This story is part of our teaching resources ‘Stories for kids’. The story teaches that Hard Work pays off and that Greed is a vice.
“Who’s there?” asked a young voice.
“I am a tired traveler. I need some food,” said the traveler in a rough voice.
The door was opened by a young man named Eduardo who asked the old traveler to come inside. Then the young man served him rice and soup. The traveler ate it hastily as if he had starved for days.
“Where are you from sir, if I may ask?” inquired the young man.
“I am a preacher and I travel to preach. I do not have a permanent home.” Said the old traveler.
After his meal the preacher got up from his place.
“Thanks a lot, young man. And may God bless you! Your good deeds will bear fruit and it will change your fortune, “and he asked Eduardo to come out of his hut. “There is a hill nearby. You must go to its top and you will find your reward.”
Eduardo looked towards the hill and when he turned to ask more questions to the old man, the old man had mysteriously disappeared.
The next day, the young man went to the top of the barren hill. He found a tiny pouch. He picked it up and put his hand inside.
“A seed!” exclaimed Eduardo “I must plant it in front of my hut.”
Eduardo came back to his hut and planted the seed in the ground and poured some water on it.
Eduardo then had a good night’s sleep. He woke up to see something strange in front of his hut.
What he saw was amazing!
The seed grew into a full sized tree with fruits. Eduardo went near the tree and plucked a fruit.
He had never seen such a fruit before. It looked marvelous. It was the size of a pomegranate. Eduardo took a bite.
“Deliciously sweet!” exclaimed he, “I can sell these fruits and earn a lot of money.”
So, he plucked some more of the fruits, kept it in his basket and went to the town to sell it.
“Sweet fruit for a dinheiro”, cried Eduardo in the streets.
People purchased the exotic fruit and paid Eduardo top dinheiro.
Eduardo’s fruits sold out. He went home and counted his dinheiros.
“22…23…24… That’s 24 dinheiros!” Eduardo put the money in his pot under his cot.
“I will soon be rich if I sell more fruits.” thought Eduardo.
So next day he plucked many more fruits. But he needed more than a basket to take the fruits to the town for selling.
So he purchased a donkey. He loaded the fruits in a bag and rode the donkey and reached town.
“Sweet fruit for two dinheiros” cried Eduardo in the streets.
Eduardo still had buyers despite price rise. He sold out all the fruits and went home.
“88…89…90…91 dinheiros!” Eduardo put the money in his pot.
Eduardo now dreamt of being the richest man on earth. Soon greed took over him.
“I will sell the fruits for 5 dinheiros each” thought Eduardo.
The next day was also a sold out.
Few days passed. Now Eduardo fortunes changed. He demolished the hut and built a huge house for himself. He sold the donkey and bought a horse cart.
He wore the best clothes. He wore the best hat.
He took special care of his money tree.
Every day he went to the town and sold fruits and brought a lot of money back home.
One day, while he was crossing the forest on his horse cart en route to the town, an old man stopped him.
“I see that you are a fruit seller. I haven’t eaten for days. Will you please satiate my hunger by giving me a fruit?” pleaded the old man.
“Not at all! Do you know how much money I will lose if I give you a fruit?” shouted Eduardo, “If you have 5 dinheiros, I may consider giving you a fruit.”
“But I don’t have any money” said the old man.
“Then I have no fruit for you” said Eduardo as he set towards the town.
Eduardo reached town. He set up shop at the back of the cart.
“Fresh fruit for 5 dinheiros!” cried Eduardo.
As usual people gathered at the shop.
Many customers bought the fruits. But there was a problem. They came back with the fruits.
“Hey, the fruits are all spoiled.” A customer said
“Give my money back!” yelled another.
Eduardo now was in neck-deep trouble.
He made no sales that day. He returned empty handed.
When he reached home he was shocked!
The tree was dead. The fruits were absent.
Just then the same old man whom he had encountered in the forest appears.
“You have been greedy long enough. You are no more kind. So you do not deserve the gifts I gave you” said the old man.
“So you are the same man! Sir, please do not do this to me!” cried Eduardo “I will mend my ways.”
“There is only one way” declared the old man “I will give you a seed. This seed is not a magical seed. You will have to work hard to raise it, nurture it and then the tree will bear fruit.”
The old man then mysteriously disappears.
Eduardo cried and repented a lot. But he gathered himself.
He planted the seed and cared and nurtured it every single day. He watered it. He put manure to it. He allowed it to grow.
With the money he had kept in his pot, he bought some cows and grazed them. Then he milked them to make a living.
Years passed. The tree grew and started bearing fruit. Eduardo’s hard work had paid off. The tree now gave fruit every day. He then planted many seeds in his backyard and took care of all the trees.
Some more years passed. Now Eduardo had many trees. He sold the fruits and earned a decent profit to live.
One day while eating supper, Eduardo heard a knock on his door. He opened the door.
The mysterious old man was at his door again.
Eduardo welcomed him and made him a hearty meal.
“I think you have learnt a lesson. So I will bring back the tree to life.” Told the old man.
“But I do not want that tree anymore. I have understood the value of hard work and service.” Said Eduardo.
“Then that is a very good lesson you have learnt, young man. Hard Work pays off” Said the old man. “But still, I have to give you something.”
And the old man gave him 5 pots of gold.
The old man disappeared.
Eduardo used those 5 pots of gold wisely. He used it to buy more land and to plant more seeds. A part of the money, he used to start a soup kitchen for the poor and needy.
Eduardo earned respect and lived contended with whatever he earned all his life.