Once upon a time, there lived two people Santa and Banta. While Santa was wise and cunning, Banta was a simpleton. He readily agreed to anything Santa said. Santa often took advantage because of his simple behaviour.
One day, Santa said to Banta, “Brother, both of us are equally poor. I suggest that we should share our possessions equally.”
Banta replied, “That’s a brilliant idea. Where should we start?”
Santa said, “Look, I have a cow, and you have an apple tree and a blanket. You have the front part of the cow and I will have the rear part of the cow. As for the tree, you keep the stumps and the roots while I will keep the branches and leaves. As for the blanket, you have it….”
“No” replied Banta. “You should also have the blanket.”
“Alright” said Santa, “If you insist, you keep the blanket at day and I will keep the blanket at night.”
Weeks passed after this agreement and soon months passed. Early morning, Banta had to wake up and feed the cow while Santa took a bucket and started milking the cow. He had milk tea in a full bucket while Banta had tea as thin as thimble. During the afternoon Banta removed weeds and applied pesticides but as soon as the first apple had grown, whoosh! It was taken away by Santa. As for the blanket, it lied in the bed all day as Banta was up and about. During the night Santa had a peaceful night sleeping under the blanket.
Banta knew he had been cheated but he couldn’t do anything about it as the decision was made in such a way. Dejected, he decided to take a walk in the park. While walking he found a priest. The priest said, “You look dejected son, tell me what happened.”
Banta told him everything.
The priest replied, “I can help you but you must follow what I say.”
The following day, Santa got up and started milking the cow. Banta was already there and though he had finished feeding the cow, he was still there. When the bucket of milk that Santa was milking was half full, Banta tickled the cow’s nose. The cow kicked hard and not only did it throw the bucket of milk but it also landed a big kick on Santa’s jaw.
Santa said, “The front part of the cow is mine, and I may do anything with it as I like.”
Banta was shocked and wondered how Santa, the simpleton, had transformed into such a person. Later in the evening, Banta said, “I want to sleep. Can you give me the blanket?”
Santa said, “Sure.”
Santa took the blanket dipped it in a bucket of water and gave it to Banta.
Banta shrieked, “What have you done?! How can I possibly sleep in this?”
To this, he replied, “You again forgot that the blanket’s mine during the day and I can do anything as I please with it and daylights are not gone till now.”
Once again, Banta was tricked.
Next morning, as Banta climbed an apple tree to fetch an apple, Santa came and tried to chop off the tree trunk. Banta shouted, “Why are you trying to chop off the tree?”
To this he replied, “You already know that the trunk portion is mine and I wish to cut it down today, so, you can’t stop me.”
Banta became fed up and finally said, “Okay. Now you tell me how we should divide the commodities.”
Santa said, “We will divide the milk from the cow every day. As for the blanket, we will use it on alternate nights. And when the first fruit comes on the tree, we will divide it and eat it.” “Deal.” said Banta. After that they lived a happy life for the rest of their life.