A very wealthy merchant had very little to worry about in his life. He had all the material comforts. But his biggest concern was his son. His son was very lazy and showed no intelligence or creativity, much less any willingness to work.
However, his mother, the Merchant’s wife, always made excuses for her son and thought the best of him.
As the lad was getting older and it was time for him to get married, the Merchant was worried that his son was not ready for the family responsibility. “My lazy son doesn’t have the wit or will to work. How will he ever be able to make a living?” The Merchant knew that the wealth he had accumulated in his life would not last forever. His foolish son may lose it all in an extravagant spree, or some cunning person may dupe him into losing all.
But the mother’s heart couldn’t see the flaws in her son and have set her heart on finding a wife for her son. So she urged the Merchant to find a suitable girl from a good family for her son. She talked about how her son had improved and grown wiser with time and how he was ready for marriage.
The Merchant was annoyed by constant pestering from his wife. “Fine, we can look for a girl for our son. ‘the Merchant finally gave up to her continuous pestering. “But, I have a condition. The girl who is supposed to marry our son should buy one item with this one small coin. But, That one item must be something to eat, something to drink, something to plant in the garden, and some food for the cow.” Then the Merchant handed over the small coin to his son and asked him to find a girl who could do that.
“But that is impossible; how can anyone get something that can do so many things with such a small amount of money?” said the mother. But the boy was optimistic and went to the town to find the girl who could buy him something to eat, drink, plant, and give to the cows. In the town, he met many beautiful women, daughters of wealthy merchants, but no one could think of anything to buy with the coin. Some of the girls laughed at the bizarre demand of the Merchant’s son, and some of them even claimed he must have gone crazy.
But the young lad did not lose hope and visited every household that had girls of marriageable age. The last house in the town was of an ironsmith. The boy was exhausted and sad when he went to the house. A young girl looking at the sad boy asked him what the problem was. The boy explained to her the task he had. “What can be bought for only one small coin — to eat, drink and all other things my father asks for? Surely this is an impossible task!” said the boy. “Oh, that is easy, I can do that, ” the girl claimed.
“I know what you can do,” the young girl claimed. So the girl took him to the fruit market and bought him a watermelon with the coin.
“It provides something to eat, something to drink, something to chew upon, something to plant in your garden and some food for the cow. Give it to your father, and they will be pleased.”
The boy went home happily with a watermelon. The mother of the boy was happy that she would now get a daughter-in-law. The Merchant was impressed with the cleverness of the girl. Such a wise girl will be able to look over and correctly guide my son. So, he went to the Ironsmith house and requested his daughter to be married to his son.
The Merchant’s son married the wise daughter of the ironsmith. With such a wise wife, the boy became a hard-working young husband, and they all lived happily ever after.