upon a time, when King Brahmadatta was ruling in Benares,
there was an old woman who had a calf. This calf was of
a noble dark color. In fact, he was jet black without
a spot of white. He was the Bodhisatta - the Enlightenment
old woman raised the little calf just as though he were
her own child. She fed him only the very best rice and
rice porridge. She petted his head and neck, and he licked
her hand. Since they were so friendly, the people began
calling the calf, "Grandma's Blackie'.
after he grew up into a big strong bull, Grandma's Blackie
remained very tame and gentle. The village children played
with him, holding onto his neck and ears and horns. They
would even grab his tail and swing up onto his back for
a ride. He liked children, so he never complained.
friendly bull thought, "The loving old woman, who
brought me up, is like a kind mother to me. She raised
me as if I were her own child. She is poor and in need,
but too humble to ask for my help. She is too gentle to
force me to work. Because I also love her, I wish to release
her from the suffering of poverty." So he began looking
day a caravan of 500 carts came by the village. It stopped
at a difficult place to cross the river. The bullocks
were not able to pull the carts across. The caravan leader
hooked up all 500 pairs of bullocks to the first cart.
But the river was so rough that they could not pull across
even that one cart.
with this problem, the leader began looking for more bulls.
He was known to be an expert judge of the qualities of
bulls. While examining the wandering village herd, he
noticed Grandma's Blackie. At once he thought, "This
noble bullock looks like he has the strength and the will
to pull my carts across the river."
said to the villagers standing nearby, "To whom does
this big black bull belong? I would like to use him to
pull my caravan across the river, and I am willing to
pay his owner for his services." The people said,
"By all means, take him. His master is not here."
he put a rope through Grandma's Blackie's nose. But when
he pulled, he could not budge him! The bull was thinking,
"Until this man says what he will pay for my work,
I will not move."
such a good judge of bulls, the caravan leader understood
his reasoning. So he said, "My dear bull, after you
have pulled my 500 carts across the river, I will pay
you two gold coins for each cart - not just one, but two!"
Hearing this, Grandma's Blackie went with him at once.
the man harnessed the strong black bull to the first cart.
He proceeded to pull it across the river. This was what
all one thousand bulls could not do before. Likewise,
he pulled across each of the other 499 carts, one at a
time, without slowing down a bit!
all was done, the caravan leader made a package containing
only one gold coin per cart, that is, 500 coins. He hung
this around the mighty bullock's neck. The bull thought,
"This man promised two gold coins per cart, but that
is not what he has hung around my neck. So I will not
let him leave!" He went to the front of the caravan
and blocked the path.
leader tried to push him out of the way, but he would
not move. He tried to drive the carts around him. But
all the bulls had seen how strong he was, so they would
not move either!
man thought, "There is no doubt that this is a very
intelligent bull, who knows I have given him only half-pay."
So he made a new package containing the full one-thousand
gold coins, and hung it instead around the bull's neck.
Grandma's Blackie re-crossed the river and walked directly
towards the old woman, his 'mother'. Along the way, the
children tried to grab the money package, thinking it
was a game. But he escaped them.
the woman saw the heavy package, she was surprised. The
children told her all about what happened down at the
river. She opened the package and discovered the one thousand
old woman also saw the tired look in the eyes of her 'child'.
She said, "Oh my son, do you think I wish to live
off the money you earn? Why did you wish to work so hard
and suffer so? No matter how difficult it may be, I will
always care for and look after you."
the kind woman washed the lovely bull and massaged his
tired muscles with oil. She fed him good food and cared
for him, until the end of their happy lives together.
moral is: Loving-kindness makes the poorest house
into the richest home.