Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/395

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1st Sudhammacari Story.

The Dog, the Cat, and the Mungûs.

Ages ago, in the time of the Buddha Konágamano, a prince, a nobleman's son, a rich man's son, and a poor man's son, were being educated together at Tekkasilo[1] (Taxila of the Greeks), and when they had completed their education and were about to depart, they questioned their teacher as to the uses of learning, and he related to them the following fable.

At the beginning of this cycle (the cycle of Konágamano) there were in the country of Gahapativéssa (house-owner—vaicya, the vaicya caste was the third or trading caste) four rich men who were very great friends; one died and left an only son. One day his mother said to him, "My dear son, you are your father's heir and will inherit the whole of his property; but, as you are still very young, it will be better for you first to go and stay with your father's friends, and complete your education." She then gave him 300 pieces of silver, and told him which way he was to go. The youth set forth with a proper retinue, and on the road met a man with a dog. He asked the man if he would sell the dog, and he answered that he would do so for 100 pieces. The youth paid the money and sent it home to his mother. Next day he met a man with a cat, which he bought for 100 pieces and sent to his mother; and the day after he bought a mungûs (a kind of ferret), and sent it home also. His mother, thinking he had done this with the advice of his father's friends, kept all the animals and fed them well, but as she was not accustomed to wild animals she fed the mungûs with fear and trembling, and gradually began to look very ill. One day her spiritual adviser noticed how ill she was looking, and on his asking the cause she told him. He advised her to give it a good feed and then let it go in the forest. She did so, and the mungûs being very grateful to the young man, brought a ring with a sparkling ruby in it out of the

  1. Taxila is constantly represented in Burmo-Buddhist tales as an university in which the sons and daughters of all classes were educated together.

Vol. 7. — Part 4. 2 d