The Magic Stick
In a remote forest, an older man once lived in a cave. He owned three magical things. The first was a cap, which on wearing would make the wearer invisible; the second was a magic pot, from which one could get something to eat endlessly; and the third was a stick, which would beat up anyone the older man wanted to beat, and then return to him. The older man lived very happily and contentedly with his three magic companions.
A thief was on his way to a fair, which was being held just beyond the edge of the forest. It was an annual event to which huge crowds thronged, and the thief hoped to make a lot of money in various underhand ways.
As the thief passed through the forest, he came across the cave where the older man lived. The older man heard someone entering his cave and quickly put on his magic cap and became invisible. The thief could not believe that there was no one in the shelter because he was sure that he had seen someone just before he entered the cave, and there was no place where anyone could hide. So the thief hid behind a tree outside and watched the cave.
The older man thinking that the intruder had left and that he was alone once again, took off his magic cap and came out of the cave. The thief thus finds out about the magic cap and is determined to steal it and use it to help him in his thieving acts. Immediately the older man was out of sight; the thief crept into the cave and grabbed the cap, which he put on his head and so became invisible. Then the invisible thief continued to the fair, happily singing to himself.
When the older man returned to his cave and found the magic cap missing, he was distraught.
At lunchtime, he took his magic pot and started eating from it. Another thief, on his way to the fair, saw the older man sitting in his cave eating his lunch. The thief was hungry, so he hid behind the same tree the other thief had hidden behind and waited patiently for the older man to leave his cave. Imagine his surprise and joy when he found that the pot was a magic one.
After lunch, the older man took his magic stick with him for a walk. The thief dashed into the cave, grabbed the magic pot and hurried off as fast as possible.
When the older man discovered his missing magic pot, he was despairing. He would have nothing to eat now. And when he was dying of hunger, what use would his magic stick be to him?
A little later in the afternoon, a noble young man was out hunting in the forest when he came across the poor older man sitting on the stump of a tree, looking very sad. The young man asked the older man the reason for his sadness.
The poor old man told the youth his tale of woe and added, Son, you can have my magic stick because it is of no use to me any longer.”
“You will do no such thing, old man,” said the sympathetic youth, “Your stick is handy. Lend it to me; with its help, I will get back your magic cap and pot.”
The young man then set out in the direction of the fair. Just at the edge of the forest, a voice that seemed to come from nowhere shouted, “Your money or your life!”
The youth knew at once that the voice must belong to the thief, who had stolen the magic cap.
“I have many valuable things on me. But make yourself visible to me first,” demanded the youth.
The thief took off the magic cap and became visible. The youth immediately asked the magic stick to beat up the thief. The stick beat the thief so hard that he rolled in agony on the ground. The young man then took the cap from the thief, asked the stick to stop beating him up, and proceeded.
At the fair, there was a big tent where the visitors could buy various food. The young man knew that the pot was sure to be there. He put on the magic cap and went into the tent kitchen. There were no cooks in the kitchen, only the magic pot, out of which all the delicious food was coming incessantly. He took the pool and ran out of the tent. The thief saw the bank mysteriously floating away in the air and tried to grasp it, where the young man ordered the magic stick to give him a sound beating.
The young man returned to the cave where the older man lived and gave the magic stick, the magic pot and the magic cap back to the older man.
The older man was overjoyed to have his three magic friends back again. He profusely thanked the noble young man and treated him to a sumptuous meal from the magic pot.