It was well past mid night but he was awake thinking about his ever blink future. He had worked hard but age had caught up with him. He could no longer earn his daily bread. There was no food tonight but he had got used to it. As he looked out of the window in the faint moon light he could
see the leaves of the mango tree sway about. Strange, he thought. The other trees were calm and standing still. Then a rustle. Who could it be at this hour?
He lit a lamp and hurried outside. It must be some one from the village trying to play a trick on me. But he could not see a thing for miles apart. May be its the age that was playing the trick. Just as he was about to go inside he heard the rustle again. Who is it he demanded? But there was no answer. He walked in the direction of the sound straight to the Mango tree.
It was the same tree he had planted along with his father when he was a child. He had taken good care of it providing water, manure and protecting it from the domestic animals. He remembered the times when he used to talk to the tree and sing to it. He would stand in the shade of the tree after he was tired playing for hours in the hot burning sun. In his childhood he had been the parent of the tree. Over the years as time passed by he was working hard to earn his living. The tree had out grown him and was now self sufficient. Not self sufficient in all respects. He had manged to convince people not to cut down the tree that they perceived as useless. In times of happiness or sadness he had always found a faithful friend in the tree. Even yesterday he had talked to the tree about how difficult his life had turned out.
He was walking around the tree when a glitter startled him. Besides the big root of the tree, mud had slid and there beneath was lying a pot with gold coins. There was the swaying of the leaves once more. He was full of tears. He had spoken to the tree so many times. Telling it everything
about his life. Both sad and happy moments. Happy moments were hard to come by. He had always wished that the tree would talk back to him. But that had never happened. Not even when the tree could not bear a fruit or when people were about to cut it. He had often wondered whether the tree could understand what he was saying. But now he knew that the tree had finally answered him. He thought how self centered he was only talking about his life with the tree and never trying patiently to hear what the tree wanted to say. He was sobbing.
He was now doing well if not great. There were short-lived rumors about how he had become well to do. But they were soon forgotten due to the good work he was carrying out in the village. That summer the tree bore fruit for the first time.