There once lived in Bokhara a nobleman’s son, who believed that most of the evil in life came with people talking too much. So he decided to remain silent as far as possible. His father however, believing his son to be dumb, spent his days in grief, and offered a large reward to the person who would restore his son’s speech. But it was all in vain. One day the young nobleman went with his father’s friend to hunt in a forest, and feeling rather tired, both of them were resting under the shade of a Pipal tree, when a crow came and commenced to make a lot of noise overhead. His father’s friend was so annoyed at this, that at once he drew an arrow from his sheaf, and shot the poor crow dead, on the spot.
The son who was a very kindhearted person, was shocked to see this, and he said to the crow ” Why didst thou speak? If you hadst observed silence like myself, thou wouldst not have been dead today ” His father’s friend could scarcely believe his ears. Had the young nobleman really spoken? Or was he dreaming? He rushed back to the palace to give the glad tidings to his friend, who refused to believe him. And when he, the son’s father was taken to the forest to see for himself what had transpired, they found the young man as dumb as ever. The father thought that his friend had played a joke upon him, so in a fit of anger, he took out his sword and thrust it into his friend’s heart. And the poor friend fell dead between father and son, under the same Pipal tree. ” Why didst thou speak, oh foolish man? ” said the son. ” If thou had kept thy mouth shut like myself, thou wouldst not have been lying dead here today. ” No ” said the father ” It is not due to his having spoken that he lies dead here, but to your foolish obstinacy in keeping you mouth shut. If you would have spoken and explained everything, I would not have lost my temper and killed him. There is a time, when silence is golden. And then there is another time, when it is better to use the tongue given to you by your wise Creator, or things come to a sorry pass, as it has done today.”
The son did not believe this at first, but the more he thought over this advice given to him by his father, the more he felt that he had been in the wrong. So thereafter he gave up being completely dumb, and spoke a few words whenever it was necessary for him to do so.