Hitopadesha Tales – A Weaver’s Wish
When a weaver is quite unsettled in his thinking, what do you think happens when he is granted a wish by a fairy?!
Once upon a time, there was a weaver who lived with his wife. He was very popular for his work, especially in silk garments. But though he was popular, he could not earn enough and hence he was poor. One afternoon, he was on his way to cut wood in the forest. The weaver cut wood in order to help his wife’s cooking. He located a tree and as he was about to cut the tree, he heard a voice that asked him not to cut down the tree. The weaver initially thought that the voice was from his imagination and so he ignored it and decided to cut the tree. Just as he was about to cut into the tree, he heard the voice again and this time he was sure that it was someone else who was speaking and so he called out to the voice.
The voice then introduced herself to be a tree fairy and she went on to convince the weaver to not cut down the tree. She said that she was residing there for a long time and that she would grant the wish of the weaver if he spared the tree. The weaver was happy and he said that he would spare the tree. He then requested the tree fairy to give him some time in order to consult his wife about the wish. The tree fairy agreed and so the weaver went to meet his wife.
At home, the weaver narrated to his wife about what had happened and she told him to ask for a kingdom, where he would rule as a king. The weaver agreed and was on his way back to the tree. But on the way, he saw his friend. The weaver then decided to ask him for his opinion. So, he once again narrated the story to him and the friend saw this as an ideal opportunity to take revenge on him for something that had happened in the past.
The friend brainwashed him into thinking that running a kingdom was troublesome as he had to fight wars. He told the weaver to instead ask for one more head, two more legs and two more arms and with this he could weave more silk and earn more money. The weaver soon became convinced with the idea of the friend and going to the tree fairy, he requested the same.
The tree fairy granted his wish and the weaver now had two heads, four arms and four legs. As he walked back to the village, the children ran away from him, thinking that he was a demon. They informed their parents and when they saw the weaver, they did not think for a second. Fearing the unknown, they all armed themselves with sticks and stones and after beating him up black and blue, they broke all his bones and the weaver died miserably. Thus, the weaver met a pathetic end, because he could not think for himself properly.
Moral – Whatever opinions one may cast, one must always be capable of thinking for themselves.