Indian Folk Tales: An Unpleasant Smell
Once, a very prosperous money-lender or seth wanted to purchase a house. After a lot of search, he finally bought a house that he really liked. However the house was located right next to the house of a tanner. The tanner would spend the ......
Once, a very prosperous money-lender or seth wanted to purchase a house. After a lot of search, he finally bought a house that he really liked. However the house was located right next to the house of a tanner. The tanner would spend the whole day converting hide into leather, by treating it with tannin. The money-lender was totally put off by the smell of the tannin, right from day one.
One day, he decided to buy the tanner’s house, so that he does not have to deal with the smell every day. So he visited the tanner’s house and offered to buy it.
“I would definitely like to sell the house to you, Seth,” said the tanner. The tanner had no intentions of selling the house, but he loved playing pranks on people. He said, “Will you give me a week’s time to wind up all my stuff?” The seth readily agreed and went away.
A week passed and the unbearable stench of the tannery brought the seth to the tanner’s house once again. The seth said to the tanner, “The smell of your tannin has made me lose my appetite completely.” “I totally understand, sir,” said the tanner with sympathy, “but can you let me stay here for at least another month? Actually my mother has come here to stay with me and I cannot sell the house as long as she is here.” The money lender accepted the tanner’s request unwillingly and left his house.
He started waiting anxiously for the guest’s departure, counting each day as it passed by. He waited impatiently for the month to finish. Gradually, the seth stopped counting the days and waited no more for the month to come to an end. He simply forgot about the smell and did not visit the house of the tanner anymore.
The next time when the money-lender met the tanner, he did not ask him to leave. By then, he had got used to the smell of the tan yard. The seth asked the tanner, “What have you done to drive away that awful smell? Did you dilute the solution?”
The tanner simply smiled and nodded his head. He was just waiting for the day, when the seth would get used to the smell. This was the reason why he made the seth wait in the first place.
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