Friday, April 9, 2010

Buddhist Story - The Soft Shell Turtle & A Maid

From today, i will feature short stories like the following one from time to time for your reading pleasures. These stories which carry Buddhist theme in them were originally written for children but i guess grown ups would be able to enjoy and perhaps learn a thing or two from them too. Here's the first one.

Once upon a time there was a couple whose surname was Zhang. They liked eating soft-shell turtle very much. One day they bought a huge soft-shell turtle and gave it to the young maid called Ai,

"Ai ! Kill this soft-shell turtle. This time we want to eat a barbecued one, pay attention to do your best!"

Ai had never been fond of killing. However, it was hard for her not to obey the command of the master. Therefore having no way out, she started to sharpen the knife in the kitchen. The knife became sharper and sharper. Ai gazed at the soft-shell turtle. She saw it looking at her with its eyes begging her not to kill.

Suddenly Ai felt that she did not have the heart to kill it. Therefore she secretly took the soft-shell turtle and set it free in the river. Then she told the master a lie of good-will,
"I’‘m sorry, it was me who didn’‘t look well after the soft-shell turtle and now it is missing. Please forgive me." Hearing that the master was outraged,

"How could you be so careless! Where were your eyes? How could you lose such a big soft-shell turtle? I am really disappointed! Without any cause you let us lose a beautiful meal! Alas!"
Not long after suddenly Ai suddenly fell severely ill and it seemed that she was dying. Mr. and Mrs Zhang saw no sign of her recovery, so they called people to take her home. However, those people threw her on the river bank near her home and went off.

At midnight, a big soft-shell turtle suddenly emerged from the water, carrying wet mud, the sort-shell covered Ai's body with the mud. Originally Ai had a high temperature all over her body. But then she felt her body become so much cooler and she recovered in no time. When Ai went back to her master’‘s place, everyone was so surprised that no one could say a word.
"What was the matter?"

Ai told the story of how the soft-shell turtle helped her to cure thedisease. The master only half-believed her so they went to look for the sort-shell turtle. Consequently they discovered that it was the one they had lost. The whole family was deeply moved by this incident. The couple hugged Ai and said, "Fortunately you set free the soft-shell turtle so that we will not continue to make mistakes. Ai, from now on we swear we will not eat soft-shell turtles any more."