An ancient Hindu legend tells that, hundreds of years ago, the grains of rice were much larger than those we know today. At that time, its cultivation was essential for the inhabitants of India, because due to its enormous size, many people could feed themselves. The truth is that almost no one went hungry, since a few grains on the plate were enough to fill the gut and leave anyone satiated.
The peasants also enjoyed a great advantage. You know which one? Well, there was no need to go pick them up! When the grains were ripe, they were so heavy that they fell off their stalks on their own and rolled into barns that, very cleverly, had been built near the plantations so that the rice would easily fit through the door.
One year, the harvest was incredible. The rice plants grew strong and robust and the grains reached the largest size ever. Everyone thought that their barns had become too small and that it was a shame that, because they could not store everything, a large part of the grain rotted. The only solution they came up with was to expand their barns.
Without a second’s hesitation, they got to work. All the peasants, helped by their families, worked day and night so that the works were finished on time. They hurried and tried their best, but they were unsuccessful: before finishing the renovation of the warehouses, the first grains of rice began to detach from the plant and roll to its doors.
In one of the half-built barns, an elderly woman sat by the entrance. She saw a grain of rice arrive and, furious, she approached him and stomped on him while shouting:
– Dammit! The barns are not ready yet! Couldn’t you wait a little longer at the plant?
Due to the heavy blow, the grain of rice broke into a thousand pieces that were scattered on the ground. Moments later, a soft, melancholic voice was heard coming from one of those bits.
– Madam, you are ungrateful! From now on, we will not come to your homes, but you will be the ones who will go to look for us in the field when you need us.
Since that day, the rice grains are tiny and the farmers are forced to get up every morning to do the hard work of collecting this cereal in the wetlands.