Big Red, Little Red And No-squeal – Jataka Tales

Buddha’s Tales for Young and Old
[Envy]
Once upon a time, there were two calves
who were part of a country household. At the
same home there also lived a girl and a baby pig.
Since he hardly ever made a sound, the pig was
called ‘No-squeal’.
The masters of the house treated No-squeal
very very well. They fed him large amounts of the
very best rice, and even rice porridge with rich
brown sugar.
The two calves noticed this. They worked
hard pulling plows in the fields and bullock carts
on the roads. Little Red said to Big Red, “My big
brother, in this household you and I do all the hard
work. We bring prosperity to the family. But they
feed us only grass and hay. The baby pig No-
squeal does nothing to support the family. And yet
they feed him the finest and fanciest of foods.
Why should he get such special treatment?”
The wise elder brother said, “Oh young
one, it is dangerous to envy anybody. Therefore,
do not envy the baby pig for being fed such rich
food. What he eats is really ‘the food of death”.
“There will soon be a marriage ceremony
for the daughter of the house, and little No-squeal
will be the wedding feast! That’s why he is being
pampered and fed in such rich fashion.
“In a few days the guests will arrive. Then
this piglet will be dragged away by the legs,
killed, and made into curry for the feast.”
Sure enough, in a few days the wedding
guests arrived. The baby pig No-squeal was
dragged away and killed. And just as Big Red had
said, he was cooked in various types of curries
and devoured by the guests.
Then Big Red said, “My dear young
brother, did you see what happened to baby No-
squeal?” “Yes brother,” replied Little Red, “now I
understand.”
Big Red continued, “This is the result of
being fed such rich food., Our poor grass and hay
are a hundred times better than his rich porridge
and sweet brown sugar. For our food brings no
harm to us, but instead promises long life!”
The moral is: Don’t envy the well-off, until
you know the price they pay.