A very poor newly wedded, young couple lived in a small farm. One day, the husband made the following proposal to his wife:
- My love, I will leave the house. I will travel far away, get a job and work hard in order to come back and give you the comfortable life that you deserve. I shall not be in touch with you while I am away. I do not know how long I will stay away, I only ask one thing, please wait for me, and while I am away, you should be faithful to me, because I will be faithful to you.
So the young man left. He walked many days until he found a good hearted, honest and wise farmer, who was in need of someone to help him.
The young man offered his services to the wise employer. He was accepted.
Thereafter, he discussed the terms with his employer:
- Let me work for as long as I want and when I think I should go home, please relieve me of my duties. I do not want to receive my salary. I ask you to save it for me, until the day I leave. The day I decide to go, please give me the money and I will go my way.
They agreed on that. So, the young man worked for twenty years without holiday and without rest.
After twenty years, one fine day, he came to his employer and said:
- Sir, can I have my wages? I have decided to return home.
The old employer replied:
- All right, after all, I made a deal with you and I will stick to it. However, before you go I want to offer you something new: I will give you all your money and send you away; or I will give you 3 pieces of advice and send you away. If I give you the money, I do not give you the 3 pieces of advice. And if I give you the 3 pieces of advice, I will not give you the money. Now, go to your room and think about your answer.
The man thought for two days. Then he went to the employer and told him:
- I want the 3 pieces of advice.
The old man stressed again:
- If I give you the 3 pieces of advice, I will not give you the money.
And the man replied:
- I have lived with you and learned everything from you. That is enough. I shall be able to make a good life with all the experience. I only want the 3 pieces of advice.
The wise old employer then told him:
- No. 1: Never take shortcuts in your life, shorter and unknown paths can cost your life.
- No. 2: Never be too curious, for curiosity towards evil can be deadly.
- No. 3: Never make decisions in moments of anger or pain, because when you repent, it could be too late.
After giving these 3 pieces of advice, the old employer said to the man, lovingly:
- Here son, I am giving you 3 loaves of bread, out of which these 2 are for you to eat during the journey and the last which is packed separately, is for you to eat with your wife when you get home. Go and be well.
So, the man went his way, after twenty years away from home and from his wife, whom he loved so much.
After the first day of travel, he found a man who greeted him and asked:
- Where are you going?
- To a distant place which is about 20 days away if I continue walking.
The man said to him:
- Ol' boy, this path is too long! I know a shortcut that is very safe and you will arrive in 5 days only.
The man began to follow the path suggested until he remembered the first piece of advice. Then, he returned and followed the long path. Days later he learned that the shortcut led to an ambush.
After a few more days of travel, he found an inn by the roadside, where he could rest. He paid for a room and after taking a bath he lay down to sleep.
During the night he woke up as he heard a terrifying scream. He rose to his feet and went to the door to check what happened. As he was opening the door, he remembered the second piece of advice. Therefore he returned, lay down and slept again.
At dawn, after breakfast, the owner of the lodging asked him if he had not heard the scream at night. He affirmed that he heard it.
Then, the host said:
- Were you not curious to see what happened?
And he replied:
- No, I was not.
Then the host said:
- You are the first guest to leave this inn alive. In the night a demon shouts and screams to call the attention of the wayfarers. When the curious guests go outside the inn to check, he kills them and drags their bodies into the forest to eat them.
The man continued his long journey, eager to arrive soon. After many days and nights walking, he was very tired, but he finally saw his house far away.
It was night. He saw some light coming out of the window of his house and was able to see the silhouette of his wife. But he also saw that she was not alone. He came closer and saw there was a man with her. She softly caressed his hair.
When he saw that scene, his heart was filled with hatred and bitterness.
He decided to rush at and kill them both mercilessly. However, he took a deep breath and he remembered the third piece of advice.
Then he stopped, reflected and decided to sleep outside that night. He slept in the midst of the bushes, determined to make a decision the next day.
At dawn, he was calmer and thought:
- I will not kill my wife and her lover. I am going back to my boss to ask him to take me back. But before I go, I want to tell my wife that I have always been faithful to her.
He went to the front door and knocked. When his wife opened the door and recognized him, she cried and embraced him warmly.
He tried to push her away, but he was not able to.
Then, with tears in his eyes he asked her:
- Who is the man that you were with yesterday?
And she said:
- That man is your son. When you left, I discovered I was pregnant. Today, he is twenty years old.
Hearing that, the man cried. He thanked his employer for all his advice.
His wife called out to the young man who was still asleep. The ecstatic man ran in and hugged his son.
Then he told them all the things he had experienced while away.
He finally told them of the employer and his 3 pieces of advice. He then put the last loaf on the table saying:
- This is all that I have earned in 20 years.
His wife smiled and said:
- This is enough. Let us have it with some coffee.
After a prayer of thanksgiving, they broke the bread.
And when they looked inside, they found that the loaf had gold coins inside.
In fact, there was much more than the right amount of payment for the man's twenty years of dedication and hard work.
Mrs Shruti Chaabra