Long ago, there lived a lazy man. He never wanted to work and was always looking for an easy way to get food. One day, as he was passing by a temple, he saw a mango tree full of juicy mangoes. He climbed up on the compound wall of the temple to steal the mangoes.
The temple also had a pond full of fish. As soon as the lazy man noticed the fish, he jumped into the compound. Being lazy, he didn’t even bother to bend. He used his hands to pluck the mangoes and his feet to catch the fish. Stuffing both in his bag, he ran home. “Here, I have brought some good food today,” he said to his wife, taking out the fish and some mangoes from his bag.
At first, his wife excited to see such delicious food as they had not eaten mangoes and fish for a long time. But then she thought, “He never goes to work; how did he manage to bring home the mangoes and the fish?” She took the bag from her husband and asked, “Where did you get these from, dear?” The husband said with pride, “I stole them from the temple compound.” The wife was shocked to hear this! “Earlier my husband was lazy, now he has become a thief too! How shameful!” she thought.
So, the clever wife decided to teach her lazy husband a lesson. She pretended to be happy and said, “Good that you stole from the temple compound; there are plenty of mangoes and fish there. I will prepare a delicious feast today. Go and take a bath in the meantime.”
With happy thoughts of the feast, the man went to take a bath while his wife went into the kitchen to cook the fish. As she prepared the meal, its mouth-watering aroma spread in the entire house. “Hair can’t resist the temptation!” thought the lazy man, finishing his bath, quickly. His mouth began to water. “Come quickly, dear!” called out his wife. “The food is almost ready.”
Just as she heard her husband’s footsteps, she quickly untied her hair, picked up the pan of fish in her hand and stood up.
As soon as her husband entered the kitchen, he saw a horrid-looking figure staring at him. “How dare you steal from my temple?” yelled the wife. “W…What! Your temple!” asked the man, scared. “Yes, I am the Goddess of the temple,” replied the wife, angrily. “I saw you stealing from my mango tree and my pond! Now I have taken possession of your wife’s body. And I am going to kill you!” Hearing this, the man fell to his knees and begged for mercy. “Then go and throw this vessel of fish into the pond and swear by me that you won’t be lazy anymore, and that you will work hard, and that you will never steal again,” said the wife. “I promise, O Goddess!” said the man.
He threw the vessel of fish in the pond and vowed never to steal again. From that day on, he was a changed man and not lazy anymore. Thus, the clever wife had taught her husband a valuable lesson.