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The Old Man, his Young Wife and The Thief

(Story found in:  Franklin Edgerton's reconstruction Durgasimha's Kannada translation Purnabhadra's recension Hitopadesha by Narayana )

There lived an old but rich merchant named Kamatura, who was a widower.
 
Ever since his wife had died, he was love-sick and wanted to re-marry. He somehow convinced another merchant, and gave him a lot of money, to marry his young daughter.
 
The young wife was very unhappy with the marriage, and hated her husband because he was an old man. She did not even look at her husband.
 
The old merchant understood her reason for being unhappy, but would do everything to impress her.
 
One night, as they were sleeping on opposite sides of the bed, a thief crept into their house. The new wife awoke by a sound, and realized that there was a thief inside the house.
 
The young wife was terrified, and turned to her husband who was sleeping. Out of fear, she clasped her husband tightly. She did all this without making any sound, so that the thief's attention is not drawn.
 
The old merchant awoke, to find his young wife hugging him. He thought, "I am very delighted at this, but there must be a reason that my wife hugs me so tightly."
 
As he glanced around, he realized that there was a thief in their house, and his wife was hugging him out of fear of the thief.
 
He shouted at the thief, "O stranger, I want to thank you! I have tried everything, but my wife kept avoiding me. But, it is because of you that she hugged me so lovingly. I am a happy man now, please take anything you like."
 
The wise indeed say:
Sometimes, even your enemy can be beneficial to you.
 
« The Brahmin and the Cobra The Brahmin, the Thief, and the Demon »
 
 
 
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