The Brahmin Who Wouldn't Stop Talking
Once upon a time, a long time ago, when Brahmadatta was king in Benares, the Bodhisattva became one of the king's courtiers. At the same time, a Brahmin at the king's court was so talkative and longwinded that when once he started, no one else could get a word in edgewise.
One day, the exasperated king could stand it no longer. His eyes searched the entire court looking high and low for someone who could cut the chaplain short.
The Bodhisattva, divining his wishes, whispered in the king's ear that he knew of a cripple in Benares who was a wonderful marksman with stones. He was so good that the village boys would put him on a little cart and pull him to the gates of Benares. There, under a large banyan tree covered with leaves, they gathered round him. Giving him a half-penny, they said7 "Make an elephant," or, "Make a horse." The cripple would throw stone after stone until he had cut the foliage into the shapes they had asked for. Hearing of this unique marksman, the king went to the city gates to find him. The boys scampered off in fear of the king, leaving the cripple there helpless.
"Tell me," said the king, "If you can think of a way that your skill could help me with my chaplain who won't stop talking.
"Sire, I could easily do it if I had a peashooter full of dried goat's dung." said the cripple.
So, the king had the marksman with the peashooter hidden behind a curtain in the palace, and while the chaplain talked, the cripple shot the pellets, one by one into the chaplain's gullet. The Brahmin swallowed them down as the came, like so much oil. Gradually, the chaplain's stomach swelled until it became so full he had to stop talking. The king said, "Now sir, you're so talkative that you have swallowed a peashooter full of goat's dung without even noticing it. You'd better go home and take an emetic of panick seed and water. That will make you well again."
From then on, the chaplain kept his mouth shut, except when necessary. Even then, he made it short.
The king's ears were relieved. In gratitude to the crippled marksman, he rewarded him with a gift of four villages--one in each direction--north, south, east, and west. All together, these villages produced an income of 100,000 gold coins a year.
The Bodhisattva approached the king and said, "In this world, sire, skill should be cultivated by the wise. The cripples skill has made him rich. " He uttered the quatrain:
Prize skill, and note the marksman lame,
Whose villages four reward his aim.
Though the boys used him for their game,
His practiced skill has brought him fame.