Once upon a time, there lived a farmer in the village of Sidhi. His name was Moghe Ram. He and his wife lived in a small hut. They owned a small plot of land, where Moghe Ram toiled all day.

One day, while plowing through the field, Moghe Ram’s shovel hit something under the ground. He hit again and all he got in return was the sound of a clink. Curious to know what it was, Moghe Ram dug around it. As he went on digging, he noticed a shimmering object. On digging up the land, he was amazed to find two large pots filled with gold coins to the brim. Although delighted at his discovery, Ram was quite worried, too.

The problem was his gossipy wife. Not a word stayed in her mouth. Moghe Ram feared that if he took the gold pots back to his hut, his wife would spread the word like a drop of ink in water. And soon, people would be after him for his newfound fortune! He was in a dilemma as he could neither leave the pot in the open nor take it back home. After a few minutes of profound thinking, he had an idea.

He decided the bury the pots where he had found them and go back home to test his wife. If she could keep his secret, he would not have to worry about taking the pots home. So, he headed back home and said to his wife, “Did you know? The King has a tortoise in his stomach!”

“Really?” asked his wife in astonishment.

“Yes, my dear,” replied Moghe Ram. “But you must keep it a secret…”

“Of course, you can trust me with it,” she said as she hurried back into the kitchen. After supper, when Moghe Ram was taking a nap, she went over to her friend’s house and said, “Did you know? The King has a tortoise in his belly!”

Her friend passed on the news to the zamindar, who conveyed it to the Army General, from whom it reached the Chief Minister. Finally, the Chief Minister brought this to the King’s notice. “My Lord, there is a rumor among the civilians that says that… Your Majesty has a tortoise in your belly…”

“Who would dare to spread such a nonsensical rumor about me?” the King retorted angrily.

The Chief Minister and the King asked the General, who inquired from the zamindar. The zamindar asked the man, and the man, in turn, pleaded his wife to reveal the source of her news. When she mentioned that it had been her friend, the King and his men reached Moghe Ram’s hut.

Upon inquiring, Moghe Ram fell on his knees and begged, “Oh Lord of the Heavens, please listen to my plea. I had found two pots of gold in my field three days ago. My wife is a gossipmonger. So, out of my concern for my newly-found riches, I intended to test her. Please forgive me, sir, please forgive me…”

The King then asked Ram to show him the pots, warning him that he would stand to lose his life if there were no such pots. So, they went to his field, where Moghe Ram dug up the pots of gold and showed them to the King. Pleased by his honesty, the King allowed him to keep those pots of gold and also rewarded him with another pot.

…now that you’re here

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Ananya Susarla, Folk Tale writer at Ameya
Ananya Susarla

Ananya both loves to read and reinterpret folk tales from different parts of the country. Feel free to email her at ananyasusarla2915@gmail.com if you would like to know more about her.

Folk tale adopted and abridged from KidsGen.