It was about sunset, the time when the sky gets orange-coloured. Close to a little river, an old man next to death called his son and told him: “Listen my sweet creature, I will leave soon this world to re-join my ancestors. As a legacy, you will receive this wonderful rooster that made my father’s fortune as well as mine. It can secure your wealth too. Thanks to it you will have a happy life, lack nothing and also help the poorest. It is not a common rooster. For generations, it has been handed over from father to son. You will watch over it with great care from now on”. Then he died. The son organised the funeral and he invited relatives and friends.
The mourning period passed, the young man decided to participate with his rooster to fighting tournaments and for many years the rooster won all the fights, giving his owner luck and consideration. All the kings wanted that rooster, but the man did not want to get rid of it even though they would pay gold. He became powerful and rich and built a huge palace, where many servants worked. He also gave work to those who could not make their living. He built up schools where children could learn many disciplines.
His success aroused much jealousy and one of his neighbour, envious of his happiness, decided to make his life harder. She had the idea of giving her corn to the rooster. She fed it so much that it became so fat that after some time it could barely walk.
It was at that point that the cruel woman went to visit her neighbour and told him: “Your rooster stole my corn and I have nothing left to eat”.
The young man, embarrassed, replied: “Dear friend, calm down, I will pay you for your corn!”
She reacted angrily saying: “No, no, no! I want my corn back, the corn that your rooster has eaten. Kill it and give me back my corn.”
The atmosphere was tense, full of electricity, like when a storm is about to break out. The woman was full of anger, blinded by greed, and adamant. The young man offered her all his wealth, his palace, his gold, his diamonds and jewels but the woman did not change her mind. She considered her decision non-negotiable. The problem was brought before the Jury of Wise Men, and they listened to the discussion. Jealous as they all were, the members of the Jury condemned to death the poor rooster that was sleeping in the garden with a full stomach. They went there, they got it and they killed it.
The corn grains were returned to the woman. The young man suffered from this injustice and perished very fast. Struck by grief, he was devastated and became sadder day after day. He buried secretly the body of his rooster behind his palace and, wounded in the depths of his soul, he locked himself up for a long time in his palace. One day, in the place where the roosted was buried, a mango with beautiful fruits was born. The envious neighbour, who was greedy and bold, went to ask the young man one of the mango fruit. The man did not refuse but the woman called also his son and wanted him to eat those tasty fruits too. They took a lot of fruits instead of some, as she had asked.
The next day, at sunrise, the woman’s son went back to the mango tree and started to eat as many mangoes as he could, without asking permission to the owner. He climbed up the tree, chose the more mature ones and ate them. The tree owner saw her neighbour’s son up on a branch tree eating his mango fruits. He chewed and let the kernels and the peels fall on the ground, indifferent to his presence. Suddenly a mango, fell off from his hands and hit the owner’s head. Furious and thirsty for revenge, the man called for justice and gathered the village people and the Jury together.
As soon as they gathered, he declared threatening: ”Whoever ate my mangoes, must return them to me!”, All the presents approved, also the Jury. The culprit’s mother appeared completely breathless and said to the owner: “ I will give you back your fruits”. But he remembered the unfair death of his rooster and replied: “ Oh woman, since your justice was good for the past, it will be good again today. I claim back the fruits that your child has eaten”.
The Jury of Wise Men decided that the man was entitled to ask for fair justice. Crying and pleading with her neighbour, the woman offered him all her possessions in exchange for her son’s life. Though, according to the decision, the boy had to suffer the same fate as the poor rooster.
However, the man declared that he was ready to forgive all the past wickedness. Then, he went back to his palace, leaving his neighbour’s son alive.
Shocked by all the confusion, spared by fate but ashamed, the woman realised that her son owed his life to that man. She then pleaded with heaven to free her from her jealously and her past misdeeds. Destiny had given her a painful lesson and she finally understood that envy destroys those who feed it.