This is a story about a good father who had a bad son and a wise daughter-in-law. The father was a religious man. He and his wife had only one son. The son was doing well in his studies, so the father wanted the son to study in the town. Although he was not rich, as a villager he had some land, so he sold a plot of land to pay for his son’s education. His son studied and studied and studied and then did well in his examination. He became a scholar and afterwards he became very, very rich.
Then the father wanted the son to get married. Once again the father was ready to sell his property so that his son could be happy, happier, happiest.
Now the son became very happy and very rich and prosperous. He lived in the town, while the poor father and his wife remained in the village. Eventually the son got married and he and his wife had a child. When the time came, the son was able to send the child to a good private school because he was now very rich. In every way the son was doing well. Then, from the village, news came that his father was very, very sick. But the ungrateful son did not want to go to see his father. He said, “Who cares what happens to my father? He is an old man and his time has come. It will be a waste of time for me to go and see him.”
In the village, the mother was miserable that she and her husband had spent so much money and sold their property for the higher education of their son, and the son had become such a rogue. The son never came to see them.
Finally the father died. Even then, the son did not come from the town to observe his father’s obsequies. The poor mother was left with only the neighbours to help her perform the funeral rites. Then the mother was all alone.
In the course of time, the rich son wanted his own son to get a higher education. But his wife said, “Now look here. I do not want our son to have a higher education. He has earned his high school diploma. That is enough. Now he should look for a job.”
The husband said, “My son should get an ordinary job? No, no! He has to be well educated! He has to be a great scholar like me. He has to become very rich. At this time if he gives up his studies, if he no longer goes to school, he will have no future.”
The wife pleaded, “Can you not see what you have done to your father? Your father did so much for you, but you did not care for him at all. Then he became old and he died. Will our son also not behave like you? He will become very well educated, rich and prosperous. Then, when you become old, he will do the same to you as you did to your father. He will live with his own wife and son very happily, and he will not pay any attention to you. Can you not learn from your behaviour? What you have done to your father, your son will also do to you.”
After listening to his wife’s words, the rich man felt some pangs in his heart. He agreed to go to the village with his wife to see his mother. When he set eyes on his poor, old mother, he began crying and crying. His mother told him, “Son, at last you have come! Better late than never. Finally some wisdom has dawned in your life.”
Then the mother embraced her daughter-in-law and said, “You have so much wisdom! Now you have given wisdom to my son. Otherwise, my son would have suffered the same fate as his own father did when he became old. My son would also have suffered at the hands of his own son.”
The mother thanked her daughter-in-law profusely for taking care of her grandson’s future life. Indeed, this wise daughter-in-law had saved the whole family.