In a small village, there was a man named Pala. He was hard working, but there seemed to be a cloud of bad luck following him. Every day brought new challenges, from spilled milk to lost harvests.
One day, he decided to go for a walk in the jungle near his home to escape his boredom and hopelessness. He entered the jungle with its lush green vegetation and the sound of birdsong filled him with peace. He sat under a tree to enjoy the peace and quiet of the jungle. High up in the sky, the gods in their heavenly abodes saw Pala’s sadness.
The benevolent gods decided to intervene, so they sent a kind and gentle angel down to Earth. The angel approached Pala. Her radiant light sparkled like a thousand fireflies in the forest, getting Pala’s attention. Pala curious about the angel responded to her gentle inquiries and began to share his tale of woe with the angel. He was unaware that he was speaking to an angel.
He poured out his sad tale of woe like a never-ending river of complaints.
A book of magic
The angel listened with a kind smile, and she realised that this man needed a bit of magic in his life. She gave Pala a book of magic. But, she told him that he could only use it for good things. Pala promised never to use the magic for wrongdoing. As soon as Pala grasped the book, the angel disappeared in a soft, magical breeze.
Since then, Pala used the magic in the book to make his life better. He grew more crops, built a better house and helped his fellow villagers. He was no longer sad and gloomy but, was happy and full of vitality.
As time passed, Pala started feeling a little greedy. He started eyeing his neighbour’s possessions and thought, “Why should I settle for one slice of bread when I can have the whole bakery?”
Ignoring the angel’s warning, he once again waved the magic book around wishing for a herd of cattle. Suddenly, a herd of cows appeared, knocking over fences and trampling crops as if they had been let out of a fenced in area.
He quickly sold the cattle and became quite wealthy. Pala, now, a successful cattle owner walked around the village proudly, like a peacock showing off its beautiful feathers.
Unfortunately, he was no longer a kind person. He became greedy and refused to help others.
Meanwhile, news of a fleet of ships sailing to the country spread like wildfire.
The sailors were seeking the treasures of the land and intended to take them back to their king. They also wanted to trade with the local king. The busy king asked his super-smart minister to handle the situation and trade with the sailors. The minister, upon hearing tales of the famous cattle merchant in the village, proposed to the king that these remarkable cattle could be sold to the sailors for a handsome profit.
The king agreed and the minister set out to finalise the deal.
The minister found Pala and asked if he could provide cattle for the king. Pala’s eyes lit up with excitement, and he nodded his head like a bobble-head doll.
“Of course!”, he bragged to the minister. “I will deliver more cows than there is on a farm to the king”.
He was so excited that he forgot what he had promised the angel.
With a happy heart, Pala returned home, planning to sell more cattle.
But just as he was about to use
his magic book, a gentle breeze
blew it away. The angel had taken the book.
She was disappointed that he had not kept his promise. Without his magic book Pala was helpless. He couldn’t summon a single cow.
Pala’s dream of endless wealth went pop like a balloon at a birthday party. When the big day came to show off the cows to the minister, Pala had nothing to offer but excuses.
The minister’s face turned redder than a tomato and frustrated and angry. He went and told the king what had happened.
The king was really angry and declared that he would punish Pala for lying. But when the king’s men came to get him, he had vanished!
No one ever saw him again.