A man had to go on a long travel. He hid his money in a pot and put butter over it. So nobody could see what was under the butter in the pot.
Then he took the pot to his neighbor and said: “Please keep this pot of butter for me until I come back.” He did not say anything about the money in the pot.
A month passed, two months passed, but the traveler did not come back. His neighbor thought: “I am afraid the butter in that pot is bad.”
And he took all the butter out of the pot and saw the money there. He took the money for himself and put many small stones into the pot in place of the money.
When the traveler came back, he asked his neighbor for the pot. He carried it home and took out all the butter. He wanted to take the money, but he found only many small stones under the butter.
He was very angry. Then one of his friends came to see him.
“You look angry, my friend! Why are you angry?” asked his friend.
I am a silly man!” And he told his friend the story about the pot of butter, the money and the small stones.
“Well, I can show you how to get your money back. Let us go to the forest.”
And the two friends went to the forest, caught a monkey there and brought it home.
“Now you go to your neighbor and say, “Please let your son come with me to the market. He can help me carry food from the market.”
The man did so. The neighbor sent his son to the man. But they did not go to the market. The man went home with the neighbor’s son and locked the boy in his house.
The friend said: “Now go to your neighbor with the monkey and say: ‘Here is your son.'”
The man did so. The neighbor was very angry. “Take that monkey away and bring back my son!” he said.
“Why, this is your son! If money can turn into small stones, then a boy can turn into a monkey.”
The neighbor understood everything. He brought the money, and the man let the boy go back to his father.
The man thanked his clever friend very much. He wanted to give him part of the money, but the friend did not take it.
“We are friends, are we not?” he said. “And friends always help each other, but never take money for that. Never, never!”