The peasant Raman had received permission to cultivate a piece of fallow land adjoining his small property. So he set out early one morning to plough this land, which he visualised would produce excellent crops.
All went well for some time, and then his plough struck something. Hard. Muttering curses, Raman knelt, fully expecting to find a boulder to be dug out. But saints be praised, instead of a boulder, Raman’s eyes were dazzled by the sight of gold!
Quickly setting to work, Raman soon uncovered his find and could jump with joy, for it was an immense bar of solid gold. But when he tried to move it, the weight was too much for his sturdy muscles.
Then he decided to get his brother-in-law to help. If they cut the bar into two, they could carry it away and be rich forever. However, it was a pity to have to share! Such a find, it could not be helped.
Raman rushed ott to his: brother-in-law’s house, and after considerable hard work, the two men managed to cut the bar of gold in two. But still, each piece was too heavy to lift. Ultimately, they decided to seek the assistance of two other relatives, even though it would mean dividing this wealth into four.
It was getting towards dusk when the four men finally managed to cut the bar of gold into four pieces. Then with a good deal of tugging and heaving. Each man managed to shoulder his part of gold and set off for home before any prying busybodies discovered their great secret.
They had not gone many yards when one of the men dropped his piece of gold on the ground and cried out, “Wait a minute. I am being twisted. My place is smaller than the others.”
Nonsense,” shouted one of the others. “It is I who has got the smallest piece.”
The third man promptly threw his piece on the ground.
“You are all rogues,” he shouted. “My piece is smaller than yours. So we should cast lots as to who shall choose the four pieces.”
This continued until all four men accused each other, and their noisy arguments soon attracted a crowd, ready to join in a dispute.
As luck would have it, a platoon of the King’s guard happened to be passing, and the sergeant in charge, sensing a riot, was soon upon the scene. But when he saw the gold, his eyes somewhat popped out of his head. “Where did you get this gold?” he demanded, catching the nearest onlooker by the neck.
In the end, the four men admitted they had found the gold buried in the field, were merely taking it home, and had no wish to cause a disturbance.
Stealing the King’s gold,” roared the sergeant. “Off to prison with the four of you.”
The four hapless men, together with the gold, were hauled up in front of the magistrate, who, when he heard the whole story, sarcastically announced that the gold would henceforth repose in the King’s treasury, and the four men would repose in prison for the next twelve months.