Thursday, December 18, 2008

If It Belongs to Us, It Will Come To Us

There once was an old man and an old woman.
They worked very hard. Still they were very poor.

Now there was a large termite mound in their rice field.
One day the old man decided to remove it.
As the old man was digging away at the mound, his hoe struck something hard.
He dug the object out and discovered a large jar!
It was very heavy.
Then he opened the was filled with gold!

“Wife! Come quickly and look!
Someone has hidden a jar of gold in our rice field!”

The wife hurried over to help clear the dirt from the jar.
Sure was filled to the brim with gold.

“Old man, find something to carry this home!”

But the old man shook his head.
“Dear Old Woman, I do not think that is a good idea.
This gold does not belong to us.
We should leave it where we found it.”

The old woman argued.
But the old man insisted, saying
“If it belongs to us, it will come to us.
We cannot take what is not ours.”

Back in the village, the old woman told her neighbors about the gold.
They just laughed. But they told the silly story to others.
Some passing buffalo traders heard about this.
They found the termite mound in the field and dug around.
Sure enough...there was a large jar.
They dug it out.
They opened it.
“AAACK!” Inside lay coiled a huge poisonous snake!
It’s body filled the jar!

“That old couple were telling lies.
We should teach them a lesson!”

They hoisted the heavy jar onto their wagon and carried it back into the village.
They unloaded the jar at the door of the old couple’s home and opened that the snake inside would be sure to crawl into their house.

Then they left.

The next morning the old woman got up before dawn as usual to prepare their breakfast. She stumbled over the jar as she tried to go outside.
She gave a cry of fright and her husband jumped up to see what was wrong.

There was the huge jar, lying on it’s side at their door.

And spilling from the jar, into the house was...a treasure hoard of gold!

“This is the jar from our field!
It has come to US!
Husband, does this mean that we can keep it now?”

“Yes,” her husband agreed. “ The gold came here.
So it must be ours.
It is not necessary to take things which are not yours.
If they are meant for you, they will arrive.
This thing that I said is true: “If it belongs to us. It will come to us.”

Contributed by
Margaret Read MacDonald

[Retold by Margaret Read MacDonald from Thai Tales: Folktales of Thailand by Supaporn Vathanaprida (Libraries Unlimited, 1994).]


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