One day a small merchant was returning to his home after buying some goods from another town. He got late. It was getting dark and night was about to come.
"It is not safe to travel at night", thought the merchant. "I should stay somewhere at night and should go to home tomorrow." He dropped in a village and went to an inn to spend the night.
He asked the inn- keeper to make dinner for him.
The inn-keeper's wife was a greedy woman. When she saw the goods that the merchant had brought with him, she thought "How good for us if we take all his merchandise and money.'' She told his husband what she was thinking about. "It's not so easy to take his stuff ." said the husband.
''You are such an intelligent man can't you think of something to make this happen?", said the woman.The inn-keeper got moved by the sweet talks of his wife, he thought for a while and told his wife ''It is possible to take his merchandise if you put the magical herb Mega in the merchant's food. He will surely forget a thing or two after consuming this herb.""Are you sure about that? What if he doesn't forget his stuff?" , asked the greedy lady.
He has got nothing to forget, except for his merchandise, I am sure he will forget to take it with him.
The innkeeper's wife cooked a delicious meal for the merchant and put the herb, 'Mega' in the food.
The merchant ate the food and went to sleep.
Next morning when the innkeeper's wife woke up, she saw that the merchant had left their place. She checked the room in which the merchant stayed at night thinking that he must have forgot his merchandise but found nothing. She searched again but there was nothing.
She called out to her husband and said, ''You told me that the merchant will forget his stuff but he has taken all his goods with him and there is nothing left behind."That is not possible, he must have forgot something , the herb is very effective.
The woman thought for a moment and cried.....
'' Yes! He forgot something, he forgot to pay us for the food and the stay.''
"Oh no! The man said holding his head, ''What a big fool I am!''
Japanese Folktale Re-told by -Aunt Mary