The wandering spirit took a quick dip in the river and emerged refreshed. It had no where to go. It decided to go and live in a tree. A nice, big, safe tree.
There was one by the road. "What luck", he thought and snuggled inside the hollow of the giant tree.
There was a lone traveler resting under it in deep sleep.
"How wonderful it would be to live in this tree and shower tired passers by with some delicious fruits", exclaimed the ghost.
There was an overwhelming deluge of juicy ripe mangoes when the traveler woke up.
He picked them all. Tied them tight in a sac and went away singing.
This made the tree ghost very happy. He had done something good. He was a little sad too as the man didn't look up to acknowledge the Ghost's magnanimous gesture.
"Never mind", thought the contented spirit.
The next traveler came along shortly. He was going to rest for a little while but as he sat down, the ghost shook the tree and flooded the poor man's mat with a downpour of mangoes. Some were ripe, some not.
The man was taken aback but happy. He collected them all and rushed home to tell his family about it.
This broke the tree-ghost's heart. No one acknowledged his deeds.
He decided that the next time someone came along, he was going to do something different.
A group of young maidens were returning from the river. They decided to rest a bit.
This was his chance. He shook the tree and made a lot of noise.
He made more noise and shook the tree with all his might.
There were no mangoes left on the tree. None fell.
But the girls were swamped with broken branches and leaves.
This scared them and they ran away cursing the wicked tree.
This angered the tree and its inhabitants.
Not only had the ghost done away with the fruits but had also brought the tree a bad name and destroyed many a nests. The tree asked the ghost to leave at once.
The spirit departed with a heavy heart.
He couldn't understand what had gone wrong. He was just trying to be nice to the travelers.
Spirits are meant to wander, trees are meant to be unmoved, fruits are supposed ripen and fall on their own and the travelers are meant to earn their rest. This was the simple law of nature which it had failed to realise.
Oblivious to all this, the tree ghost drifted away across the mountains in search of another tree that would house him willingly. Such is the bitter-sweet bond of ignorance and hope.