The judge punishes the cow's ownerThis is another story about a cow. This cow was in absolutely perfect health. The owner was in need of money because his daughter was about to get married. In this particular village he had a friend who was quite rich. This friend liked the cow because it was very strong and smart, and it was producing a very large amount of milk. The friend wanted to buy the cow, but he thought he could buy it at a very cheap price because he knew that the owner desperately needed money.
The owner said, “No, I cannot give the cow to you at such a low price. You have to make a better offer.” So their friendship ended.
A few months later, the owner took the cow to the market to sell it. Various people were negotiating with him to buy the cow when all of a sudden a young man came forward and said, “My father liked this cow. I must give this cow to my father as a present, no matter what your price.”
The owner quoted a high price, but the young man was not at all shocked by the figure. He bought the cow in order to make his father happy. Alas, while he was bringing the cow home, somehow the cow escaped. The cow entered into a paddy field and utterly destroyed it. The owner of the paddy field became furious. He captured the cow and dragged it before the village council. The council was comprised of five or six judges. Every day the head judge changed. On that day the friend who had wanted to buy the cow at a very low price happened to be the head judge. He still felt that he had been insulted by his former friend because the friend had not sold him the cow.
When he heard that this particular cow had destroyed the paddy field, he recognised at once that this was the cow he had wanted to buy. He said to the owner of the paddy field, “I am ordering the owner of this cow to pay two thousand rupees. He is such a bad owner. He knew that his cow was notorious, so I am fining him two thousand rupees. One thousand will go to you to help you restore your paddy field, and one thousand will be an act of charity. We need money for the improvement of our village.”
This judge was such a rogue. He knew the cow belonged to his former friend, and that is why he imposed such a heavy fine.
The other judges on the council said, “Is your judgement not too harsh? Can you not lower the fine?”
The head judge said, “No! If it had been my cow that had misbehaved, I would have gladly given two thousand rupees.”
Then the head judge requested the owner of the cow to be summoned. All of a sudden, the young man came running into the room and said, “This is my cow! I bought this cow, and I was looking for it. I was bringing it home to make my father happy. I heard that my father was deeply interested in this particular cow, so I bought it at the market to please my father.”
The head judge saw his own son standing before him. He said, “What have I done?”
The other judges said, “You cannot change your decision just because it is your son. You have to stick to your decision.”
So the father and son had to pay the fine of two thousand rupees. The farmer whose field was destroyed by the cow got one thousand, and the other thousand was distributed by the judges for the betterment of the village.