John was a poor woodcutter. His axe was most precious to him. One day, he went to the forest to chop some wood. He was sitting on a high branch on the riverside when suddenly there was a strong wind, and his axe slipped and fell into the river.
The poor woodcutter did not know what to do. He sat by the riverside and started crying. Just then, a river fairy appeared before him. She asked him, “Why are you so sad?”
John told her that he had lost his only axe. The fairy dived into the river and brought out a silver axe. She said, “Here is your axe!” But John said, “It’s not mine! I can’t take it!” The fairy dived again and brought a golden axe. Again John said, “It’s not mine!” The fairy now dived and brought the old iron axe. When John saw it, he said excitedly, “This is my axe!”
The fairy was touched by John’s honesty and gave him all the three axes. Now John was rich and lived happily ever after.