Lesson 60: The Farmer’s Well

Once upon a time a man sold his well to a farmer.  The next day when the farmer went to draw water from that well, the man did not allow him to do so. He said, “I have sold you the well, not the water, so you cannot draw water from the well.”

The farmer became very sad and came to Akbar’s court. He described everything to him and asked for justice.

Akbar handed the case over to Birbal. Birbal spoke to the man who sold the well to the farmer. Birbal asked, “Why don’t you let him use the water of the well? You have sold the well to the farmer.” The man replied, “I have sold the well to the farmer, not the water. He has no right to draw water from the well.”

Then Birbal smiled and said to him, “Look, since you have sold the well to this farmer, and you claim the water is yours, then you have no right to keep your water in the farmer’s well. Either you pay rent to the farmer to keep your water in his well, or you take the water out of his well immediately.”

The man understood that his trick had failed. Birbal had outwitted him.

Moral: Don’t try to cheat. You will end up paying for it regardless of how smart you think you are.

A) Discussion Points:

  1. Cheating is a big problem today. Have you heard or read about any major case of cheating in Delhi or in your home-town recently?
    – CBSE exam papers being leaked.
    – Well-known jeweller cheating the banks and running away.
    – Australian cricket captain’s cheating/tampering with the ball in a match.
    Please discuss these and other cases of cheating.
  1. What does it mean to outwit someone?
  2. What adjectives would you use to describe Birbal?
  3. Do your friends come to you for advice?
  4. Tell us about a friend/ colleague/ relative who is wise and just.

B) Words of Wisdom

Carefully watch your thoughts
for they become your words.
Manage and watch your words
for they will become your actions.
Consider and judge your actions
for they will become your habits.
Acknowledge and watch your habits
for they will become your character.
Understand and embrace your character
for it becomes your destiny
and makes your dreams come true.