Some of the books meant for kids are quite amusing or interesting for adults as well. (Harry Potter ring a bell? Anyway this story is a folk-tale from north India. Shaikh Chilli is a character of northern India and Pakistani folklore who is described as a fool and day dreamer. There are several stories based on him.
Once there lived in a village a man called Shaikh Chilli who was very simple and foolish. However, he was also loved by his friends as he was innocent.
One day, a big landlord living in the village sent for him. The landlord was very cunning. He loved to cheat others.
The landlord said, “Shaikh Chilli, I have a job for you. I want you to count how many houses our village contains. I will give you one rupee for each house you count.” Shaikh Chilli was very happy. He thought that this was his chance of earning some extra money. Shaikh Chilli worked very hard. He walked through each street of the village counting all the houses. It took him the whole day. At the end of the day, he felt very tired but was happy that he had done his work. He went to the landlord and received his payment.
Shaikh Chilli’s friends met him late in the evening after he returned from the landlord’s house. One of them said, “Shaikh Chilli, why did you take up the landlord’s work? Don’t you know that he is a cheater? He must have made a fool of you.” Shaikh Chilli said, “Oh no, he has not looted me.” His friend questioned, “How can you be sure?” Shaikh Chilli replied, “This time around I got the better of him. He was fooled.”
Shaikh Chilli was looking very happy with himself. He smiled and puffed up his chest. His friends looked at him with amazement. They could not believe what Shaikh Chilli was saying. His friend asked, “Please tell us how you did so?” Shaikh Chilli replied smiling,” You see, I gave him a much smaller figure. I gave him only half the number of houses I had counted.”
The friends looked at one another.
Moral: A fool always cheats himself.
From: Fenris, Morris. Kids Book: Sacred Tales – Folk-tale Book with Bedtime Stories and Fables for Children: (Kids Book with Short Stories Collections and Fairy Tales for Kids) (Moral Stories for Children Series 2)