The murmuring brook in the green forest flowed past glorious wild flowers which decorated the little house there.
The sun shone high in the sky. Suddenly, a deer raced into the courtyard of the house, where a little boy was playing. The deer hooked the boy’s clothing with its antlers. This scared the little boy so much he let out a howl that brought his mother running out to see what the matter was. She came out just in time to see the deer running off toward the mountains with her little boy.
Of course the boy’s mother was horrified! She ran after the deer as fast as she could go, and not too far away, she found her little boy sitting safely on the grass. When he saw his mother coming, the little boy laughed and stretched out his arms to her. His mother scooped him up. She was so happy that she cried.
She hurried back to their home with her precious son. When she got there, she stopped dead in her tracks, amazed at what she saw. The huge tree in back of their house had toppled over while she was out chasing after her son. The whole house was crushed under its enormous weight. The walls were squashed, and all the roofing tiles were smashed into powder. The chickens and dogs in the house were all dead. If she and her little boy had been home…
Then the little boy’s mother remembered the day about a year before when a deer fleeing a hunter had run into her house. She felt sorry for the poor, frightened deer, so she covered it with some clothes. When the hunter rushed in after his quarry, he couldn’t find it. He thought it must have gone out the back door, so he kept chasing it, and when he was far, far away, she uncovered the deer and let it return to the forest.
The deer seemed to understand that she had saved its life, because as it left, it kept bowing its head to her, as if thanking her for her mercy.
She never imagined that the deer could remember her kindness. The deer somehow knew the tree was going to fall and crush her, so it came back to show its gratitude.
當那個小男孩的媽媽回想起來這一切后，她說：“救別的生命就等于是救你自己的生命?！?br /> When the boy’s mother remembered all this, she said, “Saving the life of another is the same as saving your own life.”
Some two thousand years ago, in a river in ancient India, there was a pond full of fish. They lived happily in the clear water. They jumped and swam or just floated around enjoying their watery home.
Then for a long time it didn’t rain. Every day some more water evaporated, until the pond had almost dried up. If the pond dried up, all of the fish would die under the hot, dry sun.
太陽持續烘烤著干旱的大地。一個老人碰巧經過池塘。他看到水差不多沒了，心里充滿了悲憫。他徑直找到國王，說：“魚塘里的水差不多干了，魚兒們的處境十分危險。如果陛下樂意，請您分派二十頭大象運水過去救救這些魚吧?！?br /> The sun kept beating down on the dry earth. An old man happened to walk by the pond. He saw the water was almost gone. His heart filled with mercy. He went straight to the king and said, “The water in the fish’s pond is almost dry, and the fish are in great danger. If it pleases your majesty, you might send twenty elephants to tote water to save those fish.”
國王是個佛教徒，聽完老人的請求，說道：“您有一顆善良慈悲的心靈，這真是太好了。去御象廄領象吧，你覺得需要多少頭就領多少頭?！?br /> The king was a Buddhist, so as soon as he heard the old man’s request, he said, “It is wonderful that you have such a kind and merciful heart. Go to the royal elephant stables and take as many elephants as you feel you need to to the water to save those poor, suffering fish.”
When the old man heard the king’s reply, he took his two sons to the royal elephant stables and selected twenty of the best elephants. Then he went to the breweries and borrowed as many skins as he could — in India in those days, liquor was stored and transported in skins. Then the three of them led the twenty elephants to the biggest river in the region, and filled all the skins with water. The twenty royal elephants carried the heavy skins full of water to the fish pond, and they poured all the water into the pond.
After many trips, the pond was full again, just as it had been before the drought. The fish in the pond were saved! They leapt and played and swam back and forth.
When the old man saw how happy the fish were, and watched the ripples on the water’s surface, all of the worries and sadness that the long years had gathered in his tired old heart were immediately swept away.
As the day turned into night, he and his sons cheerfully led the twenty elephants back to the royal stables and went to tell their king the good news.