The Fortune In The Well

The Fortune In The Well

A man inherited a fortune from his uncle. He brought home a large amount of money and gold. That evening he was sitting in his backyard when he thought he heard someone whispering. He strained his ears to catch the muffled words and heard, “…jewellery … at midnight … hide … quietly …”

The man smelt a rat and immediately called out to his wife, “Listen my dear, I am anxious for the safety of our large inheritance, I think we should put it in a trunk and hide it in this well in our backyard.” The wife raised her eyebrows, surprised that her husband should be saying this to her so audibly. But he signaled to her to keep mum and follow him into the house.

Soon the couple came out of the house lugging a large and heavy iron chest. A padlock was dangling over the bolt. They dragged the chest to the well and somehow managed to throw it down the well. It hit the bottom of the well with a big splash. The man heaved a sigh of relief and said, “At last, now we can sleep in peace. Come let us go indoors.”

The burglars were watching every move intently. They were thrilled that they would not have to go through the risky exercise of breaking into the house. Retrieving the chest from the well they thought, would be child’s play. They were pleased to find a bucket lying near the well, complete with a rope. They stealthily lowered the bucket into the well and drew out a bucket full of water. The head burglar said tersely, “Fast, we must draw out all the water, bucket by bucket. Soon we’ll be able to dry up the well. Then we can go down the well and get the treasure from the chest. This rope should be strong enough for us to climb up again. I can see that it is securely fastened to that tree.”

The burglars emptied out the water from the well as fast as they could. As the water started flowing away from the site of the well, in the darkness of the night, the owner of the house smartly channeled it, to water his crop of rice in the adjoining field! Soon the owner felt that the flow of water was dwindling. He realized that the thieves had probably emptied out most of the water from the well.

He noticed that one by one all the robbers were lowering themselves into the well. The owner crept up to the tree and undid the knot of the rope!

A few minutes later he heard a commotion from the depths of the well. “What is this? This chest is full of old utensils and stones!” “Oh Lord! Where are the gold coins?” “Let me see…” After realizing that they had been duped, the head burglar caught hold of the rope and said, “I think we must rush out now. We have been fooled!” As soon as he tugged at the rope to pull himself up, the rope came tumbling down on his head. “We have been fooled twice over!” he wailed.

The owner had saved his fortune by his sheer presence of mind. If one is able to do the right thing at the right time that makes all the difference!

Common sense is seldom common. History tells us that when NASA started the launch of astronauts into space it found that pens wouldn’t work at zero gravity because the ink wouldn’t flow. NASA spent an exorbitant sum of money, over a period of a decade, to develop a pen that would work at any kind of gravity, temperature, pressure etc. The Russians simply used a pencil! The difference lies in how you approach the problem. Wisdom is nothing more than timely application of common sense.