Once upon time, not a long time ago, there lived a wanderer. You know how all wanderers are! So you see this one was not an exception. He sold artificial ornamental-plants for a living as he was too lazy to work as a factory-labour.
There was nothing extraordinary about him. Now, some of you may wonder that if he was so lazy, then who made those ornamental-plants for him. Actually, he got them from an old grandma. Every day he would stand at the window of this old grandma’s hut and say,” I am a poor boy who ran away from his village. I have no place to go, no job to do. Please give me some of these beautiful plants and I will sell them and in return I will bring you fire wood.” On hearing this she would give him the plants she had made the previous night. In return he brought fire-wood from the forest for the old grandma and would put it below her window.
One day the boy came to her window, like every other day, and started saying,” I am a poor boy who ran away . . .” he had just begun when he heard the old grandma coughing. he said,” Dear grandma are you sick?” She was still coughing. He knocked at the window. The window slowly opened and the old grandma forwarded an old artificial apple tree. ” Only one plant!”, the boy thought and took it. He went from village to village and home to home but no one bought it. Some laughed saying,” How funny! Apples grow on dwarf trees.” A lady said,” I can’t put it on my centre-table, it looks old and dirty.”
The boy was very sad and tired. He could not sell it and had no money to buy food. That evening he did not bring fire woods for the old grandma, and fell asleep under a neem tree, as it was getting too dark. In his dream he saw that the old grandma was watering the plastic apple tree.
Next morning when he woke up, he was surprised. He was surrounded by red juicy apples under a big apple tree which looked exactly like the plastic apple-tree. He was very happy.
He earned a lot of money by selling the apples. He thought,” I have enough money so I’ll stay in the city and enjoy till I spend my last penny.” After a week when all his money was lost in drinking and gambling he returned to the tree. In his dream he again saw the old grandma watering the tree, only this time the tree was not artificial, but she looked sick. Next day he again went to the city to sell apples. After wasting all the money he again returned to the tree. In his dream he saw that the tree was dead.
On finding the apple tree dead that morning, he furiously went to the old grandma’s hut and started knocking at her door. When no one opened the door he asked the neighbours.
He was shocked to hear that the old grandma had passed away. He was ashamed of his selfishness and laziness. He ran away into the forest weeping.
The old grandma was very sick so she was unable to make the artificial plants like everyday. She waited for the boy to return the day she gave him the old plastic apple tree. But he did not return. She died that night. She cared for the boy so she prayed to the gods to let her help him. The gods hearing her prayer let her soul to help him. They gave her a week. It was her soul that the boy saw in his dream. The boy was lazy so he did not bother to take care of the tree. Hoping for the boy to realize his mistake and work hard, the old grandma’s soul prayed to the gods to let her stay for another week. She was very sad because all her efforts to help him were fruitless. The boy was lazy so he did not take care of the tree even this time. The boy thought that he was lucky to get the money without any hard-work. it was time, and when she left the tree died.