Lost Wallet in Honest Hands

by Sahadev Komaragiri

walletYashoda is a student at a government high school in Warangal. She is in 9th standard. She goes to her school on her bicycle. One day as she was going to the school she saw something on the road. She got down from her bicycle and picked it up. It was a wallet! She opened it to see what is in it. It has some one hundred rupee notes. This treasure belongs to someone in her village. What should she do with the wallet? Tension gripped her. She put the wallet in her school bag and started going towards the school.

This is a short story written for and about children under the short stories section of my blog. I use these stories in my English Proficiency classes. The words in italics are the words that add to the child’s vocabulary. The questions at the end help them think deeper about the value embedded in the story. I encourage children to perform skits that are based on these stories.

As soon as she reached the school she joined the assembly. The head mistress gave a speech about the swacch bharat program. She said that cleanliness is very important for the school, the district, the state and for the nation. Yashoda’s classmate Usha learnt how to play harmonica. She was given an opportunity to play it during the assembly. She played saare jahan se achha song. The school invited a yoga teacher to the school. This yoga teacher had a tattoo of Lord Hanuman on his right shoulder. He talked about healthy lifestyle and performed some yoga exercises. All the school children thoroughly enjoyed it. Finally the assembly ended with the pledge. Yashoda led the pledge and all the children repeated after her. While enjoying the assembly session Yashoda completely forgot about the wallet she found in the morning.

The class teacher for 9th class is Ms. Sumalata. She took the class attendance and started teaching about the atomic structure. She talked about how the electrons orbit around the nucleus. Ms. Sumalata is known for her wisdom. She said that ordinary people go in orbits around money; the wise don’t. When she heard about money from the science teacher Yashoda suddenly remembered the wallet. She checked her school bag. It was still safe.

When the bell rang the science teacher left and in her place the geography teacher Mrs. Lakshmi entered the classroom.  She is also the head mistress of the school. She brought a telescope with her to the classroom. She described various parts of the telescope. Later she offered to show the stars in the sky using the telescope. All the children were very excited. Yashoda thought that Ms. Lakshmi is the right person with whom she can share her secret about the wallet. The bell rang and it was time for interval break.

As soon as the interval bell rang, Yashoda went straight to the Head Mistress’s office.

Yashoda addressed the HM respectfully. “Good morning ma’am. Do you have a few minutes for me?”

Mrs. Lakshmi responded in kind.  “Yes Yashoda. What can I do for you?” Yashoda was delighted to note that the principal ma’am remembered her name.

Yashoda handed the wallet to the principal and said “ma’am I found this wallet on my way to the school. I don’t know how to deal with it. Could you please help?” “Let me see”, saying so HM collected the wallet, “I am sure there will be something in the wallet that tells us about its owner”. She opened the wallet. There were some hundred rupee notes. She was not interested in the money. There were several small pockets within the wallet. She searched each one of them. Finally she pulled out a small card. “Haa, I found it. Here it is”, she was very happy with what she found. It was an aadhar card. She smiled happily when she noticed the name and picture on the card. She said, “Yashoda, we don’t have to go anywhere to find the owner. Come with me”. Yashoda was confused, but she followed the HM.

In the staff room she saw Mr. Srinivas who is a mathematics teacher. He looked very worried. HM asked him “Srinivas sir, looks like you lost something”. She knew what he lost! With a sad face he said that he lost his wallet. She pulled out the wallet as if she was doing some magic and gave it to him. Mr. Srinivas was the happiest man. “Thank you ma’am, thank you” Mr. Srinvas shouted in joy. HM pointed to Yashoda and said, “No! You have to thank Yashoda for that. It is she who found your wallet”. Mr. Srinvas turned to Yashoda to thank her. She told him about how she found the wallet. Mr. Srinivas’s joy knew no bounds.

The next day during the assembly the HM narrated the entire story of the wallet. Yashoda’s parents were also invited to the assembly. She was given a special prize for her honesty. The wallet story along with her photo was posted in the notice board. Everyone in her village talked about her very fondly. The HM said “Children remember. If you find something that does not belong to you, you should return it to its owner. Honesty is the best policy.”

Exercise

  1. What did Yashoda find on her way to school?
  2. What did the principal say about the Swacch Bharat program?
  3. What did Usha play during the assembly?
  4. Why did Yashoda forget about the wallet?
  5. When did Yashoda remember the wallet again?
  6. What did Mrs. Lakshmi say about the Telescope?
  7. Whose wallet was it? How did the HM find it out?
  8. How was Yashoda rewarded for her honesty?
  9. What would you have done if you were in Yashoda’s place?

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

sriharsha June 9, 2017 at 2:47 am

short sweet goosebumps
The story was simply brilliant. I was just imagining how education can create an impact on child and appreciating a good quality of someone will inspire many others. Yashoda is an inspiration and thank you for bringing this story to us.

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Sahadev Komaragiri June 12, 2017 at 9:04 am

Thanks Harsha.

Reply

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