In a sixth grade literature textbook (c. 2001), I read a short story or fable (I'm thinking Chinese in origin) about a poor man who goes on a journey to a place that'll give him three wishes so that he can be wealthy.
On the way there, he is stopped by three guardians of some kind, who attempt to kill him, but when he promises them he'll give them one of his three wishes, they make their request and let him move forward. The only guardian I remember is a giant serpent who is wondering why he can't become a dragon, so he asks the man to wish for knowledge as to what more he needs to do.
After the man gets there, he decides to keep his word and wish for the guardians' wishes instead of his own, then sadly starts walking back. In order for the serpent to become a dragon, he needs to remove the pearl from his head. Once he does, he becomes a dragon, and he gives the pearl to the man in gratitude. The other guardians similarly reward the man in thanks, so when the man returns home, he's wealthy because he kept his word.