| The heaven-sent pig (a Chinese tale)

Posted by admin at 2005, December 6, 6:29 AM
More of this topic in Fairy tale

Once upon a time, a farmer and his wife prayed to heaven every night that their hard work would bring good fortune. At long last, they saved enough pennies to buy a small pig. ㄘwWw。fAIry-tALE.inFOyο

But after one whole year, the pig had not grown. His wife said, "Why work to feed a creature no one will ever buy?"


And so they set the pig free to roam the mountains, but every night it returned and begged for food. %≯∽(wWw.faIRy-tALe.infoλXㄣШㄑ

"Perhaps heaven will smile down on us if we are good to the poor pig," the farmer thought. At night the farmer sneaked out food to feed the little pig. One evening as he was carrying a pail of slop outside, a stranger passed by. ㄘWwW.fAiRy-tALE.InfOxゑタゃθ℃

"How much would you like for your pig?" he asked.


The farmer was surprised. "He's a small pig," said the farmer, "but I could sell him for 10 taels of silver. That is how much I paid, plus the cost of feeding him for a year."


The stranger reached into his pocket for 10 taels when the farmer's wife suddenly ran outside. Z_BФūWWw.faIry-tale.INFO⌒ηōβㄜLe

"Wait!" she cried. "Husband, just yesterday another stranger offered me 500 taels for our pig." す7Twww.faiRy-tALE。INfOá∩t

The farmer stared in astonishment; how could she tell such lies?


He turned to the stranger. "Forgive my wife," he said, "but I will sell ..." 『ǚ∷€MWwW.fAiRy-TalE.Infofǔ0c

But the stranger waved away his words. "I will pay 500," he said, and again he reached into his pouch.


The farmer was about to take the money, but once again the wife spoke up.


"Five hundred isn't enough," she said. "No, I think we'll keep our pig." ぅοひwWw。FAiRY-talE.inFOォゥEЭ≡

But the stranger called to her. "Wait, please. I will add another 500 to that."


The wife, smiling, said, "Agreed," and put out her hand. www。FAIrY-tale。INfOめぅ±ξ(

Now the stranger bowed. "One request," he said. "Before I pay I ask you to bow to heaven and vow that your word is good." Оxy々낱WWw.FaIrY-tAle.infoОぅィ

The wife willingly bowed to heaven and offered her vow, and the farmer, too, bowed to heaven, but he was so amazed, he could not speak. WwW。FAiRY-TaLE.info

Just as the stranger was about to leave, the wife said, "Why are you willing to pay so much for a scrawny pig?"


The stranger smiled. "I will tell you since you have vowed to heaven that you will not break your word. I know that inside this pig are two magical candles. Anyone who takes out those candles and prepares a table of rice and fruits as offerings, then lights the candles and bows three times to heaven, will discover every treasure imaginable flying toward him." WWW.FAiRy-TAlE.iNFoなっǒㄘ

The woman did not wait for the stranger to finish and snatched the pig. "I've changed my mind. I'll keep this pig," she said. "Here's your money."


"But you vowed to heaven," the stranger said. +ùδВWwW。fAiRY-TAle.iNfo∵き∑+

But the wife carried the pig into the house. She prepared a table of fruit and rice, and then slaughtered the pig. She found the candles just as the stranger had described.


At once she lighted them and bowed to heaven, and to her delight the air above her filled with gold and silver and jewels. WWW。FAiRy-tALE.INfO+AㄡIㄇ

She reached up to grab them, but each time, the treasures swirled away. Soon the candles flickered out, and everything vanished.


Many months later, just before the new year, the stranger appeared once again.


"You lied to us," and she told the stranger what had happened.


He only smiled. "You interrupted me," he said. "I didn't have a chance to tell you that to catch those treasures, you must throw rice at them and repeat your vow to heaven."


The farmer understood. The stranger was a messenger from heaven. ǎキゑПWww.fAirY-tALe。Infoふス≠ハТ

"It is greed that destroys dreams," he said to his wife. ˊθsWWw.FaIRy-TAle.InFopЁ⌒√A

"Yes," she said, nodding. "Now I know that is so."


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