22. What lesson did the thief learn from what had happened to him?
The Brahman, who had spent the time of waiting in prayers that his treasure should be given back to him, and was still determined that, if it were not, he would starve himself to death, was full of delight when he heard that it had been found. He hastened to the palace and was taken before the king, who said to him: “There is your treasure. Take it away, and make a better use of it than before. If you lose it again, I shall not try to recover it for you.”
The Brahman, glad as he was to have his money and jewels restored, did not like to be told by the king to make a better use of them. Besides this he wanted to have the thief punished; and he began talking about that, instead of thanking Prasnajit and promising to follow his advice. The king looked at him much as he had looked at the thief and said: “The matter is ended so far as I have anything to do with it: go in peace.”
The Brahman, who was accustomed to be honoured by every one from the king on his throne to the beggars in the street, was astonished at the way in which Prasnajit spoke to him. He would have said more, but the king made a sign to his attendants, two of whom dragged the sack to the entrance of the palace and left it there, so that there was nothing for the Brahman to do but to take it away with him. Every one who has read this wonderful story would, of courses like to know what became of him after that, but nothing more is told about him.
23. Do you think that the Brahman learnt anything from his loss and recovery of his treasure?
24. Was the Brahman more wicked than, the thief or the thief than the Brahman?
25. Do you think the Brahman continued to be a miser for the rest of his life?
26. What were the chief characteristics of the king—that is to say, what sort of man do you think he was?
27. Which of the people who are spoken of in this story do you like and admire most, and which do you dislike most?
The Magic Shoes and Staff.
Far, far away in a town of India called Chinchini, where in days long gone by the ancient gods in whom the people believed are said sometimes to have appeared to those who called upon them for help, there lived three brothers of noble birth, who had never known what it was to want for food, or clothes, or a house to live in. Each was married to a wife he loved, and for many years they were all as happy as the day was long. Presently however a great misfortune in which they all shared befell their native country. There was no rain for many, many weeks; and this is a very serious thing in a hot country like India, because, when it does not rain for a long time, the