Bull in a China Shop: A Story of Reincarnation and Predestined Relationship
This is a true story that happened in a village in Shandong Province, China.
One night, all of a sudden, a five-year-old boy from a household in the village spoke to his mom, "My eldest uncle is here." Because his eldest uncle was deceased, his mom thought that he was being naughty. However, the boy looked very serious and said again, "Really. My eldest uncle is here. I saw him. He's lying in the cowshed." His mom went with the boy to the cowshed and found that the cow had just given birth to a calf. Pointing to the calf, the boy said, "This is my eldest uncle." Ever since then, the boy started to call that calf "uncle."
After a year or two, the calf grew to be a big ox. The ox was very obedient. Whenever people wanted it to do something, they would ask the boy to tell the ox what to do. Then the ox would go and get the work done. All the people in the village knew this, so they liked to borrow the ox to help them. Once, a neighbor came and wanted to borrow the ox. She said that she would need the ox to plough one mu [Chinese unit of area] of land. So the boy talked to the ox and the ox went to that neighbor's land to do the work. However, the neighbor didn't tell the truth. She actually had several mu of land to be ploughed. After one mu of land was ploughed, the ox stopped and wouldn't continue no matter what she did. Finally, she had to take the ox back and explained the situation, apologizing. So the boy went to talk to the ox for a few minutes. After that, the ox returned to that neighbor's land and finished the work.
One day, the boy and his mom led the ox through a market. Somehow, the obedient ox departed from its normal behavior. It trampled over a china stand and broke many pieces of china. The owner was very angry and demanded to be compensated. The boy complained to the ox, "Uncle, why did you intentionally damage other people's things. Now we have to compensate him for his big loss." The owner felt it strange when hearing the boy call the ox "uncle." He asked the boy why, so the boy and his mom explained to him. Then the owner asked where his uncle lived. After the boy told the owner his uncle's name, he said, "You don't need to pay me back. I used to be a friend of your uncle. I owed him some money before. The amount that I owed him is about the amount of the damage that he did today."
This story is widely known in that area. Many people have come to realize that reincarnation and samsara (transmigration) is really true, and so is the saying of "good is rewarded with good, and evil with evil."