Once upon a time there lived a poor barber along with his wife. He was so poor that he could barely afford one full meal in a day. His wife was very upset with their state of poverty and kept nagging him “You couldn’t provide me with two full meals. What kind of husband are you?”
The wife kept badgering the barber day-in day-out saying, “Why did you marry me if you cannot provide with my basic needs? I was well of at my father’s house, at least I could eat two full meals a day and don’t have to work so hard through the day.”
One day, the barber quite fed up with his wife’s nagging, left home early in the morning deciding that he will not come back till he becomes wealthy.
Through-out the day he worked very hard but still could manage only a meager amount and felt very disappointed. He kept wandering about and reached the very end of the village where the forest starts. Dejected and tired he sat down under a tree and said aloud, “What is the point of my living if I cannot gather enough food for my family?”
Now on this tree lived a very fearsome ghost, whose only hobby was to kill hapless human beings and looking at the barber he got excited about the kill he would make.
The ghost climbed down from the tree and standing in front of the barber in a shrieking voice said, “Hey barber, I will now kill you and eat you up. Nobody can save you.”
The barber though very frightened, didn’t loose his common sense and used mind cleverly and said, “What, you will kill me. Wait till I capture you in my bag where I already have one ghost. The poor ghost in my bag needs company.”
Saying this, the barber took out his mirror and held it up in front of the ghost. Meanwhile the ghost, who had never seen a mirror but have heard about the clever clan of barbers got scared and said, “Sir, I will do whatever you ask of me, just do not put me inside your bag.”
The barber not certain what to ask said, “You ghosts rarely keep your words, what is the guarantee that you will not run away?”
The ghost still shivering from fear said, “I promise to abide by your command, master. Just tell me what you want and it will be served right now here itself.”
The barber feeling very confident now said, “First get me a bag full of gold coins. Then make a big store-room (granary) at my house and fill it up with food. Also see to it that the granary is always full, never out of stock. Do this immediately.”
The ghost relieved, immediately arranged a sack full of gold coins and promised to build the granary store by the next day as he needed help from his uncle who was expert in building such things.
The barber, now a rich man started his journey back home. He reached his home in the early hours of the morning and found his wife waiting for him anxiously. Before she could say a word, the barber dropped the gold filled sack in front of her. The wife could not believe her own eyes when she saw the gold and was very happy. She hugged her husband and said, “Oh my, where did you get this treasure?” The barber with a wink replied, “Wait till evening and you will see more.”
Meanwhile the ghost got his uncle along to the barber’s house to build the granary. Uncle ghost has seen many a place and all sorts of people, was skeptical and said, “Nephew, the barber has made a fool of you. There are no ghosts in his bag.” Saying this started to peek inside the house.
The barber could sense that the ghost along with his uncle had come. He immediately held up his mirror in front of the window from where the uncle ghost was trying to look inside and said, “Don’t you try any trick now. If you two do not start the job, I will put you both in my bag along with this ghost.”
The uncle ghost looking at his own image in the mirror got very scared and screamed, “Nephew, lets get on with work, this barber is very clever and dangerous. He already has captured a poor ghost.”
Uncle and nephew got down to the task immediately and working throughout the day, not only build the granary filled it up with all kinds of food stock. The ghost-duo also promised to fill-up the granary with food every week.
The barber, now a wealthy villager, his wife contended with her fortune along with their children never had to think of the food and lived happily ever after.