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The Greedy Priest

Category: Temples and Priests

Source: Laos Folk-lore Of Farther India

In the compound of a temple in the south there was a large fruit tree,
the fruit of which was coveted by all, as they passed, but the head
priest would permit no one to eat of it, because he was greedy and
selfish and wished but to satisfy his own appetite.

Two men, talking together, said they would obtain fruit from the priest,
and they would have it without price.

One came and asked for the fruit. The priest refused him gruffly,
saying, "I need it for my own use." The man replied, "I desired it to
eat with my venison curry, of which I have so much that I want you to
come and eat with me." On hearing this the priest said, "Take what you
want." Filling his scarf with the coveted fruit, the man left the
priest, saying, "I will call for you as the eye of day closes."

Shortly after, the second man came and begged for fruit and likewise was
refused, until he said he wished it to eat with his pork curry, and,
that as the eye of day closed, he would come for the priest to eat with
him, when the priest said, "All you desire, take." And the man filled a
large basket with the coveted fruit.

As the eye of day closed, the two men called together for the priest.

When they reached a fork in the road, one laid hold on the arm of the
priest, and said, "Come with me first, my house is down this way."

"Come with me first," said the other, "my family will already be

Thus they disputed, drawing the greedy old priest this way and that
until he was bruised and tired, when he said, "It is enough. I will
neither eat of the venison, nor of the pork."

And the men went home and laughed, for neither had the one venison nor
the other pork.

Next: The Ambitious Priest

Previous: The Disappointed Priest

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