Find this Story

Print, a form you can hold

Wireless download to your Amazon Kindle

Look for a summary or analysis of this Story.

Enjoy this? Share it!

The Man Who Went To Seek His Fate
by [?]

Once there was a very poor man who had a wife and twelve children, and not a single rupee. The poor children used to cry with hunger, and the man and his wife did not know what to do. At last he got furious with God and said, “How wicked God is! He gives me a great many children, but no money.” So he set out to find his fate. In the jungle he met a camel with two heavy sacks of gold on its back. This camel belonged to a Rájá, and once it was travelling with other camels and with the Rájá’s servants to another country, and carrying the sacks of gold. Every night they encamped and started again early in the morning; but one morning the servants forgot to take this camel with them, and the camel forgot the road home, and the sacks were too tightly strapped for it to get rid of them. So it wandered about the jungle with the sacks on its back for twelve years. The camel asked the poor man where he was going. “I am going to seek my fate, to ask it why I am so poor,” he answered. The camel said, “Ask it, too, why for twelve years I have had to carry these two sacks of gold. All this time I have not been able to lie down, or to eat, or to drink.” “Very well,” said the man, and he went on.

Then he came to a river in which he saw an alligator. The alligator took him across, and when he got to the other side it asked him where he was going. The man said, “I am going to seek my fate, to ask it why I am so poor.” “Then,” said the alligator, “ask it also why for twelve years I have a great burning in my stomach.” “I will,” said the man.

Then he went on and on till he came to a tiger, who was lying on the ground with a great thorn sticking in his foot. This tiger had gone out one day to hunt for food, and not looking where he was going, he put his foot on the thorn, and the thorn ran into his foot. And so God grew very angry and said, “Because you are such a careless, stupid fellow, and don’t look where you are going, for twelve years this thorn shall remain in your foot.” “Where are you going?” the tiger asked the man. “I am going to seek my fate, to ask it why I am so poor. Some one told me that my fate was far, far away, a twelve years’ journey from my own country, and that it was lying down, and that I must take a thick stick and beat it with all my might.” “Ask it, too,” said the tiger, “why for twelve years I have had this thorn in my foot and cannot get it out, though I have tried hard to do so.” “Yes, I will,” said the man.

Then he came to the place where every one’s fate lives. The fates are stones, some standing and others lying on the ground. “This must be mine,” he said; “it is lying on the ground, that’s why I am so poor.” So he took the thick stick he had in his hand, and beat it, and beat it, and beat it, but still it would not stir. As night was approaching he left off beating it, and God sent a soul into the poor man’s fate, and it became a man, who stood looking at the poor man and said, “Why have you beaten me so much?” “Because you were lying down, and I am very poor, and at home my wife and my children are starving.” “Oh, things will go well with you now,” said the fate, and the man was satisfied. He said to his fate, “While coming here I met a camel who for twelve years has had to wander about with two heavy sacks of gold on its back, and it wants to know why it must carry them.” “Oh,” said the fate, “just take the sacks off its back and then it will be free.” “I will,” said the poor man. “Then I met an alligator who for twelve years has had a great burning in its stomach.” The fate said, “In its stomach is a very large ruby, as big as your hand. If the alligator will only throw up the ruby, it will be quite well.” “Next I met a tiger who has had for twelve years a great thorn in his foot which he cannot take out.” “Pull it out with your teeth,” said the fate; and then God withdrew the soul, and the fate became a stone again which stood up on the ground.