Rupesh was the only son of a wealthy merchant. Being the only son, he was much pampered. He always had a lot of money with him and such, friends always flocked around him. He spent lavishly with his friends. He thought that they were his true friends. But, in reality, they were his ‘fine weather’ friends. Rupesh grew up to become a handsome young man.
However, he spent his days enjoying with his friends. He did not learn anything. His parents also did not try to mend his ways. They thought that they would leave behind their entire wealth for him and he would not have to work. What they did not realize was that his luxurious living might pose problems for him.
Years passed by and his parents died. Rupesh inherited their entire wealth. Had he used the wealth wisely, he could have lived comfortably throughout his life. But he spent the wealth lavishly. His friends thronged around him as long as he was rich.
In a few years, he spent all the wealth. His friends now deserted him and he was forced to borrow money. He borrowed a large amount of money and was in great debt. Soon, the moneylenders refused to lend him any more money. Instead, they asked him to return the money he had borrowed.
Rupesh was now friendless and helpless. He had not learnt to earn money. How could he pay back the money he had borrowed from the moneylenders? At least, seeing no other way, he decided to put an end to his life. He climbed a high mountain and jumped into the river below.
A golden deer was watching him. He was an extraordinary deer with supernatural powers. Through his powers, he came to know who the person was and why he had jumped into the river. He felt sorry for him. He could not let such a handsome young man die before him. So, he jumped into the river and saved Rupesh.
When Rupesh came to his senses, he was surprised to see a beautiful deer by his side. He thanked him for saving his life and told him his entire story.
The deer gave him some sound advice and said, “Friend, it is never too late to learn anything. I will teach you some ways of earning money. Then you can go to a neighboring kingdom and earn your live hood”. Rupesh stayed with the deer for some days and learnt to keep accounts. The deer told him to go to the neighboring kingdom and look for some work. “But don’t tell anyone about me”. The deer said to him. Rupesh promised that he will not tell anyone about the deer and stared his journey to the neighboring kingdom.
A few days later, Rupesh arrived at the kingdom and found a suitable job for himself. He worked as an account keeper. He received a good salary and enjoyed doing his work. He had now learnt his lesson and was careful not to make ‘fair weather friends’. Instead, he devoted all his time to his work. His employer was happy with him.
Months passed. One day, the princess of the kingdom saw a golden deer in her dream. She was charmed by the beauty of the deer. When she woke up, she narrated her dream to her father and requested him to send his men in search of the golden deer. The king tried to reason out with her that dream were not to be taken seriously. But the princess did not listen. She said, “Father, I know that such a deer does exist and I want it at any cost. The king sent his men to look out for a golden deer, but they could not find one. The princess fell ill. She was persistently asking for the golden deer. The king made an announcement that if anybody could find the golden deer, he would be given one thousand gold coins.
Rupesh also heard the announcement. He knew about the golden deer. He was now filled with a desire to get one thousand gold coins. His greed for the thousand gold made him forget his promise to the deer. He went to the king and said, “Maharaja, I had once met a golden deer in the description of the deer that came in the princess’s dream. I think, we can go and find out if he is still There. The king himself decided to go there along with Rupesh and his soldiers.
Two days later, the king and his men arrived at the forest. Rupesh was leading them. When the deer saw them approaching, he understood everything. “What a selfish person Rupesh is?” he thought to himself. The king’s soldiers soon came to the king and said to him, “Beware of the selfish persons around you, o king”. He then narrated Rupesh’s entire story to the king. He also told him about the promise he had made to him. “For a thousand gold coins, he has broken the promise he had made to me. He is not a person to be trusted”. The deer added.
The king was angry. He turned to Rupesh and said, “How could you betray the trust of a deer who had saved your life and taught you the art of earning your living. You must be punished”. He took out his sword to kill him. But the golden deer requested the king to spare his life. “Please spare his life. It is enough that he was realized his mistake. I also request you to forbid the hunting of birds and animals in your kingdom. I wish that men and animals live in perfect harmony with each other”. He said to the king.
The king was much impressed by the deer’s kindness. He readily granted the deer’s wish and also forgave Rupesh. Rupesh was also filled with remorse for betraying the trust of the deer by breaking his promise. He decided to spend the rest of his life in the company of the deer.
The deer promised the king that the princess could come and see him whenever she wanted. So, the princess became a regular visitor to the forest.
The king passed a law that no animal or bird would be killed in his kingdom. If anybody broke the law, the penalty for the crime was death. The king broke a promise in his life.