Once upon a time there lived a farmer in a village. He was very kind-hearted by nature. He could never see anybody in trouble. One day, he was coming home from his farm. It was a high winter morning and so it was extremely cold. Everything looked frozen and benumbed indeed.
Suddenly the merciful farmer caught sight of a viper lying by the foot-path. It was almost frozen and looked half-dead due to severe cold. The farmer could not see the reptile in this condition and decided to help it.
So, the farmer lifted the benumbed viper and brought it home. Reaching there he placed it near the fire. In a short time, the viper started moving. The warmth of fire had revived it.
But the wicked never give up their wickedness. As soon as the viper came to itself, it turned upon the farmer and bit him. So, the farmer died instantly. While dying he repented, “If only I had not shown mercy to this wicked creature !”