The Dead Pigeon

A son asked a monk to come and chant helpful scriptures because his mother was very ill. The monk said, “My chanting is very efficacious and your mother will be well soon.”

The son believed the monk, borrowed some money, butter, and barley bread from his relatives, and gave them to the monk. But when the monk finished his chanting the mother was dead.

The son sadly said, “Why is my mother dead?”

The monk noticed some pigeons flying in the sky and said, “Your mother has already changed to one of those pigeons flying in the sky.”

The son felt happy and bowed respectfully toward the sky.

When Uncle Dunba heard what the monk had done and said, he angrily went to the temple, found the monk, and said, “My mother is dead. Please come to my home and recite scriptures.”

The monk agreed. As they were walking to Uncle Dunba’s house, the monk asked him to tell him a joke. Uncle Dunba angrily replied, “My mother is dead and I am in no mood to tell jokes!”

When they reached Uncle Dunba’s home, the monk asked, “Where is your mother?”

Uncle Dunba sadly pointed to something covered with a sheep’s skin and said, “There!” When the monk removed the sheep’s skin, he saw a dead pigeon. He was shocked.

Uncle Dunba calmly said, “Oh, my mother changed into a pigeon and flew into the sky!” The monk blushed.

Uncle Dunba laughed merrily and said, “You told me to tell you a joke. Isn’t this a good joke?” The monk left Uncle Dunba’s house quickly.

The monk was very angry when he returned to his monastery and wanted revenge. And since Uncle Dunba had borrowed a large pot from the monastery, he and the other monks decided that they would beat Uncle Dunba when he returned it.

A few days later Uncle Dunba started to the monastery with the pot. He knew the monks wanted to punish him, so he had made some small holes in the bottom of the pot with a nail. When he reached the monastery gate, the monks ordered four fierce dogs to attack him.

Uncle Dunba squatted on the ground so the pot covered his entire body. He could see through the holes he had made. The dogs tried to bite through the pot, could not, and finally gave up.

When Uncle Dunba reached the monastery, he sadly said, “What a pity! Look, the four dogs have put so many holes in it.”

The monks realized what Uncle Dunba had done, but found nothing to say.

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