Period 26 – Truth
The Three Axes
Once there lived a poor woodcutter who was honest and hard working. He went into the forest every morning to cut wood. In the evening he would sell it and earn some money. He lived in a small hut and had an old axe with which he cut wood.
One day, he had gone to the forest as usual to cut wood. He chose a spot on the banks of a lake and started his work, Suddenly, the axe slipped from his hand and fell into the lake. It sank into the waters and disappeared. The poor woodcutter did not know how to swim. He sat by the lakeside and cried loudly.
As he was weeping, an angel rose from the water and asked, “My dear woodcutter, why are you weeping?” The woodcutter greeted her humbly and told her that his axe had fallen into the river and he did not know how to get it out.
The angel suddenly disappeared into the water and came up again with a golden axe in her hands. “Is this yours?” she asked.
The woodcutter shook his head and said, “I am a poor man. Where would I get a golden axe from? It is not mine.”
The angel disappeared under the waters again and came out once more. This time she had a silver axe.Showing it to the woodcutter she asked, “Is this yours?”
The woodcutter shook his head again and said, “I am a poor man. Where would I get a silver axe?”
The angel once again disappeared under the waters again and reappeared. This time she had an iron axe.“Is this yours?” she asked.
The woodcutter nodded his head in great joy and said, “Yes, it is mine. Thank you so much. Without this axe, I would not be able to cut wood. I would have starved.”
The angel was very pleased with his honesty. She not only gave him the iron axe but also gave the golden and silver axes as reward for his truthfulness. The grateful woodcutter thanked her profusely and returned home. Everybody in the village came to know of his good fortune.
In the village, there lived another woodcutter who was very dishonest and greedy. He also wanted to become rich like the poor woodcutter. One day he picked up his axe and going into the forest reached the lakeside. He threw the axe into the lake and then started crying loudly.
The angel arose after a time and asked, “Why are you weeping, my good man.”
“I am a poor woodcutter earning my living by cutting and selling wood. My axe has fallen into the lake and I am unable to get it out,” he replied.
Then the angel went down into the waters and came up with the golden axe in her hand and asked, “Is this yours?”
The greedy man stretched his hand to grab it from her and cried out, “Yes, yes, it is mine.”
The angel was very angry with his dishonesty and greed. “You liar, you are dishonest and greedy. Go away from here. You don’t deserve any help from me.” So saying, she disappeared into the waters and did not come up again.
The greedy man, not only did not get the gold and silver axes, but he also lost the one good axe that he had.
- I will always speak truth. I will never ever tell a lie. Please God help me to keep this promise that I will never ever tell a lie.