The Wise Justice
Once upon a time, there were two villagers who had been quarreling for some time. One had borrowed a large sum of money from the other, but every time the lender asked for his money back, the borrower had an excuse not to repay the debt. When the creditor came once again to claim his money, the debtor promised to repay the amount in two moons.
After two full moons had passed, the lender returned to reclaim his money. The debtor innocently looked around and said, "I see only one moon, so I see no reason to repay the debt to you." The creditor became angry and replied, "Two full moons have passed; you promised to repay the money after two moons."
The debtor remained steadfast in his innocence and once again said, "I see only one moon." The creditor had had enough, so he brought the matter before the village judge, named Salam di Rimbu.
The judge summoned the two men to his home and listened attentively to their statements. After the sun had set, he took them to the river that flowed beside the village. The sky was clear, and the full moon shone peacefully in the ripple-free river. "Look closely," said the judge with a stern voice. "Tell me what is shining there in the river," pointing to the golden circle in the water. The debtor looked at the river and replied, "That is the moon, esteemed one." "That is correct, but now tell me what hangs high in the sky there." "That is also a moon," the debtor lowered his head. He understood what the judge meant. "So, there are two moons, aren't there?" the judge asked the debtor. "You are right," the debtor replied. "Then the time has come to repay your debt because even I bear witness that tonight there are two moons shining here."
The creditor was satisfied, and the debtor was caught in his own lie by the wisdom of the village judge.