The Honest Woodcutter story is a popular moral story for kids. The Woodcutter and the axe are a short story on honesty that will engage kids beautifully. Here is the honest woodcutter story in English with pictures.
Long ago there lived a woodcutter along with his wife in a small hut. They are poor but honest. They lived in what they have and never showed greed.
Daily the woodcutter would go to the forest taking his old iron axe. His wife would pack him some food to eat at noon. He would cut the trees in the forest with that axe. In the noon, he would have his lunch, take a rest, and then again do work for some time and get back to his home with firewood.
As usual, one day the woodcutter took the food packed by his wife along with his iron axe. Then, after chopping the wood for a while, he felt tired. The woodcutter wanted to take a rest. He had his lunch and then slept on the branch for a while.
The tree he was cutting was near a pond. He kept his axe onto the branch that was lying above the pond. He slowly drifted into sleep. After some time, he woke up and stretched his body. Due to the movement of the branch, the axe fell into the pond!
Looking at the axe fall into the water the woodcutter was stunned. The axe is responsible for giving him food daily. He cannot afford to buy a new one too. Alas! What to do now? He caught his head with his hands and started feeling sad.
After a while, he got an idea. His mother used to tell him that water in the pond, rivers, etc are sacred and that they are guarded by Goddess Ganga. Then, he immediately prayed for Ganga Mata in his heart. Then knowing about his honesty, Ganga Mata appeared in front of him.
She asked,” What happened Son? Why are you sad?”
The woodcutter replied, “Maa, thanks for blessing me with your presence. My one and only source of income, my axe, fell into the pond. I do not know what to do. Please help me”.
Then Ganga Mata assured him that she would help him get it back. She disappears into the water. After a while, she comes up with a golden axe. She shows it to the woodcutter and asks, “Son, is this your axe?”
The honest woodcutter looks at the golden axe. It is shining and dazzling. But it is not his axe. Hence, he says that the axe is not his.
Then Ganga Mata again disappears into the water. This time she brings up a silver axe dazzling white! She shows it to the honest woodcutter and asks if the axe is his. Then the woodcutter who is known for his honesty agrees that it is not his axe.
Next time, Ganga Mata brings out his axe, made of iron. The honest wood cutter’s eyes glow with happiness when Ganga Mata shows him and asks if the axe is his axe. He thanks her for bringing his axe and asks her to give that to him.
But, overwhelmed with his wood cutter’s honesty, Ganga Mata brings out all three – gold axe, silver axe, and his normal iron axe. She blesses him to stay honest and happy all the time.
Not knowing bounds to his happiness, the woodcutter returns home taking all the axes. He shares the news with his wife, and both live happily.
But somehow, the neighbours are not happy with seeing their happy life. The neighbouring couple is selfish. They are also a woodcutter family but are greedy and selfish. Out of curiosity to know why they are so happy; the selfish woodcutter’s wife asks the honest woodcutter wife one day about the secret.
The honest woodcutter wife is naïve. She is good-hearted and believes everyone is good. So, she shares the incident about Ganga Mata blessing them with precious axes. This arises jealousy in her. She immediately rushes home and tells the secret to her husband. She suggests he throw the axe into the pond and fake a cry to grab the precious axes from Ganga Mata.
The next day the selfish woodcutter goes to the pond and pretends to cut the wood. After a while, he wanted to drop his iron axe into the pond. He starts crying loudly and calls out for Ganga Mata’s help. Knowing about his selfishness and wanting to teach him a lesson, Ganga Mata appears in front of him.
She asks why he was crying. The selfish woodcutter replies that his axe fell into the pond. He asks for her help. Then Ganga Mata disappears into the water and brings out three axes 0 golden, silver one, and the actual iron axe of the woodcutter.
She asks him to choose his axe from amongst those. He greedily chooses the golden and the silver axe. He says he has never seen the iron axe and that he doesn’t want it. Then Ganga Mata scolds him that he is lying and for his greed, she is also taking his iron axe away. She says she won’t return it neither does she give the golden and silver one.
Saying so, she disappears into the water. The selfish woodcutter cries this time. He lost his only source of livelihood. He learns a lesson about how greediness can cause troubles. From that day, he believed in honesty as the best policy. Also, he and his wife stayed friendly with the honest woodcutter family.
Thus, this honest woodcutter story in English tells us how greed is dangerous. It stresses that one should be happy with what they have. This story also teaches that honesty is the best policy that will help in one’s growth and happiness. Greed seems to be satisfying for a while but in the long run, honesty stays and pays in a good way.