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Farmer and the devil

This tale comes to you from an ancient village in the ancient days of our country. There lived a farmer who toiled so hard that he sometimes rested a while, only to partake of a meal brought to him by his wife. He was so careful and painstaking to the point that he yielded a good harvest. At this time there lived several devils or yakkhas in the village who brought about more disaster than good to humans. It was quite difficult for humans to ward off devils for the latter were harmful. As such a battle or a tug-of-war existed between the devils and humans.

The devils would even enter the houses of the humans, especially farmers to plunder the harvest brought from the fields. But our farmer, the one who toiled hard was fearless. When a devil enters a house of a human, it is said that it is difficult to drive them out.

The devils would remain and on seeing a human would dictate terms in order to tame them. It so happened that in this particular village some devils got undue help from the fear-struck humans.

One day, a devil entered the house of the farmer. The devil thought that when the farmer returns home to take rest he would be in a position to attack him in his own home and plunder whatever harvest he yielded. So the devil entered the house of the farmer and crept under one of the beds.

After toiling hard in the field, the farmer returned home. He in the first instance didn’t see where his wife was. “Where are you?” He inquired. There was no response from the wife. He repeatedly asked and said:

“Where are you? I have come home. I’m too hungry. I feel like eating a devil.”

Then the wife heard her husband’s voice and responded.

“I am here. I will come soon. There are some king coconuts under the bed. You may take the sharp knife in the kitchen. Wait until I come.”

The devil who was hiding under the bed heard the words of the farmer. He heard him say repeatedly. “I feel like eating a devil.”

“This cannot be a simple human being. This is definitely a devil eating human. The devil on seeing the farmer pacing in the house in search of the sharp knife, shuddered. “Oh my god. He is definitely going to kill me. I must come out.”

While the devil stood underneath the bed, he heard the dialogue that ensued between the farmer and his wife.

“Did you hear about a pack of devils who have entered our village?” Asked the wife.

“From time to time we hear of such things. But who is afraid of devils? The devil is not so dark as one sees.”

The devil who heard this wanted to come out and apologize for entering the house of the farmer. But he remained for a few minutes until the farmer moves off.

“Let me have a sharp knife to cut open the king coconuts.” Said the farmer receiving a newly made knife.

All of a sudden to the surprise of the farmer and his wife, the devil who was hiding under the bed sprang out.

“Pardon me sir,” Said the devil.

“Who are you?” Asked the farmer.

“I’m a devil who entered your house to harm you.”

“But you can’t harm me, I am a farmer.”

“Yes I know please don’t eat me great farmer.”

Then the farmer recalled what he said initially: “I feel like eating a devil.”

“No I’m not going to eat you.” Said the farmer.

“And please don’t kill me.” Said the devil looking at the sharp knife which the farmer held in his hand.

“No. I am not going to kill you either.”

“Please tell me how I could be of help to you?” Pleaded the devil. The farmer who knew that the devil could be tamed, said:

“Can you promise me that you and your members of the devil clan, give up your evil habits of harming the humans?”

“Yes certainly sir.”

“Then promise that from now onwards you and the rest of your fellows surrender and work in our fields?”

“Yes certainly.”

“Do it instantly or I am going to kill you.” Said the farmer.

Since then the devils, who entered the farming village, gave up their evil habits and began to help the farmer community.

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