An old couple used to live in a village. They had a son who was not interested in studies, nor working. While his mother always supported him in his efforts, his father was always apprehensive about his son’s ways and wanted him to change.
One day, Father calls his son and tells him that he is needs to start earning and give him some money from his earnings every day to continue to live and eat at home. If he cannot work and earn a living, he would need to move out. The son stood there thinking without any clue about what he could do!
The son goes to his mother and tells her about his father’s request and says he does not know what he could do, nor how to earn money. He does not have any skills he is good at, so he is not confident that he can earn any money. His mother tells him not to worry and tells him that she has some money that she has saved over years. Every evening when the son comes home, he can meet her first and she will give him a coin. He can go and give it to his father. This way, the son live a comfortable life and continue to meet his father’s demands.
The son happily agrees. He tells his father he will start to earn & give him money, so that he can continue living at home.
Next day, his Mother packs her son a sumptuous lunch, he takes it and sets off to the field nearby. He relaxes under a tree, eats the food given, sleeps till evening and returns home. His mother meets him near the entrance and gives him a coin. He goes to his father and tells him he has returned from work. His father asks him what he has earned, and the sons says that he has earned a coin.
His father smiles and tells him to throw the coin in the well nearby. He goes and throws the coin in the well, informs his father that he has completed the task and goes back inside the house to have dinner.
Every day for the next few months, the same sequence of events occur. His mother continues to give him the coins and he continues to throw them into the well. His father realizes what was happening, smiles to himself, however chooses to not ask him anything else.
After a few months, his mother realizes that she is running short on coins. She has used up all her savings and would not be able to help her son anymore. The day comes when she tells her son that she will not be able to give him a coin in the evening when he returns.
That day, the son goes to the fields, eats his food and thinks what will happen if he returns home without a coin. He feels he would be able to convince his father and goes to sleep. That evening, when he returns home, he tells his father that he could not earn a coin today. The father says, then you will not get dinner tonight. You can go to sleep hungry.
So, the son goes to sleep hungry, and next day morning he gets to work, without any packed lunch from his mother. Pangs of hunger make him realize that if he does not do any kind of work, he will not be able to earn money and get a meal at home. So, he starts looking around in the field. One farmer was sorting hay, and offers him a coin if he helps carry 500 stacks of hay across the field.
He agrees and carries out the job during the mid-day sun. He never felt as exhausted before. With neither a drop of water to drink, nor a morsel of food to eat, doing physical work, toiling in the sun, was something he never imagined he would do. However, hunger brought the drive in him. He ended up completing the job, and got his coin.
He had earned money through hard work for the first time in his life and was extremely happy!
He runs home and shows the coin to his father and happily narrates all the incidents of the day. His father is happy and tells him to go and throw the coin in the well nearby.
The son gets angry and asks his father “How can you think about asking me to throw away the money that I earned through my hard work? Is it fair?”
The father replies “I am happy that you now know the value of hard earned money! Think about it – have you not be throwing away my hard earned money all these days?”
The son realizes his mistake and mends his ways.