In which we celebrate Saturday Stories: a story about goats!

Here's a sweet little wisdom story that I learned in late 2009. Share it with a friend...or a goat!

The Goat and the Rock
There was once, in Tibet, a milk seller. Each morning he would collect goat's milk from a couple of farms and then deliver it to families in two villages.

He would knock on the door; a milk pitcher and a few pennies were offered. He took the pennies and filled the pitcher from his large earthenware jug.

One morning as he made his way between the two villages, he paused to rest, setting his half full jug on a large rock.

A goatherd was coming along the path with six or seven goats trotting along in front of him. He called to his friend, the milk seller, who gave a cheery call back.

This calling startled the nanny goat in front, so she jumped off the path and knocked over the milk jug. It broke, spilling its contents into the dust.

"Look what your goat has done!" said the milk seller. "Now I can't deliver your milk."

"Don't you have another jug?" asked the goatherd.

"No. And I earn so little at this job, that I barely feed my family as it is. I think you owe me a new jug."

The goatherd said, "I don't have much either. I would have to sell a goat to buy you a jug, and then I would have less milk to sell. I can't do that."

The milk seller and the goatherd agreed to take this dispute to a local judge, who was known to be wise.

The judge listened to both men describe the events of the morning. Then she said, "The goatherd has done nothing wrong and he should not have to pay for a new jug. The milk vendor is equally innocent. Bailiff, go arrest the goat and the rock. A trial will be held at noon tomorrow."

Now the goat came willingly to the garden courtyard of the judge, but the rock resisted arrest. It took the bailiff and 20 strong men to bring the rock to court.

Of course, everyone in the two villages heard the news, and by noon the next day, the courtyard was filled with people. Some were even sitting on top of one of the defendants.

The judge whispered to the bailiff to close the gates, and she stood on a step to address the crowd.

"Ladies and gentlemen, surely you must know that we have no laws by which to judge a goat or a rock. So, why have you come? Did expect me to make a fool of myself? Or worse, that I should make a mockery of the laws? Shame on you for such thoughts! For your disrespect of justice you will each be fined three pennies. The bailiff will collect your fine as you leave."

Some folks grumbled; others laughed, but everyone paid, because three pennies is not much money.

After everyone had left, the bailiff counted the money.

There was enough to buy a new jug for the milk vendor and to fill it with goat's milk.

And thus, justice was served.

Comments

  1. Great story! I will copy it and send it off to my mom, she enjoys getting new stories to add to her storytelling stash! She will especially like this b/c we raised goats on our Hobby Farm as a kid.

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