A. man was going through a forest. He was tired and sat under a tree to rest.
Near the tree were some bushes. In the bushes he heard a whistle. The man got up and went to look. He saw a bottle lying under a bush. The whistle was coming from inside the bottle.
The man opened the bottle to look inside. Immediately a lot of black smoke came out from the bottle. The smoke rose high in the sky. Then the smoke turned into a ghost. It was a big ghost, as tall as a tree.
The ghost was red in colour. He had red eyes, and large golden earrings in his ears. He roared, “Give me some work or I shall eat you up.” The man was very frightened. “W-what sort of work do you want ?” he asked the ghost.
“Any kind of work,” the ghost replied. “You have let me out from the bottle, so you have to give me work to do. I must keep working, day and night. The moment you stop giving me work, I shall eat you up.”
“Take me to my house,” the man said. The ghost picked up the man. In half a second he reached the man’s house. Again he said, “Give me some work to do or I shall eat you up.” “Make me a big palace,” the man said.
In a few minutes the palace was ready. The ghost again said loudly, “Give me some work or I shall eat you up.”
“Get me plenty of gold and jewels,” the man said. Soon the gold and jewels were there. “Give me some work or I shall eat you up,” the ghost said.
“Get me nice clothes to wear.” At once the ghost brought the clothes. “Give me some work or I shall eat you up,” the ghost said.
“Get me some food.” In a second the man found the table loaded with delicious food. He tried to eat, but he got no time. The ghost again said, “Give me some work or I shall eat you up.”
The man kept on giving work to the ghost. He could not eat at all. When night came the ghost would not let him sleep. “Give me some work or I shall eat you up,” he said.
The man got very worried. How could he eat ? How could he sleep? If he did not find more and more work, the ghost would eat him up.
Then the man had an idea. He told the ghost, “Make me a tall pillar, as high as the sky. And be quick.”
In just a few minutes the ghost was back. “The pillar is ready,” he said. “Now give me some work or I shall eat you up.”
“Now listen carefully,” the man said. “Climb up the pillar till you reach the top. Then climb down till you reach the earth. Then climb up to the top and come down again. Keep on doing so till I tell you to stop. And mind you don’t waste anytime.”
The ghost was very happy, for he now had plenty to do. He went up the pillar, came down, went up, came down. He went on doing so.
The man watched for some time. Then he went inside and ate the food the ghost had brought. After that he went off to sleep.
Next morning he got up and went outside. He saw the ghost going up and down the pillar all the time. The man was very happy.
Many days passed. The ghost kept on going up and down the pillar. At the end of a month he was still doing it. He now felt a little tired. “Please sir,” he said to the man, “may I stop now ? I have been going up and down the pillar for a month.”
“How can you stop ?” the man said. “You cannot stop till I tell you. So keep on going up and down the pillar.”
Another three months passed. Now the ghost was really tired. “Sir,” he said, “I can’t do it any more. I must stop now.”
“You can stop on one condition,” the man said. You must go away from here, and never come back.”
“I promise,” the ghost said.
“Very well, you may stop now. And take away that pillar with you.”
The ghost picked up the pillar and ran away. The man never saw him again.