Friday, May 25, 2012

Mice have sharp teeth

Mice can eat iron bar story
(Favourite story from Malaysia)

Many years ago, there was a trader who had to leave suddenly for a far country. He did not know what to do with some iron bars which he had. As his friend had a shop, he left them with him.
“Please try to sell them for me at the best possible price.” He told his friend. “You can pay me when return.”
“Oh, all right,” said his friend, “I’ll do my best to help you.”
While he was away, his friend
sold them for him at a good price.
After several months, the trader returned home. “Did you sell the iron bars for me?” he asked his friend.
“I’m sorry,” said his friend sadly, “I didn’t want to write and tell you about it, but your iron bars were eaten up by mice.”
“Eaten by mice! How is that possible?”
“Yes, I know it sounds strange, but it’s true.”
“Oh, well,” said the trader, “I knew that mice have sharp teeth but I didn’t know they could eat iron bars.”
Next day, the trader saw his friend’s son playing in the street. “I’ve brought back a present for you,” he said. “Why don’t you come home with me to collect it?” the small boy followed him home. When they reached his house, the trader’s wife asked the boy to stay for dinner. After dinner, as it was getting dark, she asked him to stay for the night. “I’m sure your father won’t mind.” She said. “He’s an old friend of my husband’s.”
Early next morning the boy’s father came running to the trader’s house. “Have you seen my son?” he asked.
“Your son …? Ah, yes I saw an eagle swoop down and carry him off..”
“How can an eagle be so strong?” asked the boy’s father.
“Well, I supposed in the same way the mice can eat my iron bars,” said the trader.
His friend understood what he meant without saying any more.
“All right,” he said, “If you’ll give me back my son, I’ll pay you or the iron bars.”

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