There once lived a woman in Gisenyi who baked Chapati (flatbread) for members of her family and an extra one for a hungry passerby. She would always place the extra Chapati on the windowsill, for whosoever needed to eat it.
She noticed as a hunchback came every day and took the extra Chapati. Instead of expressing gratitude, he would mutter the following words as he went on his way: “The evil you do remains with you. The good you do, comes back to you!” This went on for days and the woman felt very irritated.
“Not a word of gratitude,” she said to herself. “Every day this hunchback utters this jingle! What does he mean? “
One day, exasperated, she decided to do away with him.
“I shall get rid of this hunchback,” she said. And what did she do? She added poison to the Chapati she prepared for him!
As she was about to place it on the windowsill, her hands trembled.
“What is this I am doing?” she said. Immediately, she threw his Chapati into the fire, prepared another one and put it on the sill.
As usual, the hunchback came, picked up the Chapati and muttered the words:
“The evil you do remains with you. The good you do, comes back to you!”The hunchback proceeded on his way, blissfully unaware of the war raging in the mind of the woman.
Every day, as the woman placed the Chapati on the windowsill, she offered a prayer for her son who had gone to a distant place in the east to seek his fortune. For many months she had no news of him and she always prayed for his safe return. That evening, there was a knock on the door. As she opened it, she was surprised to find her son standing in the doorway. He had grown thin and lean. His garments were tattered and torn. He was hungry, starved and weak.
Looking at his mother he said, “Mom, it’s a miracle I’m here. While I was about a mile away, I was so famished that I collapsed. I would have died, but just then an old hunchback passed by. I begged him for a morsel of food and he was kind enough to give me a whole Chapati.”
“When he gave it to me, he said, ‘This is what I eat every day. Today, I shall give it to you, for your need is greater than mine!’”
As the mother heard those words, her face turned pale. She leaned against the door for support. She remembered the poisoned Chapati that she had made that morning. Had she not burnt it in the fire, it would have been eaten by her son and he would have lost his life!
It was then that she realized the significance of the words: “The evil you do remains with you. The good you do, comes back to you!”
Moral of the story:
Do good and don’t ever stop doing good, even if it’s not appreciated at that time.