The Ungrateful Fisherman
: Moderation and Greed
: Laos Folk-lore Of Farther India
It happened on a time that a poor fisherman had caught nothing for many
days, and while he was sitting thinking sadly of his miserable fortune,
Punya In, the god of wisdom, came from his high home in heaven in the
form of a crow, and asked him, "Do you desire to escape from this life
of a fisherman, and live in ease?" And the fisherman replied, "Greatly
do I desire to escape from this miserable life."
oning him to come to him and listen, the crow told him of a far
distant province, whose chow lay dead.
"Both the province and all the chow's former possessions will I give
thee, if thou wilt promise ever to remember the benefits I bestow," said
Readily did the fisherman promise, "Never, never will I forget."
Immediately the crow took the fisherman on his back and flew to the far
distant province. Leaving the fisherman just outside the city gate, the
crow entered the city, went to the chow's home, and took the body of the
chow away, and, in the place put the fisherman.
When the fisherman moved, the watchers heard, and rejoicing, they all
cried, "Our chow is again alive."
Great was the joy of the people, and, for many years, the fisherman
ruled in the province and enjoyed the possessions of the former chow.
But, as time went by, the fisherman forgot the crow had been the author
of all his good fortune, that all were the gifts of a crow, and he drove
all crows from the rice fields. Even did he attempt to banish them from
the province. Perceiving this, the god of wisdom again assumed the form
of a crow and came down and sat near the one-time fisherman.
"O, chow, wouldst thou desire to go where all is pleasure and delight?"
asked the crow.
"Let me go," replied the chow. And the crow took him on his back and
flew with him to the house where, as a fisherman he had lived in poverty
and squalor, and ever had he to remain there.