The Love of Life

18. The Mother Deer


The forest was still in the early morning.

The rising sun lit up the earth, the forest, and the plains. The mountains glowed with a beautiful light, and the water glistened on the ripples in the stream. Everything was at peace.

Suddenly, a man appeared. He hurried across the stream and reached a meadow. He stopped and looked around him, as if he were looking for something. This man had a strong face, big ears, eyebrows like swords, and eyes like a tiger’s. He had an adventurer’s turban on his head. He held a bow in his left hand and his quiver hung on his right hip. He looked vigorous, tough, and lively. This man was Hsu Chenchun. He loved the great outdoors, and he especially loved hunting.

He spotted a fawn coming out of the forest. Hsu smiled and nocked an arrow. Zip! The fawn fell over almost as soon as the sound of the bow-string was heard. Hsu was proud of his good shot. Just as he was about to go pick up his game, he saw the fawn’s mother running to her child.

When the mother deer saw what had happened to her baby, she whimpered and cried, and licked her baby’s wound with her tongue.

Hsu had never expected this to happen. He watched as the mother tended her baby, but Hsu’s aim had been too accurate. The wound was too deep, and before long, the little deer died.

When the little deer died, its mother fell down dead, too.

Hsu was amazed. He couldn’t figure out why the mother deer had died, too. He took out his hunting knife and cut open her corpse to find out what was wrong.

He saw that her organs and intestines were broken into little pieces an inch long! The mother deer was so sad the her baby had been killed that she burst her innards.

Hsu was terribly sorry about what he had done. Right away, he broke his bow across his knee and threw his arrows into the stream. He left his home and went deep into the mountains to find a Teacher. He worked hard for many years and finally became a great Buddhist.

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