The gold necklace

Once there were two brothers, and each one had a very good nature. Both brothers were very good, but one had a very good wife and one had a very bad wife. The one who had the very bad wife was the poorer of the two.

One day the rich brother’s wife was wearing a beautiful gold necklace. Her husband had lots of money, so naturally she could afford expensive things. The wife of the poor brother was very jealous of her. When she saw the necklace, she went home and insulted her husband because he did not have as much money as his brother.

Then the poor wife went to her sister-in-law and said, “I have invited some guests over tonight, and I would like to wear your beautiful gold necklace. Could you possibly give it to me for one or two days, and then I will return it to you?”

The rich wife said, “Of course, I will gladly lend it to you.”

The poor wife took the necklace home and wore it that night when her guests came. They all appreciated the necklace, but she didn’t tell them it was borrowed.

Two days, three days and then a week passed, but still the poor wife didn’t return the necklace. The rich wife felt sad that she didn’t have her necklace back, so very apologetically she went to her sister-in-law and said, “Could you kindly return my necklace?”

The poor wife said, “What! When did you give me your necklace? You are just telling lies to make me feel that I am very poor and you are very rich. I have no idea what you are talking about.”

The poor brother begged his wife to return the necklace. He said, “We are poor, but we can’t be dishonest.” But his wife wouldn’t listen to him.

When the rich wife told her husband what had happened, he said, “O God, keep your mouth shut. If the villagers come to know that my brother’s wife is such a liar, it will bring terrible disgrace to the family.

The wife said, “No, I have to get this necklace back.”

The next day she went back to her sister-in-law. Before she could even mention the necklace, the poor wife said, “This time, if you tell any lies, I will insult you. I have not taken anything from you!”

When the rich wife told her husband what had happened this time, he said, “She is right. Stop telling lies.”

The wife got mad. “She has to give me the necklace,” she said.

The husband said, “What can I do? I don’t want to hear that my brother’s wife is so bad. I will give you another necklace. If we say anything about this, it will reflect on our family.”

A few days later the rich wife’s daughter came to visit her. The mother was still very, very sad about the necklace. Her daughter asked her why she was so sad, and the mother told her.

The daughter said to her mother, “Don’t worry, my aunt knows that I have come to visit you. She likes me very much, and she will definitely come here to see me.” Then the daughter instructed her mother to say a few things when the aunt came.

The poor brother’s wife arrived, and her sister-in-law served her a very nice meal. Everyone was having a wonderful time. Then the daughter said to her mother, “You wrote to me a few weeks ago that you had a most beautiful necklace. Where is it? Why are you not wearing it to show off?”

The mother said, “It was a stolen necklace. I bought it from someone who had stolen it. The police caught the thief and he told them that he had sold it to someone in this neighbourhood. Fortunately, the thief couldn’t remember the exact house where he sold it. Now the police are making an investigation.”

The daughter said, “So what has happened to the necklace?”

The mother said, “In the meantime, your aunt came to my house and borrowed it, because she was having guests over. But after the guests left, she misplaced it. She would gladly have given it back, but she misplaced it. Anyway, I am so glad that I do not have it anymore.”

“Why is that?” asked the daughter.

The mother continued, “The police can come and search my house, and still they won’t find it. At the same time, even if they go to your aunt’s place, they won’t find it there either. I am so glad that the stolen necklace is now lost.”

When the aunt heard this story, she ran out of the house and went home. Then she put the necklace in a box and gave it to her servant. “Go and give this to my sister-in-law, but don’t put it in her hand. Just throw it at her,” she said.

The servant said, “How can I do that?”

The lady said, “Such disrespect! You must obey me!”

So the servant went to the rich woman’s house. But instead of throwing the box at her, he threw it at her feet. This is how the rich wife got back her gold necklace.

Sri Chinmoy, Is your mind ready to cry? Is your heart ready to smile? part 9.First published by Agni Press in 1981.

This is the 472nd book that Sri Chinmoy has written since he came to the West, in 1964.

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by Sri Chinmoy
From the book Is your mind ready to cry? Is your heart ready to smile? part 9, made available to share under a Creative Commons license

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