The Useful Thief

Part 2 of total 18 stories in the book Stories from Hitopadesha.

Long time ago, an old merchant lived in a town. He was a widower and found it very difficult to pass his time alone without a companion. So, he decided to marry again.

A poor man agreed to marry his young and beautiful daughter to the merchant. The merchant’s young wife did not like her old husband one bit and always stayed away from him. She used to always snub him and disrespect him. The merchant was deeply saddened by the hurtful behavior of his new bride.

One night, while the trader was sleeping in his bed all alone, his wife came rushing to him and tightly embraced him. She was shaking with fear and not letting go of the merchant. It was indeed a pleasant surprise for the merchant! As he also put his arms around his wife, he saw a thief standing in the doorway.

The trader understood everything. He addressed the thief, “Dear stranger, I had been craving for the love of my wife since the time I got married to her. And today, she has taken me in her arms because of you. You have given me so much of happiness today that I permit you to take whatever you wish.”

“Dear Sir”, replied the thief, “Today is indeed a happy occasion. I will not steal anything from you. But, if your wife ever troubles you again, I will surely pay you a visit.”

The thief then went away without taking anything from the merchant’s house. But from that day onward the merchant’s wife treated him very lovingly.

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