In a temple city in south India, lived a group of young merchants who wanted to become rich. They had often heard about traders who had amassed a great deal of wealth in the course of their travels across the world.

So, one fine day, the merchants set out on a long journey in quest of riches and engaged in trade.

Unfortunately though, they did not become as rich as they had thought they would. Worse, they had spent more money on their travels than they had earned in the course of their trade – and that was galling. All this made them very impatient.

One day, when they were in a seaside town, their eyes fell on a large ship at a distance.

The Travellers [Illustration by Shinod AP]
The Travellers [Illustration by Shinod AP]

“When we become rich, we shall buy a ship just like that one,” they said excitedly.

They waited to see it enter the harbour. As the ship neared it lost its grand dimensions and started looking more like a small boat.

They were crestfallen. But they waited.

When the boat reached the shore the merchants discovered that it was only a bunch of logs tied together to make a raft. They were terribly disappointed.

Finally they understood. Just as they had wasted a lot of time on fruitless speculation about the “ship”, their expectations of getting rich also had been without any real basis. Crestfallen they decided to return home.

240 words | 2 minutes
Readability: Grade 5 (10-11 year old children)
Based on Flesch–Kincaid readability scores

Filed under: folktales
Tags: #trade

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