HONESTY IS THE BEST POLICY
A woodman was once working on the bank of a deep river. Suddenly his axe slipped from his hand and dropped into the water.
"Oh! I have lost my axe," he cried. "What shall I do? The water is very deep and I am afraid to dive into it. What shall I do? Who can help me?"
Mercury heard the poor man's cries and appeared before him.
"What is the matter, poor woodman?" he asked. "What has happened that you are so sad and unhappy?"
Mercury listened to the man's story and then said: "Perhaps I can help you." He dived into the river and brought up a golden axe. "Is this yours?" he asked. "No, that is not mine," was the answer. Mercury dived a second time and this time brought up a silver axe. "Is this yours?" he asked. Again the answer was: "No." So Mercury dived a third time and this time brought up the very axe that the woodman had lost. "That is my axe," cried the man. "Yes, that is my own good axe. Now I can work again."
Mercury was so pleased with the fellow's honesty that he at once made him a present of the other two axes and disappeared before the fellow could even say: "Thank you."
The woodman went home very pleased with his good luck. He told his friends all about it and one of them decided to try his luck. So he went to the same place, dropped his axe into the river, and cried out: "Oh! I have lost my axe. What shall I do? Who can help me?"
Mercury appeared as before, and when he learnt that the man had lost his axe, he dived into the river. Again he brought up a golden axe. "Is this yours?'' he asked.
"Yes, it is," said the second woodman. "You are not telling me the truth," said Mercury. "You shall neither have this axe nor the one that you so foolishly dropped into the water."
1. Where did the woodman work?
2. What happened to his axe?
3. Who could help him?
4. Did Mercury get the woodman's axe in the first dive?
5. What did Mercury get in the second dive?
6. When did Mercury get the woodman's axe?
7. Was the woodman happy to get his axe back?
8. Did Mercury like the woodman's honesty?
9. What present did Mercury make to the woodman?
10. Whom did the woodman tell about his luck?
11. Who decided to try his luck too?
12. What did the woodman's friend cry, when he dropped his axe into the river?
13. Did Mercury come to help the woodman's friend?
14. Was the woodman's friend honest?
15. Did Mercury like the woodman friend's behaviour?
16. Did the woodman's friend get any reward?