The Mice that Ate Balance | Moral Stories For Kids


Once upon a time, there lived a wealthy merchant, in a village. He ran a big business. His village was situated near a river. Once, due to heavy rain, the river was flooded. One night, the whole village was submerged in neck deep water. The crops, houses and factories in the village were destroyed and hundreds of people and cattle perished in the flood.

The merchant had to suffer heavy losses in his business. He decided to shift to some other town to try his luck. His plan was to earn a lot of money and then come back to his native village to start his business again.

The merchant had a heavy iron balance lying with him. It belonged to his ancestors. It was not possible for him to carry such a heavy thing along with him. So, before starting on his journey, he decided to keep this ancestral item with his friend Ravi. He met Ravi and requested him, “My friend, as you know, I’m leaving for some distant place to earn money, so that I could start my business once again when I come back. I have an old iron balance with me. Will you please keep it safe with you till I return?”

Ravi readily agreed to his friend’s request and said, “Don’t worry, I’ll keep it safe for you. You can take it back after you return home.” The merchant thanked Ravi for his helping attitude. He kept the iron balance with Ravi and left for some other distant town.

A few years passed by. By this time, the merchant had done good business and had earned a lot of money. He returned to his native village, and went to his friend Ravi’s house to meet him. Ravi showed his happiness in meeting the merchant. Both the friends talked together for hours. When it was time to leave, the merchant asked his friend to return his iron balance. At this, Ravi looked sad and said, “Friend, I am sorry to say that I don’t have your balance with me anymore. There are a lot of mice in my house. They ate up your balance.”

The merchant was surprised to hear Ravi’s explanation. ‘How can mice eat iron,’ he thought to himself, but apparently he said something different, “Don’t feel sorry, Ravi. The mice have always proved a menace to everyone. Let us forget about it.”

“Yes,” Ravi said. “This is the only way out.” He was happy that the merchant believed his words. In fact he had expected a lot of heated arguments in this respect.

While taking leave from his friend, the merchant said to Ravi, “I’m going to temple to make an offering of laddoos. Could you please send your son with me. I would like to send some laddoos for you also. He would also look after my shoes outside the temple while I offer prayers inside.

Ravi asked his son to go along with the merchant. Then, the merchant, instead of taking Ravi’s son to temple, took him to a nearby hill and tied him with a big rock and came back home.

When Ravi didn’t see his son return, he asked the merchant where his son was. “I’m sorry,” said the merchant. “While your son was looking after my shoes outside the temple, a big vulture swooped down upon him and carried him away.”

“What nonsense!” shouted Ravi. “How can a vulture carry off a young boy?” But the merchant repeatedly claimed that a vulture carried away Ravi’s son. The argument reached such a point that they began quarrelling with each other, using dirty words.

Ultimately the matter had to be taken to the court. The Judge listened to both the parties and ordered the merchant to bring Ravi’s son to the court, otherwise, he would be sent to jail.

“My Lord”, said the merchant, “How can I, when a vulture has already carried away the boy.”

“Shut up!” the judge reprimanded the merchant. “How can a bird carry away a young boy?”

“It can, my lord,” said the merchant. “If mice can eat my iron balance, why can’t a bird carry away a grown up boy.” Then he narrated the whole story to the judge.

The judge then asked Ravi to tell the truth. He warned him that if he didn’t tell the truth he would be sent to prison. At last, Ravi admitted his guilt. The judge ordered him to return the iron balance to the merchant. He asked the merchant to return the boy to Ravi.

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