The world of Tzu Chi May 2021 (Vol.134)

2021 • 05 54 A long time ago, a beautiful deer king lived in a forest and had a coat of nine colours. One day, the deer king was walking along the river when he suddenly heard a man crying for help. Following the sound, the deer king came upon a man drowning in the water. The river was flowing rapidly, and there was no one else nearby to help. The deer king realized that the man would certainly drown if he did not act. Thus, the deer king jumped into the water and swam to the man. The deer king shouted, “Do not be afraid! Quickly, grab my horns and climb onto my back.” The man did as the deer king instructed. On reaching the shore, the deer king was exhausted and was breathing heavily. The man said to the deer king, “You saved my life! To repay you, I will stay by your side and spend the rest of my life fetching fresh water for you to drink and cutting fresh grass for you to eat.” “That is not necessary,” said the deer king. “Go home to your family. All I ask is that you do not tell anyone where I live after you leave here.” The man immediately vowed, “To repay you for your kindness, I will not tell a soul.” Then he left. One day, the queen of this kingdom dreamt of a deer with a shining coat of nine colours. When she awoke from her dream, she thought, “If I could find such a deer, I could use its skin to make a fine coat. And from its horns, I could make beautiful earrings.” Going to the king she said, “You must find me this deer with the nine-coloured coat, or I will die.” The king was doubtful that such a deer existed, but taking the queen’s threat of death seriously, he agreed, “All right! I will issue a command that everyone in the kingdom do whatever it takes to find such a deer for you.” He ordered that posters be placed everywhere, announcing that anyone with information on the whereabouts of a nine-coloured deer will receive a generous reward of land and money. The citizens who saw the poster were also doubtful that such a deer existed. Only the man who was saved by the deer king rejoiced. “I am in luck! All I have to do is tell the king where that deer is, and I will receive this magnificent reward.” Disregarding his promise to the deer king, the man told the king where he could find the deer with the nine-coloured coat. After receiving the information, the king set off immediately with his hunters and crossed mountains and hills until he reached the forest where the deer king lived. Walking quietly, they found the nine-coloured deer sleeping under a tree. From afar, a little bird saw the king and his hunters approaching and immediately flew to the The king was deeply moved after hearing that the nine-coloured deer had risked his own life to save a human being, thus promised to the deer that no one will be allowed to hunt or hurt any animal living in that forest. The queen, who had been obsessed with making the deerskin coat and antler earrings, became so infuriated that her heart burst and she died. aster Cheng Yen Tells Stories The King’s Promise to the Deer