Kripal, the woodcutter, and his wife lived in a small village in a small hut. They were quite a happy and contented couple. Only thing was that Kripal's wife was not very neat and clean. To tell the truth, she was really quite sloppy. Kripal was unhappy about this. It annoyed him that nothing was ever clean. He could never find anything, because nothing was ever in its right place. And he always liked things to be clean and neat and tidy. But there was not much he could do about it. When he got angry, his wife always promised to be better. But she never made a real effort.
One day Kripal went to the forest to do his work. As he was sitting down at noon-time for his lunch, he saw something shiny on the grass. He picked it upóit was a ring, a ring made of gold. How pretty it was! He put it on his finger, and as he was twisting and turning it, suddenly there was a golden glow of light, and when he looked up he saw a beautiful fairy standing in front of him. He was quite surprised, naturally. But she was very sweet and said he should not be frightened. As a matter of fact, he should be happy, because he had found the ring and, therefore, was entitled to a wish which she would grant. Wasn't this wonderful? He could not quite believe his eyes and his ears. He was afraid that he might not make a very wise choice. Imagine, anything he wanted! That was a big decision. He thought he'd better talk this over with his wife. And the fairy consented that he could make his wish later. She told him that he must hit the ring and not think of anything but his wish, and then it would come true.
So he packed up his tools and quickly went on his way home. Oh, the possibilities! The things he could now wish for! He ran so quickly that he nearly fell over his own feet.
And his mind was also running at top speed. When he was almost home and saw the hut they were living in, he suddenly thought, "I wish . . . oh, no, I must be very careful with my wish!" he reminded himself.
He told his wife all about the big event of the day. They decided to sleep over the important decision. Kripal thought he might as well do something until supper time, and so he went to get his chisel, because he liked to carve from wood, little things, like statues, images of Gods and animals.
He looked and looked and looked, all over the place. Where on earth was his chisel! Where had his wife put it this time! Oh, tills wife of his, one day she would surely drive him out of his mind with her untidiness! He got more and more angry as he searched in vain, and finally he was so angry at never being able to find anything where he had put it, that he hit his fist upon the workbench and said, "I wish this house were made of glass!"
They went to bed that night, not suspecting anythingóbut what should they see when they woke up the next morning? Where did all this light come from, where
was the roof, why were the trees right above their eyes? Why.... yes, you guessed it. Overnight the hut had turned into a glass house. Yes, now everything could be seen-including the noisy neighbours who had gathered all around.
The wife felt very much ashamed. She crept right back under the bedcovers. Even her head went under the blankets. She did not want anyone to see her. But in the end, naturally, what could they do? Around lunchtime the neighbours went away, when Kripal and his wife got up. They had to make the best out of it.
Now everybody could see what was going on in their home. It wasn't so bad for Kripal, he was away most of the day, but the poor wife! But one day she had enough of it. She decided there was only one thing to do. Since they had to live in this glass house, she did not want to be ashamed of what the neighbours could see. So she got very busy and cleaned up the whole house, and put everything neatly where it belonged. She felt so very proud of her nice home. She even put a bowl with flowers on the table!
Kripal could not believe his eyes when he came home that night. He was so happy to see this shining, sparkling house of his. He bugged his wife and kissed her, and he hadn't done that in a long time!
And the Whole village admired their beautiful house, and they all wished that they too had glass houses. But it isn't everybody who finds rings belonging to fairies, and ladies who can learn a lesson.