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The Casket PDF Print E-mail

Casket
Casket
On her 75th birthday, Umm Ziyad distributed her wealth among her four sons and announced she would spend three months of the year with each son, in turn.

This worked well for a while and then the old woman found the welcome she got was becoming less cordial. Finally she began to feel unwanted. Now she saw her sons’ true colours. Money meant everything to them; people came second.

 

One day Umm Ziyad went out and returned, her clothes covered in mud. She was holding a small ornamental casket. ‘What is that?’ asked her son. ‘Something that could change our lives for the better,’ said his mother. ‘What does it contain?’ ‘You'll find out when I'm dead.’ The son lost no time in informing his brothers about the casket. ‘She’s not given us all her wealth,’ said the eldest. ‘She must have more valuable gems. God alone knows how many caskets she’s buried.’

 

They asked her but she refused to tell what the casket contained. They tried to open the casket in her absence but it was securely locked. But now Umm Ziyad no longer felt unwanted. Her sons went out of their way to make her feel welcome. Each son tried to persuade her to stay longer than three months.

 

She passed away 9 years later and her friend brought the casket key. When the sons opened it, they found worthless stones and a note from their mother: ‘Disappointment awaits all whose lives centre around money. It is a sad thing when an old woman has to resort to trickery to get her sons to look after her. May this change your lives.’

 
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