There once lived a cunning and crafty man in a small village. He
always used to make money through deceit. "Why should I work when I
have the ability to deceive others!" he would think.
One day, the cunning man went to a foolish farmer and said, "I have
a huge property that I am not able to take care of.
I want to sell
some of my land. Would you like to buy it?" The farmer was in need
of land, so he said, "Yes, but first I would like to see the land."
"Sure!" said the cunning man, and led the farmer to a huge field.
At one end of the field there was a hut and a well. "The hut and
well are also for sale," said the cunning man. "But the well is the
most expensive of all."
The farmer was surprised and asked, "What is so special about this
well?" "It’s called 'silver well'," was the reply from the cunning
man. "There is a lot of silver down there."
Then he took the farmer to the well and pulled out a bucketful of
silver, which he had arranged for beforehand. "See..." he said,
"every time you pull out the bucket, you will get silver! That's why
this well is the most expensive."
The farmer was thrilled! "If I buy this well, all my financial
problems will be solved forever," he thought. Then asked, "How much
will it cost?" "The original price is 100 gold coins, but I shall
reduce it 75, just for you, friend!" The foolish farmer felt it
wasn't a bad bargain and decided to buy the well. He went home to
get the money. The cunning man followed him and waited outside his
The farmer's wife was an intelligent woman, "I doubt this story of
the 'silver well'," she said to the farmer. "Before giving away our
entire savings, we must seek advice from some wise men of the
The farmer agreed. He went to the cunning man and said politely,
"Please give me a day's time to arrange for the money. You can come
tomorrow morning; I shall keep it ready."
Feeling happy that the farmer was trapped, the cunning man went
away. Then, the farmer went to a wise man and asked for his opinion.
"Silver Well!" the wise man exclaimed. "Tomorrow when the man comes
to your house, ask him to give it to you in writing that the silver
well belongs to him and that he is selling it to you for 75 gold
coins. If he refuses to write the receipt then tell him that will
pay only 10 gold coins. If he is a genuine seller, he will give you
the receipt. If he is a crook, he will agree to sell the well for 10
gold coins." Taking the tips from the wise man, the farmer returned
The next morning when the cunning man arrived, the farmer said, "I
am ready to buy the silver well, but you must write on a piece of
paper that it belongs to you, that it produces silver, and that you
are selling it to me for 75 gold coins." Hearing this, the cunning
man was alarmed! "Err...hhh....I am giving you my word, dear friend!
Isn't that enough?" he said. "All right, if you can't give to me in
waiting then I shall pay you only 10 gold coins. Will that be fine?"
asked the farmer. "Oh....ah...why yes...sure!" said the cunning man,
still happy that he will get at least 10 gold coins.
Now the farmer was sure that the man was trying to deceive him. He
caught the cunning man and handed him over to the strong men of the
The cunning man got a sound thrashing and was chased out of the
village. Never again did he dare to deceive anyone.
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