of the merchants at the market was quite jealous and was determined to find out the secret of these eggs.
One night he quietly sneaked into the farmer’s land and went towards the hen house. Everywhere was pitch-black and he could hardly see anything. From far away he suddenly saw a beam of light shining through the wooden walls of the hen-house. He started walking faster and faster until he finally reached his destination.
He quietly went closer and peeked through the cracks to find out where the light was coming from. He saw the farmer wearing a golden cape and singing in a language that the merchant couldn’t understand! He put his eyes closer to the cracks and looked more carefully to find out what was happening.
He suddenly saw a golden bowl on the ground full of glittering water from which all the hens were drinking. It was as if they were dancing to the tune of the farmer’s song.
When the song finished, the farmer took the bowl out and walked towards his house.
The whole hen-house turned dark and the merchant realised that the light was coming from the golden bowl. Greed and envy took over him and he was determined to get his hands on the magic bowl.
He waited in the dark outside the farmer’s house, until the lights were all out and he was sure the farmer is sleep.
He slowly crept into the little courtyard leading to the entrance of the house. He saw the bowl sitting close to the little pond. His eyes sparkled with joy and happiness at the sight of the precious object. He got closer and closer. As he put his hand on the bowl, his fingers got stuck as if someone was holding them tight. He tried to pull himself free, but couldn’t move. His hand and arm was getting heavier and heavier. He pulled himself away again, but couldn’t move. This is when he realised his body is turning into gold. His greedy eyes were shining even more to see the gold. In fact he was so thrilled that he didn’t realise what trouble he had gotten himself into! Almost half his body had turned into the heavy metal, when he suddenly realised what was happening. He shouted for help and was quite scared. At this time the farmer who had heard the cries of the greedy merchant ran out of his house. He quickly wore his cape and started singing the same song that he had sang to the hens. Luckily for the merchant the song worked and the gold started to melt gradually.
As soon as his arm and hand were freed, he started running as fast as the wind. He was never seen close to the farmer’s house or in the village again.