THE WOLF’S SABBATH

THE WOLF’S SABBATH

Once upon a time, when Brahmadatta reigned king in Benares, the Bodhisatta came to life as Sakka, king of the gods. At that time a wolf lived on a rock by the Ganges bank. The winter floods came up and surrounded the rock. There he lay upon the rock, with no food and no way of getting it. The water rose and rose, and the wolf pondered: “No food here, and no way to get it. Here I lie, with nothing to do. I may as well keep a Sabbath fast.” Thus resolved to keep a sabbath, as he lay he solemnly resolved to keep the religious precepts. Sakka in his meditations perceived the wolf’s weak resolve. Thought he, “I’ll plague that wolf’’; and taking the shape of a wild goat, he stood near, and let the wolf see him.

“I’ll keep Sabbath another day!’’ thought the wolf, as he spied him; up he got, and leapt at the creature. But the goat jumped about so that the wolf could not catch him. when our wolf saw that he could not catch him, he came to a standstill, and went back, thinking to himself as he lay down again, “Well, my Sabbath is not broken after all.’’

Then Sakka, by his divine power, hovered above in the air; said he:

“What have such as you, all unstable, to do with keeping meal of goat’s flesh!’’ and thus plaguing and rebuking him, he returned to the world of the gods.

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