Long ago, a man called Wang Dalin lived in Suzhou. All life was precious to him. He bought animals and released them from their cages.
Whenever kids in his village had caught fish or birds or even bugs, he paid them to let these animals go. He told them, “It’s not good to kill. Don’t you see how happy the birds are in the forest? When you catch them, just think how worried their parents are! Look how happy the fish are in the water. They swim back and forth. They are beautiful to watch. Why do you have to catch them and put them to death? You really shouldn’t kill!”
These kids would go home and tell their parents what Wang had told them. Their parents would see the point, too.
Then Wang got sick. He had an incurable disease. The doctors told his family to dig his grave. Just as he was dying, he seemed to hear a god talking to him. He didn’t dare to believe his ears!
The god told him, “Wang Dalin, it is time for you to die. But you have saved many lives, so you have saved your own life, too. You will not die now.”
Wang opened his eyes. “I’m not dead yet!” he told his family. He got out of bed. His disease was gone!
Wang did not die then. He lived to be 97 years old. His children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and great-great- grandchildren all lived together with him in one big, happy family.
Wang was so lucky because he had a kind heart and believed that all life is precious.