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《Chinese Tales for Everyone__Real and Imaginary: (23) Seeing Gold (24) A Sparrow's Miracle Gratitude》__ Kong Shiu Loon (53)

Tales Real and Imaginary
(23) Seeing Gold
 
Once upon a time there was a man who had a great passion for gold.
One day, he got up at dawn and went to market. His mind was all occupied by seizing gold to bring back home.
It was a sunny day and the market was crowded with visitors from villages near by. He ran straight to the gold shop, snatched an armful of gold and ran.
Everyone saw him. The guards were called in. They soon caught him and brought him to the local magistrate.
The Magistrate asked: “With so many people watching, how did you expect to get away with seizing the gold?”
The man answered, “Your Honor, all I saw was gold, not the people.”
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Note: This is an English narration of a vignette in the book《列子》. It told us how human beings can be blinded by emotion and greed, seeing nothing else.
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Tales Real and Imaginary
(24) A Sparrow’s Miracle Gratitude
 
A woman once saw a sparrow in her yard having difficulty flying. Every time it tried to take to the air, it fell to the ground.
She took the sparrow home and found that its wings were injured. She applied some herbs to the wounds and fed the bird with grains. In a few days, it flew away.
She was happy to see the sparrow again. This time it carried a seed in its beak and dropped it in the woman’s lap. She casually threw it in her yard.
Wonders happened the next summer. A thriving vine bored a big watermelon. The woman was very pleased and she remembered the seed dropped by the sparrow.
She invited many friends to her fortieth birthday party, and treated everyone with the huge melon. They together opened the melon to share.
Wonder struck again. The seeds of the watermelon were all grains of gold.
“Tell us the secret.” the friends urged. The woman recounted the story of her saving a little sparrow a year ago and her suspension that it created the miracle to show its gratitude.
A man in the party thought: “What an easy way to get rich!” He caught a sparrow the next morning, broke its wings and nursed it back to health.
The bird disappeared and came back a few days later with a seed for the man. He buried it carefully in his garden, and a string bean vine grew quickly. Three strings of beans hung on the vine, fat and robust.
The man was excited every time he watered the plant. He secretly harvested the beans in due course, hoping to reap his reward. Alas, when he cut the beans open, the peas were just small stones.
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Note: This is an English narration of a story in the book 《佛案叢林》. It taught the Buddhist principles of doing good deeds and bad deeds in life, as represented by the commonly used phrases of 種瓜得瓜,種豆得豆, and 善有善報, 惡有惡報.
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