The evil pots


The evil pots

Grateful Crane

Long long ago, there lived a greedy man, who worked for a merchant in town.
One day when he happened to pass by a tall pine tree by a graveyard, he heard someone calling him,

“Hey, you! Won’t you like to own three pots of gold coins?”

He stopped immediately to look around, but no one was there.
Soon he heard the same voice again,

“Won’t you like to own three pots of gold coins?”br />

To his great surprise, the voice was not from a man but the pine tree.
The greedy man replied to the tree,

“Why could I refuse such a proposal?
Will you tell me where I can find them?”

“Go back to your place, and you’ll find the three pots in your warehouse.”

The man hurried back and easily found three small pots there.
He took off the lid of the first pot at once, and was greatly pleased as he found full of shining gold coins in it.
The second pot also made him pleased.
But when he opened the last pot, it was half empty.
Peering into it, he thought that the pot should be filled with gold coins like the other two.
What he did first was to sell his valuable belongings to get some gold coins, and put them into the pot.
Though he threw them into it, the pot still remained half empty.

From that time on, he was possessed with an evil spirit; the passion to fill the pot with shining gold coins to its brim.
He cut down everything to save money: his foods, clothes and so on.
He forbade not only himself but his family to enjoy any pleasure in their everyday life.
All of his savings were thrown into the pot.
Nevertheless, the greedy pot was never filled up to the brim: it was the same as it had been… half empty.

The man begged his master to raise his pay, saying like this,

“I want to get some more money to give my family a decent living.”

Though his request was accepted, he was not happy.
In spite of putting his entire salary into the pot, it still remained half empty.
At last his wife ran away from him, and he became thin: it was nothing but all skin and bones.

One day, his master worried his miserable appearance, and said,

“What has happened to you? You looked happier and healthier a few months ago, even if you didn’t have a decent salary.
Now in spite of your raised income, you looked pale and weak.
Aren’t you perhaps the owner of those evil pots of gold coins?
The old tradition says that anyone who has gotten such pots becomes complete miserable like you.
If you had it, you’d better get rid of them at once.”

Finally the man, noticing his foolishness, hurried back to the pine tree and cried,

“I’ll give back those pots to you. I’ve had enough of them.”

When he returned home, he found that the three pots had already gone with all his painfully collected savings.
Nevertheless he felt greatly relieved.

Don’t you happen to have any evil pots in your house or in your mind?

The end