“The Seer of Viceroy”
A lazy tradesman is driven out by his wife, and bidden to make something of himself. He comes upon a washerwoman who has lost seven milking cows in seven weeks. He promises to restore the cows and heads off in search. As he walks he asks the wind a favor.
“Mighty wind, you travel far and wide. There is no land you do not touch. Help me find these missing cows, and I shall be forever grateful.”
At this humble request, the wind whispers in his ear the location of the missing cows. He follows the whispers, finds the cows, and returns them to the washerwoman, who rewards him with two bags of silver.
The tradesman comes upon two servants of the King. A pitcher of gold has gone missing, and he pledges to find it lest the servants be hanged. He spies a stream nearby, and once more he begs assistance.
“Mighty water, you travel far and wide. There is no crevice you cannot seek. Help me find the missing pitcher of gold, and I shall be forever grateful.”
At this modest request, the water gurgles in his ear the location of the missing pitcher. It has fallen deep within a well, and he fishes it out, and returns it to the King, who rewards him with four bags of silver.
On his journey home, he meets a sage who says, “Tradesman, you are so very wise. Tell me what I hold in my hand. I wager six bags of silver you cannot.”
The tradesman places his own six bags of silver into the wager. He is eager to double his fortune. He looks up at the sun, and once more asks for help.
“Mighty sun, your rays reach far and wide. There is no object you have not seen. Help me guess the item this sage conceals, and I shall be forever grateful.”
But the sun does not speak to him. Clouds obscure it from sight. In his despair he is unable to guess, and the sage collects his winnings, and tradesman is left with nothing.
(Word Count: 348)
(Word Count: 348)