Once, there lived two brothers-the elder one was rich, while the younger poor. The elder brother was very selfish and arrogant. But, the younger brother was kind-hearted and generous. One day, the younger brother’s wife said, “We don’t have anything to eat, dear! We have been starving for the past two days. How long can we survive like this? Please go and ask your elder brother for some food.”
The younger brother knew that his selfish elder brother would not offer him anything, but he didn’t have any other way out. So, he went to his elder brother’s house. “Please give me some food, dear brother,” he pleaded. The elder brother whispered to his wife, “Give him the goat’s hoof which the demon wants.” The wife went inside the kitchen and brought the goat’s hoof. Giving the hoof to the younger brother, the elder brother said, “Take this and go to the demon that has the magical millstone; he will give you food.”
When the younger brother left, he turned to his wife and said, “When he goes to ask for the millstone, the demon is sure to kill him.” The younger brother took the hoof, thanked his elder brother, and started walking towards the forest where the demon with the magical millstone lived.
After a long and tiring journey, the younger brother arrived at the demon’s cave. The demon was sitting right at the mouth of the cave. The poor brother saluted the demon and said, “I come from far away from the good demon, and bring you this hoof.” The demon was delighted to see the hoof. “In return, I want that millstone,” said the poor brother. “Oh no! I can’t part with that!” said the demon. “Take silver, or gold, or even diamonds! Ask for anything, but not this millstone.” “Well…” said the poor brother, “I don’t want any of these. Give me the millstone if you can or else I shall take your leave.”
The demon wanted the hoof as it was magical. Finally, he agreed to give away the millstone to the poor brother. “This is a magical millstone,” said the demon. Make a wish and then say, “Grind, my millstone! When you have enough and want the millstone to stop, say ‘Enough, the work is done!’ Use it wisely.”
The poor brother thanked the demon and carried the magical millstone home to his wife. “Give me food! Grind, my millstone!” said the poor brother. In an instant, the magical millstone laid out many delicious dishes. The poor brother and his wife ate well that day. “Enough, the work is done!” said the poor brother, and the millstone stopped girding. From that day on, the younger brother and his wife were poor
No more. The magical millstone gave those good clothes, scrumptious food, and a big house. One day, the elder brother secretly saw the younger brother using the magical millstone.
Overcome with greed, he snatched the millstone away from the younger brother and ran to the beach. He put the millstone in a boat and rowed out to the sea where the fisherman was catching fish and putting them in salt. “Salt will sell well here,” thought the greedy elder brother. So, he recalled how his younger brother had commanded the millstone, and said, “Give me salt! Grind my millstone!” The millstone poured out heaps of fine salt.
However, in his excitement, the elder brother forgot how to stop the millstone. “Stop, my millstone!” he said. But the millstone continued to produce salt and fill the boat. Suddenly, with the weight of salt, the boat turned upside down and the millstone sank to the bottom of the sea. The greedy brother drowned. As for the magical millstone, it is still grinding at the bottom of the sea, pouring out salt, thus making the sea salty!