The Mouse Merchant: Diligence and Gratitude

An important advisor to a particular king once travelled to a meeting with the king and other advisers. He glanced over and noticed a dead mouse by the side of the road. Speaking to his companions, he said. “An ambitious young man could make a fortune even from such humble beginnings as this dead mouse. He could start a business, provide for a wife and children, and do all of this if he put in the effort and used his intellect.”

A bystander overheard the comment. Knowing that this man was a renowned advisor to the king, he made the decision to do as he said. He carried the dead mouse away by the tail after picking it up. As luck would have it, a store owner stopped him before he had even gone a block. He stated: “All morning, my cat has been bothering me. For that mouse, I’ll give you two copper coins.” So, it was finished.

He purchased some sweet cakes with the two copper coins and waited by the side of the road with them and some water. He anticipated that some of the individuals who gathered flowers for garlands would be leaving for work. They all agreed to purchase sweet cakes and water for the price of a bouquet of flowers from each of them because they were all hungry and thirsty. The man marketed the flowers in the city in the evening. He returned the following day to sell the sweet cakes to the flower pickers after purchasing more with some of the money.

This continued for some time until there was one day a terrible storm with torrential rain and strong winds. He noticed that many tree branches had been blown off and were lying all over when he was passing by the king’s pleasure garden. In exchange for being allowed to keep the branches, he offered to clear it all away for the king’s gardener. The slothful gardener sighs and concurs.

The man discovered some youngsters having fun in the park across the street. For just one sweet cake for each child, they were happy to pick up all the branches and brush at the pleasure garden entrance.

The king’s potter, who was constantly looking for firewood for his glazing oven, came along. He gave the man a handsome price for the piles of wood that the kids had just gathered. Even some of his pots were included in the bargain.

The man opened a coffee shop with the money he made from selling the flowers and the firewood. On their way into town one day, all of the neighbourhood lawn mowers stopped in his shop. He provided them with free drinks and desserts. He surprised them with his generosity, so they inquired about what they could provide. He stated that there was nothing they could do at the time but that he would inform them later.

He learned that a horse dealer was arriving in the city with 500 horses to sell a week later. He therefore made contact with the lawnmowers and instructed each of them to deliver a bundle of grass to him. Prior to selling his own horse, he instructed them not to sell any grass to the horse dealer. He received a very good price in this manner.

It took some time before he learned that a new ship from a foreign nation had just anchored in the port from some of his customers in his refreshment shop. He perceived this to be the chance he had been looking for. He kept thinking until he developed a strong business plan.

First, he went to one of his friend’s jewellers and bought a pricey gold ring with a gorgeous red ruby in it. He was aware that the foreign ship came from a nation without its own rubies and where gold was also expensive. As a commission advance, he gave the magnificent ring to the ship’s captain. The captain consented to refer all of his passengers to him as a broker in exchange for this commission. He would then direct them to the city’s top stores. The man then persuaded the businesses to give him a commission in exchange for referring customers to them.

After several ships arrived at the port, the man served as a middleman and quickly became extremely wealthy. He was happy with his accomplishments, but he also realised that the king’s wise advisor’s advice had been the catalyst for everything. So he made the decision to present him with a gift of 100,000 gold coins. This made up half of his total wealth. He met with the king’s advisor and presented him with the gift and his sincere thanks after making the necessary preparations.

The advisor was astounded and inquired, “How did you accumulate such wealth to be able to afford such a kind gift?” The man informed him that it all began not long ago with the adviser’s own words. They had brought him across a dead mouse, a ravenous cat, tasty cakes, bouquets of flowers, storm-damaged tree branches, kids playing in the park, the king’s potter, a snack bar, enough grass for 500 horses, a golden ruby ring, successful business connections, and finally, a sizable fortune.

The royal advisor was struck by these thoughts after hearing them: “The talents of such an active man should not be lost. I am also very wealthy, and my only daughter is my beloved child. This man deserves to marry her because he is single. Then my daughter will be well taken care of and he can inherit both my wealth and his own.”

All of this happened, and after the wise counsellor passed away, the person who had heeded his counsel became the richest man in the city. He was given the role of adviser by the king. He generously donated his money for many people’s happiness and well-being over the course of his remaining life.

The moral is: With energy and ability, great wealth comes even from small beginnings.