Laziness and diligence | Sunday Observer

Laziness and diligence

11 September, 2022

Once upon a time, there was a house in a faraway village. A husband and a wife lived there. Both of them had one daughter each from their previous marriages.

The lazy daughter

The wife loved her daughter very much. She gave her new clothes and never asked her to do any work. Thus, her daughter became very lazy. She would sit around all day doing nothing but admiring herself.

On the other hand, the step- mother treated her stepdaughter very badly.

“Why are you sitting here? Get up and clean the house”.

“But mother, I cleaned the house just this morning”.

“Don’t argue with me. Just do as I say”. “Yes, mother”.

The stepmother would make her do all the work and yet, the girl never complained. She would do the same work over and over again and never get tired. Her father watched it all. His heart ached for his daughter but he could not do anything for her. Over time, he had become too weak and ill. “My sweet daughter, I am so sorry, I can’t do anything for you”.

“No father, don’t be sorry, you loved me, cared for me and protected me. That’s all I want, not anything else. And now, it’s my turn to take care of you. Please don’t worry. I will work in a rich family’s house and earn much money. This is a difficult time but it will be over soon and I will get through it. Don’t worry”.

The stepmother was secretly listening to this and thought, “I must send that girl and earn money. Then we can live happily. And whatever she earns is mine”. Then she raised her voice and said, “Go and work you girl”.

The father protests

Then the father said, “How dare you? How can you say to my daughter to go as a servant to a wealthy home. And why don’t you send your daughter instead”?

Then the stepmother said,

“Oh, I would but you know she never dirties her fingers and nails. She is beautiful and she will not want to go. Anyway, your daughter is not beautiful. Tomorrow morning she will leave. It is decided."

The girl leaves home

The next morning, the girl was ready to leave. She would look for work with a wealthy family. The stepmother did not give any food to her for the journey. But the girl didn’t mind.

The father said, “Huhh, take good care of yourself, my child.

And remember, never say no to anyone who asks for help”. Help as you can”.

“Yes, I will remember that father”.

And the daughter left. She walked from hill to hill for many days but didn’t find any work. And yet she didn’t lose hope.

A talking tree

A little way ahead, she came across a talking tree. Then, the tree asked for help to cut its branches so it could grow. The girl did it willingly and walked on.. Then, she found a vine which asked for help. She helped it and walked ahead. Then, she met a broken oven, a broken well and a muddy dog. She helped all of them and walked on.

Seven fairies

Soon, it grew dark and she found a house where seven fairies lived.

“Umm… sorry to disturb you but it’s dark outside. Please can I stay here for the night”?. “Where are you going”? asked the fairies.

“I am trying to find work in a wealthy home”.

“Is that so? You can work here but you must clean all six rooms each and every day. But do not touch the seventh room. Do you agree”?

“Yes, thank you”.

The girl did as she was told. She skipped the seventh room every day. An year passed and she earned much money and wished to go home to see her father.

Then, the fairies asked, “Why didn’t you become curious about the seventh room”?

The gift

“I did my duty and was not interested in other things”. Then, the fairies said ,”You are honest and this is the time for your gift." The fairies took the girl to the seventh room and said “All the sticks in this room are yours”.

Gold and silver

The room was filled with gold and silver. She collected as much gold and silver as she could carry.

Then the girl waved goodbye to the fairies and left. On the way home, the muddy dog gave her pearls and the broken well gave water and the vine gave fruit and the broken oven gave buns, cakes and much more food and the tree gave pears. The girl took some of these for her father.

The girl comes home

The girl went home and the step- mother was surprised and angry to see her. The stepmother was so angry that she left home taking her lazy daughter with her.

Always remember, don’t be lazy, be diligent and you will do well. That was the only message given by the father to his daughter.

The girl and her father lived happily ever after.



Lalasha Tikiri Kumari

Grade 8

Lyceum International school Gampaha