Once upon a time there was a peasant who grew nothing but millet in his field, and so he could not acquire wealth. But he longed for wealth and cried often at night for unfulfilled desire.
He did not even have enough money to buy a wife. Every day he looked across the street at his neighbor, the rich, and his heart filled with envy. He watched as the four beautiful women of the rich cared for him, how they cooked for him and ordered his fields. He watched the many children play in the yard and work in the fields. The poor man decided to make friends with the rich man in the hope that the rich man would lend him enough money to buy a wife. So he hoped his affairs would gradually improve.
The next day he brought it to his neighbor, the rich man, and gave it to him. “Please, accept my present, neighbor, I came to visit you because I would like to become your friend.” The rich man smiled and accepted the gift, but when he looked over to his neighbor’s house and saw how miserable it was, he turned his back on the poor man and said, “I take your respects for their due, but such a poor fellow as you can not become the friend of a rich man.
” The poor man went to the river and sat down on the shore, weeping bitterly. His tears fell into the water and to his astonishment a dark figure appeared. “Your tears have lured me, I am the river goddess and obey your commands, what do you want?” she asked.
“Oh, good goddess, I am poor and alone and have no money to buy a wife,” cried the poor man. The goddess gave him a bag and said, “Here, take this bag of beans, and when you get home, it will be full of money.” Joyfully the poor farmer thanked her and went home singing, holding the bag tightly to her. When he arrived home, he found that the beans had actually become money. Immediately he ran to the rich peasant.
“Look, now I am as rich as you are. Now I can buy a woman and become your friend,” he shouted brightly. “Oh, I’m glad for you,” said the rich man.
“But if you want to double your money, you should leave it to me, come back in a month and you’ll have enough to buy two women instead of one.” The foolish farmer’s eyes lit up at the thought that his wealth would double if he had two wives. So he handed over his bag of money to the rich man, went home and waited impatiently until the thirty days had passed. At the end of the set time, the poor man went back into the rich man’s house to collect his deposit.
To his horror, the rich man had become deaf and dumb. He could neither hear nor speak and only uttered foolish sounds like “ba, ba, ba”. The poor man called and gestured, but the rich man just shook his head in disbelief. Finally, the poor man dragged his rich deaf-mute neighbor to the judge.
The judge, too, could not decipher the signs of the deaf-mute, and called a wise man who understood all the signs and sounds of the deaf-mute. This interpreter signaled to the deaf-mute, “Have you taken money from this poor peasant?” “Ba, ba, ba,” the farmer answered, shaking hands and fingers. The interpreter turned to the judge and said, “The man said you are a stupid and incompetent judge.
” “I did not say that!” called the rich man. The judge laughed and confessed to the poor peasant the double amount of the promised money with the friendly warning: