The noisy rich man

There was a rich man who was very miserly and, at the same time, very mischievous. He never gave a penny to anyone. Always he would show haughtiness and pride because of his wealth. He used to get tremendous joy at the expense of others. He wanted only himself to be happy.

Even at night he didn't want anybody to have joy or peace. In order to destroy the peace of others, he used to order his servants to move things around in his house in the middle of the night. Every night he would pretend that some thieves had entered his house and he would shout and scream and create a big commotion. He would strike his dogs so they would start barking. In every way he would make noise so that his neighbours who were trying to sleep could not have a peaceful night.

This went on for months and years. One day a man came to stay at the home of one of the rich man's neighbours. If this particular man didn't get sleep even for one night, he would become practically insane. That night, as usual, there was so much noise in the rich man's house that the man could not sleep.

Finally the man asked his host, "Why do you not go next door and stop the noise?"

The neighbour said, "How can I stop it? He pretends there are thieves in his house. Therefore, he has every right to shout at his servants and instigate his dogs to bark. We all know that this story is false, but we can't prove it. So we can never get proper sleep at night."

The guest said, "Don't worry. I will solve the problem."

The man said, "How?"

"You will see," said his friend.

The following morning he went to the rich man's house. He knew that the rich man never wanted to see anyone, so he presented something very beautiful and expensive to the rich man's servant as a bribe. He said, "I have only good news for your master. I just want to tell him that I am so grateful to him and proud of him."

The servant believed the man and went to his master and said, "Someone has come who is all admiration for you. He does not need anything from you, so you do not have to worry."

The rich man agreed to see him, and the servant brought the man before his master. The man said, "I don't need anything from you. I am coming here only to give you some good news. Last night I stayed at the home of one of your neighbours. You can't imagine how many of your neighbours admire and adore you. Many of them keep considerable amounts of money in their homes. At night you keep them awake, so nothing can ever be stolen. When there is so much commotion going on in your house, naturally thieves will never dare to come to your neighbours' houses. Therefore, they are so happy and grateful that you are living in their neighbourhood."

The rich man couldn't believe his ears. "They are really happy?" he said.

"Yes," said the man, "they are so grateful to you. They have real peace of mind because they know that their valuable possessions are safe at night."

From that night on, the rich man stopped banging doors, telling his servants to move everything around in his house and beating his dogs so they would bark. Why? He didn't want his neighbours to be happy and have peace of mind because they felt there would be no robberies. He wanted them to be miserable and to suffer from worries and anxieties. The rich man said, "I don't want them to be happy in any way. Why should I make them happy by keeping the neighbourhood free from thieves? I know that I have many dogs and servants, so nothing will be taken from my house. Let my neighbours suffer, while I have peace of mind. In this way I will again make myself happy."