There lived a poor farmer in a small village in Kashmir. He had three sons and named them Vikram, Veer and Buddhu. Everyone thought that Buddhu was an extremely foolish boy. Hence, he was named Buddhu. Vikram and Veer went to Srinagar to earn money. However, they were not men of good virtue. They had spent all of their little money by leading an undisciplined lifestyle. They had no money and, thus, decided not to return home.
The farmer was very worried and sent his third son Buddhu to look for his brothers. Buddhu reached Srinagar and told his brothers that their father was worried about them and also that they were suffering due to lack of money. The next day, all the three brothers set off for Hrishikesh to earn more money.
The brothers did not have enough money to rent a bullock-cart for travel. So, they started their journey by walking. After walking for a while, the brothers came across an anthill. Both Veer and Vikram wanted to trample it. But Buddhu was a very kind person and convinced his brothers not to do so by saying, “Please don’t hurt them. They have not caused us any harm.” The brothers were reluctant but finally agreed with Buddhu.
After some time, the brothers came across a lake full of white swans. The two brothers wanted to kill the swans but Buddhu said, “Please brothers, I request you not to kill them. They are beautiful creatures and will never cause us any harm.” The brothers accepted Buddhu’s request and continued walking.
Once they reached the dense forest, suddenly they saw a beehive. Veer and Vikram wanted to set the hive on fire and drink honey from it. Even this time Buddhu pleaded with them not to hurt the bees as the bees had not hurt them and also had worked really hard to make their hive. The brothers were not convinced but finally agreed with Buddhu and did not burn the beehive.
The following day, they reached a big town and were shocked to find that everything there had turned to stone. They came across stone statues of three horses in front of a house. Upon entering the house, they found that all the people had turned into stones. They went to a small room and found an old man having his dinner on a stone table. He served the three brothers good food and told them, “You will have to perform three tasks once you finish your dinner. If you can manage to finish the tasks then everything in this village will come alive. However, if you fail to perform the tasks, then even you will turn into stone statues.”
The man said, “The first task is, that you have to collect the 1000 pearls buried below a stone under the sand before sunset.” Veer started with the task but could barely collect 20 by nightfall. He was transformed into a stone statue. Vikram too tried to complete the task, but failed.
It was now Buddhu’s turn. He went near the stone and started crying helplessly. Suddenly he noticed hundreds of ants walking towards him. They said, “Please don’t worry. You saved our houses from getting destroyed; now we will find you the pearls you need.” All the ants went under the mud and found the 1000 pearls before sunset.
The second task was to find a gold ring that the princess had lost in the lake. This time, too, Buddhu went to the lake and started crying. Immediately all the swans in the lake gathered and promised him to find the ring. After a little time, they found the ring and gave it to Buddhu.
The third task was a difficult one. The city had three beautiful princesses, and Buddhu had to spot the youngest one. There was just one clue to help him find the right one. Before they turned into stone, the eldest princess was eating an apple, the middle one was eating sugar and the youngest one was tasting honey. This time the honeybees came to Buddhu’s rescue. They went near the lips of all the three princesses and quickly sat on the lips of the youngest princess who was tasting honey. Thus, Buddhu identified her easily.
As soon as all the tasks were finished, the entire town, including Buddhu’s two brothers came alive. All the people thanked Budhdhu and his brothers never called him foolish again.
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