The farmer and the zamindar

Four divine farmers, idle talkers, were chatting. A young village man happened to pass by. One farmer said, “Where are you going?” The young man replied, “Don’t bother me. I am going to the home of the zamindar, the rich man in the village. I have some important business with him.”

“You don’t have to be proud,” one of the idle talkers said. “I can go to visit the zamindar and eat anytime I want.” The young man became furious. He said, “Why do you cut jokes with me? Will it ever be possible for you to go to the zamindar’s place? You are such an insignificant person.” The farmer in question said, “Don’t brag; I can.” So the young man said, “If you can eat with the zamindar, I will give you two absolutely new bullocks. And if you cannot eat with him, then for six months I will appoint you to plough my field with your own bullocks.” The farmer agreed. “Then let us see who wins,” said the young man, setting out again for his destination.

The farmer reached the zamindar’s house before the young man because he took a short cut. He knew the way quite well because he lived in the same vicinity as the zamindar, whereas the young man was from another village. The farmer entered and offered his pranam to the zamindar. “What are you here for?” the zamindar asked. “I have something very special to ask you,” replied the farmer. “I know you will forgive me.” “What is it?” the rich man said. The farmer said, “I have found a piece of gold which is as big as an egg. I can’t trust anybody, only you, because you are the zamindar. You are very sincere and honest. Please tell me what its value is.”

The rich man said, “Oh, I am so happy for you. First sit down and let me order food. You have brought such good news. I am so pleased with you, I am so happy you have found it. Now you will be rich like me. You don’t have to worry anymore; you won’t have to beg or work at all. But first of all, eat. We can discuss this later. Later I will tell you the exact price of that piece of gold. Now let us start.” Immediately the servants brought food and both of them started eating. At that time the young man came in. When the meal was over, the zamindar said to the farmer, “Now show me your gold.” The farmer answered, “I didn’t tell you that I was going to show it to you; I wanted only to know the price. You told me to eat with you, so I did, but you didn’t ask me to show it to you. I only came to know the price, to evaluate it.” The zamindar got mad. He shouted, “Get out of here! Get out of here!” The farmer left, but he was waiting outside the door when the young man came out later. The young man had lost. So the farmer went to the zamindar’s place plus he got two bullocks.