Once there was a girl who could turn into a tree.
She would have her younger sister pour a pot of water over her, and she would turn into a tree. Her younger sister would gently pick the flowers that would grow from the branches of the tree. She was very careful to not break any of the branches. Then, to turn her older sister back into a human, she would pour another pot of water over her.
The sisters did this a number of times. They would take the flowers to the market, and sell them. With the money, they would buy vegetables. They would bring these vegetables home for their mother to cook. Their family was very poor.
After some days, the mother said to her daughters, “I appreciate you bringing the vegetables, but where are you getting the money for this? Are you stealing the money?”
The older daughter replied, “Mother, I am afraid to tell you how we are getting the money, because I am afraid you might not believe me.”
The mother said, “Please just tell me.”
The older daughter said, “Well, I can turn into a tree, and when I do, flowers grow from my branches.”
The mother said, “Stop telling lies!”
The older daughter said, “Come out to the yard, and I will show you.” So they went outside. Water was poured over the older sister, and indeed she turned into a flowering tree. The mother was amazed! So everyday the girls would go to the market to sell the flowers. The family began to get a little extra money, enough to have their house re-painted. Some of their neighbors started to ask, “Where are these people getting all of this money?”
Nearby, there was a prince who lived in a palace. Even he heard about this family that had suddenly become wealthy. He came to investigate. He hid behind a tree, and saw the older sister turn into a tree, and the younger sister pick the flowers.
The prince went back to the palace, and said to the king, “Father, I have found the girl I want to marry. She lives in a nearby village.”
The king said, “My son, you can’t marry such a girl. You are royalty, and she is a commoner.” But the prince said, “Father, my mind is made up. I want to marry that girl. She has wonderful abilities.”
So the wedding occurred. That night, when the prince and his new wife tried to go to sleep, they found their mattress was very hard. So the prince said, “My wife, why don’t you become a tree, and I will pick your flowers, and we can sleep on the flowers.”
They did what he suggested. In the morning they threw the flowers out the window. They did this same thing for a number of days, and eventually a huge pile of flowers developed outside their window.
The prince had a sister — younger to him. She was very envious of his brother’s wife’s beauty and his brother’s love for her. His sister asked him,
“Brother, why are there so many flowers outside your window?”
The prince told her. Learning this Prince sister was even more envious of her and thought teaching her a good lesson. And she asked him, “Could you have your wife come down to the garden where I play with my friends, and have her show us how she can turn into a tree and make flowers?”
The prince asked his wife to do this. The wife was afraid to turn into a tree in public, but she finally agreed.
When the wife turned into a tree in the garden, the prince’s sister smashed all the flowers and broke the branches of the tree. Just then, it began to rain, and all of the children went running home.
The rainwater turned the wife back into a human, but because of the damage that had been done to her branches, she was missing both her arms and both her legs. So she fell onto the ground. She tried to roll home, but in the rain she rolled into a ditch, and from there she could not help but roll part way down the side of a mountain.
That night, the prince asked his younger sister, “Where’s my wife?”
The younger sister answered, “I don’t know. When it started raining, we all came home.” But the wife did not come home that night. She did not come home the next day, or the next. They searched for her, but they could not find her. Her husband became very sad. He stopped brushing his teeth. He stopped combing his hair. He stopped washing. He stopped shaving. He stopped cutting his hair and fingernails. He came to look like a wild animal. Finally, he just wandered off into the forest.
All this happened was not left hidden from the eyes of the great Royal tree of the Royal garden. He was furious at Prince’s sister seeing on the anguish the young couple were put in and cursed her. She will lose all her beauty. And soon in the palace prince’s sister starts getting burns on her skin, her hair starts falling, she becomes dark and starts looking ugly.
The king was very disturbed with all these events. Sighting the King pitiable condition, the Royal tree decided to something for the King. When the King was passing, he spoke, “Oh, great King, I fell sorry for you. Let me today tell you that this disgrace has come upon your family due to the misdeeds of someone of the family.”
The King goes back to his place and calls upon all the members of his family to gather at once.
He then narrates the incidence to all. He say, ” If anybody has done anything ill, the person should mend it and set rights right. Else, the he will punish the person”.
Ignorant her current state the prince’s sister then realizes her mistake and woes for pardon. Without wasting time she starts searching for the girl. She soon finds her in the pit down the hill. She brings her to the palace, cleans her, feeds her and asks her how she can bring her limbs back.
The girl says “turn me into a tree, nurture the broken branches to grow them back and convert me back to human” she continues “This is not easy, it will take time and efforts”.
The prince’s sister did exactly the same and after a year tree gets back its branches and the girl her limbs. The prince’s sister reunited the couple again.
The Royal tree takes his curse back but the King would not forgive his daughter. She was sent to forest only to return back to place after 14 years.
Moral of the story
“You can only be jealous of someone who has something you think you ought to have yourself.” –Margaret Atwood