The Great Millionaire And The Poor
October 7, 2007, 3:57 am
Filed under: Khmer Folktales

Khmer Folk Tale

The Great Millionaire And The Poor

Translated from Khmer by Chhim Chan Bora



nce upon the time, in India lived a great millionaire who had plenty of both movable and immovable property. He had thousands of cows, buffalos, horses and elephants and thousands of hectares of paddy fields. He also had hundreds of warehouses in which silver, gold, diamonds and a wide variety of wealth were stored.

             The great millionaire had only one son named Thorn Serey, who later succeeded him as a great millionaire.

             One day, the great millionaire, Thorn Serey, thought : “My parents have plenty of wealth, but they were so naive that they were always friendly to tens of thousands of poor people everyday. They helped the poor with everything. It is no use helping tens of thousands of poor people with their living.” 

             From that day on, the villagers who used to borrow money from the previous great millionaire to do their businesses came to see Thorn Serey to borrow money to do their respective businesses as they had done before with the previous great millionaire, but the great millionaire, Thorn Serey, did not care a fig. He never thought of giving alms to either the poor or the old people because he thought that it was no use communicating with the poor when he had such abundant wealth.

        Later on, without money loaned as capital to do their businesses, the villagers became very poor and starved so badly that they started stealing and robbing one another. After nothing left for them to steal or rob among themselves, they gathered together and said : “Previously, we did not starve as we do now because the previous great millionaire had lent us his money and rice seeds, soybean, sesame, cows and buffalos to do our businesses or to do farming. And when we harvested our crops, he would take half of the total output and gave us half. Now, the great millionaire, Thorn Serey, who is his son, does not need us, so we have to steal his property to sustain our lives.”

      The villagers then started stealing cows and buffalos and even rice, soybean and sesame stored in the warehouses. The warehouse keepers reported it to the great millionaire and said : “ The local villagers are now starving and theft has prevailed everywhere. And there is nothing to be gained for putting in the warehouses as before. Therefore, Your Lordship should spend money helping the poor as Your Lordship’s father did before in order to attain peace and prosperity.”

     “I am not so naive as my parents,” replied the great millionaire, Thorn Serey, adding, “We have to arrest those who steal my property and send them to the competent authorities to punish them according to the laws. I don’t need to have any contact with the poor.”

       The great millionaire’s wealth was soon gradually decreased due to no inputs and thefts. In spite of the fact that he asked the competent officers to search for the thieves, they failed to catch one because the thieves were all the villagers. Eventually the great millionaire was reduced to a poor man who was afterward killed by some villagers in disguise. And his remaining wealth was put in the state’s warehouse. THE END

This story gives you two concepts:

 1-                 Both the wealthy or the high-ranking people should not look

down on the poor, nor should they be unfriendly to them for fear of cheapening themselves. Because there are no rich people without the poor and there are no high-ranking people without cheapened non-ranking ones. And this is the nature for the world.

 2-                 Between humans and humans, we have to help and save one

another. We should not help and save only the rich and the high-ranking people and hate the poor or the non-ranking people. We should have respect for mankind’s rights, freedom, equality and fraternity to deserve ideal because the poor and the non-ranking are also humans and the rich and the high-ranking are also humans. But try not to exercise your rights, freedom and fraternity beyond ideal so much that you don’t even recognize who your parents and teachers are or the respectable ones.



1 Comment so far
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I agree with you 100%. Without the poor there will be no rich. Everywhere in the world you will find the same situation that the poor who the ones that work hard to make the rich get richer.
But do they care.No, until time that they have to go back to the earth without a chance to take with them their wealth, it will be a lesson for the rest to learn.

Comment by Sokhavuddh Moeun

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