Madhav and Keshav were two farmers living in the same village. Madhav was intelligent, hard-working and always contented and happy. Keshav was lazy, worried, and sad. He was so jealous of Madhav that the very sight of happy Madhav would irritate him. He would even pray to God for Madhav’s downfall.

But God seemed to be kind to Madhav, who wished that everyone in the village should be happy like himself. Once after many weeks of hard work in his garden, he produced a huge pumpkin of rare variety. Its skin had all the seven colours of the rainbow on it. It had the pleasing scent of the mogara flower and it tasted as sweet as honey. Above all, it had four legs, a trunk, and a tail which made it look just like an elephant.

Madhav felt that this wonderful pumpkin would be a worthy present to the king. So he took it to the capital and placed it at the king’s feet as his humble Nazarana (present). The king was so pleased with this rare present that he gave Madhav a live elephant as a royal gift.

When Keshav heard this news he became so jealous of Madhav that he had no wink of sleep that night. “I must please the king much more than Madhav has done,” he went on thinking. “That will make the king give me a more precious royal gift than he has given to Madhav. If a vegetable elephant could please the king so much, a live elephant would please him still more. He may give me in return a village or two and make me a big Zamindar.”

The next day Keshav sold his farm, cows, bullocks, sheep, and goats. With all the money he thus got, he purchased a big elephant and took it to the king. The king could not understand why a village farmer should present him an elephant. So he asked his wise minister to look into the matter and to advise him about a suitable gift to the farmer.

The wise minister had a chat with Keshav. Within a short time he found that jealousy had prompted Keshav to present an elephant to the king. So he went to the king and said, “My lord, you gave a nice elephant to the earlier farmer for a pumpkin. So, now you may give this farmer a nice pumpkin for his elephant.”

When Keshav received an ordinary pumpkin as a royal gift, he was completely heart-broken. He had sold away all his property and he was now a ruined man-all because of his own jealousy.


  1. What difference do you see between Madhav and Keshav? Whom do you like more? Why?
  2. Why did the minister make the king give only a pumpkin to Keshav while the king had given an elephant to Madhav?
  3. Suppose you win a prize in the school and some classmate of yours feels jealous of you. Write a letter to that classmate giving him suitable advice.
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