The father-in-law loses his workerA grocery shop owner hired his son-in-law to work for him. This relative used to work hard, but he was quite greedy. All day long he would take food from the shelves and eat it. His father-in-law used to say, “I am giving you a proper salary and I am prepared to give you some food, but do not steal food from me! Because of your appetite, I am not able to make any profit.”
“I am not stealing,” the son-in-law objected. “I am your family member, your son-in-law, and I am hungry, so I am eating just to satisfy my appetite. Why should you deny me food?”
The poor father-in-law did not know what to do, so he went to see the village sage. This sage was said to possess tremendous occult power. After he had heard the whole story, the sage said, “I will give you a special kind of medicine. If you give the medicine to your son-in-law secretly, he will not feel hunger at all.”
The shop owner asked, “How much money are you asking for your fee?”
“You have to give me 200 rupees,” answered the sage.
The shop owner said, “This treatment is very expensive, but I know that if my son-in-law continues like this, he will ruin me. So the best thing is for me to pay you.”
The shop owner returned home with the medicine, which he was supposed to add to his son-in-law’s meal. The next day, he sent a regular meal from his house for his son-in-law. Before sending it, he added a dash of the medicine. The son-in-law ate the meal and did not experience any more hunger for the rest of the day. The father-in-law was very happy. The next day, he did the same thing. Still the son-in-law did not suspect anything. His father-in-law even asked him, “Why are you not eating? You will fall sick!”
But the son-in-law just continued working. At the end of the week, the shop owner gave his son-in-law his salary. The son-in-law counted it and said, “What shall I do with this meagre salary?”
“What do you mean?” asked the shop owner. “You have never objected to it before.”
“That was because I was able to eat as much as I wanted to,” replied the son-in-law. “Now that I do not have the same appetite, I will be able to work elsewhere and earn much more than the amount you are giving me. Why should I stay here in your tiny grocery shop when I can work in a big shop or business? Do you take me for a fool? From today on I shall look for another job!”
The father-in-law tried to save money by preventing his son-in-law from eating, but ultimately he was the loser because his son- in-law found another job and then there was nobody to help him run the grocery shop.