The golden star fruit tree
By Tran Van Dien

Once upon a time, there was a very rich man who lived in a village. When he died, he left his two sons a huge fortune. But the two brothers were entirely different. The elder was greedy, but the younger was very kind. So after the parents' death, the elder claimed the fortune and left his younger brother only star fruit tree. (A very productive tree that gives sour fruit.) The younger brother took good care of his tree, watering it every day and hoping that it would give him a lot of fruit so that he could make a living by selling it. The elder brother, on the other hand, was so happy with his inheritance that he had nothing to worry about.

Unfortunately for the younger brother, when the fruit was ripe, a raven flew by and stopped in the tree to eat it. He was very sad to see this happen every day, but he did not know what to do. So one day, he decided to stand beneath the tree an speak to the raven: "Raven, please don't eat my fruit." he called. "This fruit tree is my only fortune. If you eat the fruit, my family will starve."


"Don't worry," the raven answered. "I'll pay you back in gold. Go and make yourself a bag 60 centimeters long to keep the gold."



Hearing those words, he was very excited and told his wife to make a bag of 60 centimeters. The next day, the raven came as he had promised. He landed by the gate, let the younger brother sit on his back, and took off for a place filled with gold. There the younger brother filled the bag with gold. Then he flew back home on the raven's back. And so he became very rich. But he still loved and respected his elder brother.

So one day he told his wife to prepare a good meal for his brother and his family. But when he invited his brother, the latter refused to come at first. The brother only accepted after he had begged him again and again. When the older brother arrived at his house, he was surprised to see it all changed. It was no longer the poor house that he had seen before. So he asked his younger brother the reason. The latter told him everything that happened. After he heard it all, he offered to trade all his fortune for the fruit-tree. The kind brother gladly accepted the offer.

The raven came as usual. The greedy brother spoke to the raven the same words as his brother and received the same answer from the raven. But he was so greedy that he made a much larger bag instead of a 60 centimeter bag. The next day, the raven came to take him to place of gold. After he had filled the bag, he filled all his pockets, too, before he climbed onto the raven's back to go home. But the load was so heavy that when they flew over the sea, the raven tilted his tired wings and dropped him off into the sea. His wife and younger brother waited and waited but did not see him come back. So they decided to ask the raven and learn all the facts.