Wise girl Sushma

Once there lived a pretty young girl named Sushma. She lived in a small village several kilometres away from Kathmandu. Her family was very poor but worked very hard together and they were happy.

Sushma was the youngest child. She had one brother and her parents were very proud of both their children. Because they had no money it was not possible for Sushma to go to school like her brother. She would spend her day tending the animals and working in the field with her mother.

Her father was a carpenter who worked very long hours and would come home at night very tired. Sushma always thought to herself, “I wish that my father and mother did not have to work so hard and I wish that I could go to school like my brother. How would this ever be possible?”

A few days later, Sushma conceived a plan. After her family fell asleep at night, she would sneak out of the house and go to the government hospital in Kathmandu. There she would help the poor patients. Sushma nursed her idea for a few days, and then one night she slipped out of bed, dressed and walked all the way to the hospital. There she was given work and paid a small salary.

Sushma was so kind to the patients that soon the whole hospital knew about her. Every night she would sneak out of the house and go to work. At the end of the first week she received Rs 400 for her work. She came home before anyone awoke, placed the money inside a jar and left it on the counter in the kitchen. Then she went to bed. She was very tired from her work and the long walk home but soon her mother would come and wake her to help in the fields.

That morning, while she was still in bed, her father called out to the family, “Family, come here and look. We have been blessed for here in our house is a jar of money!” But Sushma was fast asleep and did not awaken to hear her father’s happiness.

From the next day onwards for the days that followed, Sushma would stay up every night till her family fell asleep and then go to work at the hospital and each week she would put the money in the same jar on the kitchen counter. And every Friday since then, her father would call out to the family: “Family, the gods have blessed us once again. There is more money in the jar on the kitchen counter.” One day,

he proposed, “We must give half of our blessings to the poor and the other half we must use to send our Sushma to school.” And Sushma realised that she had at last achieved what to her had been only a distant dream.

But Sushma’s dream was to come true through different means and on a much grander scale. A day after her father decided to send her to school, the director of the hospital where Sushma worked at visited her. “We are extremely pleased with your work, young lady,” said the director. “If you are agreeable, we would want to send you to medical school so you can be a doctor.”

So Sushma went home and told her family her story. At first, her parents were a little fearful and angry, but then they realised their daughter’s worth. They were proud of their daughter and her good work.

Sushma went to medical school and became a doctor. Today she works at the same hospital and is known by many, loved by her friends and respected by all.

— Seeta Pathak, Minar English Boarding School