Folk tales, fiction, non-fiction, mythological and other stories.
Bringing Noses on Us
Once there was a poor couple who somehow managed to make both ends meet yet very much desired to enjoy the good things of life. It so happened that a Yaksha (a demigod who is a companion of Kubera, the god of wealth) chanced to notice their plight and having pity on the couple gave them a boon.
"I grant you the power to make three wishes of whatever you want! Choose wisely and remove your wants."
The joy of the poor couple knew no bounds! They felt that they could now mitigate all their wants and miseries and lead a happy life with careless abandon.
But, poverty was not their only plight; they were also the subject of ridicule of their neighbours and acquaintances because of their flat noses. So, after much pondering they decided to get beautiful noses for themselves first.
"Noses, noses! Let both of us be adorned with beautiful noses!"
Instantly, the man and wife were covered from head to foot with beautiful aquiline noses. Horrified to see their grotesque appearance, they immediately wished to be freed of all their noses. Their second wish deprived them also of the only nose that they had. They were now left with only their last wish.
Both were now puzzled and anxious. They did not want to foolishly waste away their last wish too. The wife wanted to make the wish of wealth and riches. But, the husband feared greater ridicule in the absence of their noses.
"What would people think! They would say, 'Even with such an unasked for and rare opportunity, these fools could not mend their circumstances!'"
Pondering thus, he considered it best to get their earlier flat noses back.
Then ensued a good fight between the couple, both trying to assert their respective desire. Fearing that his wife may make her wish any moment, the man hurriedly made the wish of getting back their former flat noses. And so, losing all the three boons, the poor couple remained as they were.