Chao Yung was a peddler. He made his living catching and selling crabs, so he killed many living creatures, but at least he was a very good son. He didn’t spend the money he made on himself. He used it to take care of his old mother. Everybody said he was a very filial son.
The son was good, but the mother was not so good. She never taught her son to do good deeds. She spent the money her son gave her eating and drinking.
It all caught up with her, and finally she fell sick in bed. She moaned in pain. When Chao Yung got home, he was horrified by what he saw. His mother was acting like she was crazy. She had taken the hemp rope Chao Yung used for catching crabs and was stuffing it into her mouth and swallowing it! Chao ran over to stop her, but she waved him away. Then she pulled the whole rope out again, and as soon as she got it out, she started swallowing it again. She was moaning and retching all the while. The neighbors heard the noise and came to see what was wrong.
Soon the ropes was covered with blood and filth from her lungs and intestines. The whole room smelled awful, and it was such a disgusting sight that a lot of the neighbors threw up all over the floor.
Finally old Mrs. Chao leaned back on her pillow. “My son has killed many crabs to earn money. This is a crime against nature, but at least he has been filial and used the money to support me. “But I didn’t know to make good use of this money! I wasted this bloody money on food and drink, so I have a terrible debt to pay! I have to clean out my insides, or I will suffer for my wickedness?
Chao Yung was sorry that he had earned his livelihood at the cost of so much suffering for those innocent crabs. Mother and son cried and cried, but before many days had passed, Chao Yung’s mother had died miserably.