Once there lived a woodcutter. He was very poor but he was an honest man. Every day he went to the forest to collect wood. One day he climbed up a tree as he wanted to cut its branch. The tree was near a river and the branch was over the river. Suddenly his axe fell into the river.
Woodcutter: Oh no! I lost my axe! The river is so deep and I will not be able to get my axe back! What am I going to do? How am I going to support my family?
The woodcutter stared helplessly into the water when suddenly a beautiful lady emerged from the river.
Woodcutter: Who are you?
Fairy: I am the fairy of this river. I come out of the water when I hear a sad voice. What is wrong?
Woodcutter: I lost my axe. It fell into the river.
Fairy: don’t worry, I’ll get it for you.
The fairy went inside the water and came out with a silver axe.
Fairy: Is this your axe?
The woodcutter thought of all the things he could buy for his family if he sold that silver axe. But it didn’t belong to him.
Woodcutter: No, mine has a wooden handle.
Fairy: Let me get it, then.
The fairy went again inside the water and came out with another axe.
Fairy: Is this yours?
Woodcutter: No! That axe is made of gold. It´s worth more than mine.
Fairy: Let me go again inside the water.
When the fairy came out of the water, she had the woodcutter’s axe.
Woodcutter: Ah! That is my axe! Without any doubt… that is my old axe!
Fairy: This is your axe, but you can also have the other two. They are a gift from the river because you have told the truth.
Woodcutter: Oh, thank you!
And that night the woodcutter went home with his three axes.
Woodcutter: I am happy… Now my family will have everything they need.
Honesty is the best policy.