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Several years ago, there were two friends who were merchants. They decided to go on a trip to sell their merchandise. After a lot of discussion, they came to a conclusion that they will not travel together as it will be too crowded for them because each of the merchant has about 500 carts, and both have to go through the same road.
The first merchant thought a lot and decided that he will go first. He thought in his mind the benefits that he will get to reap by travelling first. To begin with, the road will not be rutted by the carts, and the bullocks will be able to savour the greenest grass along the way, and his caravan will get the best fruits and vegetables to eat.
The second merchant was also considering all the benefits that he would get if he will travel after the first merchant. He though that his friend’s carts would have levelled the ground so his caravan will not have to do any road work. Also, the bullocks of the first merchant would have eaten the old rough grass and his bullocks will get fresh grass to eat. Likewise, the first merchant’s people would also have plucked the old fruits and vegetables and fresh ones would grow for them to enjoy.
This way, both of them decided that the first merchant will be travelling first. The first merchant, became happy with the decision and thought that he has fooled his unwise friend and readily set out first on the journey.
But, when the first merchant was travelling, he faced a tough time. The local people informed him about a wilderness called the ‘Waterless Desert’, which was haunted by demons. As soon as the caravan reached the middle of the desert, they came across a big group of people coming from the opposite direction. Their carts were all smeared with mud and were dripping with water. They also had lotuses and water lilies in their hands as well as carts. The leader of this group asked the first merchant that why are they carrying heavy loads of water, as at a few distance from there, they will reach an oasis which has plenty of water to drink and dates to eat. They said that the caravan’s bullocks must have got tired by pulling those heavy carts filled with extra water. So, they should think about them and be kind to the animals.
Even though the locals had warned the first merchant of the demons, he ignored their warnings and believed the knowledgeable people and asked his team to empty all the water onto the ground.
They continued their journey and eventually discovered that there was no oasis on the desert. The caravan’s people realised that they have been tricked by the demons and started accusing the merchant for his foolish deed. As the night approached, all the people and animals got exhausted and fell into a deep slumber on the ground.
It was then that the demons came in their true terrifying forms and ate all the weak and defenceless beings, leaving behind only bones on the ground.
After several months, the second merchant began his journey. He was also warned by the locals about the demons, so when he arrived at the wilderness, he brought together all his people and said that this place is called the ‘Waterless Desert’ and is haunted by ghosts and demons, so everyone has to be careful all the time.
After reaching the middle of the desert, the second merchant and his caravan also met the water-soaked demons in disguise. The demons applied the same old trick and told them to throw away their water. Luckily, the wise merchant understood that it was a trick to fool them and they were demons in disguise. He said that they are all businessmen and would not throw away their drinking water before actually seeing where the water is coming from. The demons left the caravan and the caravan continued its journey.
When the second caravan reached the place where the first merchant’s caravan was slaughtered and wolfed, they were all shocked. At the onset of dusk, the wise merchant appointed some of his people as watch guards to protect the camp during the night.
The next morning, the people took their breakfast and fed their bullocks well. They also added to their carts all the valuable goods that were left behind from the first caravan.
Thus, under the wise guidance of the second merchant, the group completed its journey successfully. The second merchant and his people sold all the merchandise with profits and returned to their homes, safe and sound.
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