A young woman had a habit of spreading gossip about the people around her.
Once it so happened that she changed her house to a new locality, and started to gossip about her new neighbor. Within a few days the whole community knew about the story. Her neighbor was deeply hurt and offended.
A few days later the young woman learnt that what she had said was completely untrue.
She was very sorry and went to a learned Scholar to find out what she could do to repair the damage.
“Go to the marketplace,” he said,
“and purchase a chicken, and have it killed. Then on your way home, pluck its feathers and drop them one by one along the road.”
Although surprised by this advice, the woman did what she was told.
The next day the Scholar said, “Now go and collect all those feathers you dropped yesterday and bring them back to me.”
The woman followed the same road, but to her dismay, the wind had blown the feathers all away. After searching for hours, she returned with only three in her hand.
“You see,” said the learned Scholar, “it’s easy to drop them, but it’s impossible to get them back. So it is with gossip. It doesn’t take much to spread a rumor, but once you do, you can never completely undo the wrong.”