There was once a woman who used to lie and steal a lot. When her husband was at home she used to pretend that she was ill and complain of headaches. Shortly after her husband went to work, she would quickly get up and make herself saivian (sweet vermicelli with butter), making sure she ate everything she cooked and washed up before her husband returned home. When her husband
returned home, she again pretended to be ill and was wrapped up in bed. The husband became very worried that his wife was so sick, and he was also fed up with her constant illness.
Eventually, he went to see a village elder to express his concerns. The elder offered his help asking if there was anything he could do. The husband explained that his wife was very ill and it was making him ill too. He asked for the elder’s help to make her better. The elder assured him that he would help. The husband agreed to the fee requested, in anticipation that this would help cure his wife – hoping she would get better and be able to cook, as they both stayed hungry. The elder asked the husband to return the following day, and before leaving, he was reminded to bring payment with him. The husband agreed to the elder’s request.
The next day, the elder gave the husband four wooden pegs and asked him to nail them into the four corners of the bedroom. The following day the husband asked his wife to get up from bed and cook food, saying “I’ll go to see the elder again later.”
When she got up, one of the nails spoke and said, “She is playing around.”
The second nail said “She does this every day.”
The third nail said “She does this all the time, is she not afraid of her husband?”
The fourth nail said “If she was scared of her husband, why would she do this?”
The husband could hear the voices and began listening, very carefully to what was being said. Finally, he understood what was going on and realised it was the nails talking. He then picked up a stick and started beating his wife and said, “You pretend to be unwell but you are fine. You make halwa (dessert) and puddings for yourself every day and you keep me hungry! The nails have told me everything about your tricks! Now we will see exactly how you are going to stay in bed!”