The Love of Life

66. Bull's Head


Yeh Ahsan had made a fortune in beef. He was a skilled butcher and a clever businessman, so he was quite proud of himself. He scoffed at taboos against eating beef.

“Ha! Who says there’s anything wrong with being a butcher? Look at me! I’m a butcher, and I have everything now!”

Some of his friends gave him good advice. “You’re building your fortune with blood. Quit while you’re ahead. Go into some other line of work.”

“Are you kidding? This is a great job. I’m going to do this for the rest of my life. Not only that, but my children and grandchildren will carry on after me.

“Think of all the money we’ll make! What could be better than money? You may talk about your superstitions, but for me, there’s nothing like cold cash.”

But then Yeh got sick and almost died. The next day, though, he didn’t die, but his bottom swelled up and he was covered with bruises. He sat up and got out of bed. His family tried to stop him, but he walked out the door, muttering all the way.

His wife and children followed him all the way to the center of town. There he stopped passers-by and told them, “By order of His Majesty the King of Hell, I am here to tell you to do no wrong. Kill no living creatures.

“You have no idea of the tortures I am sentenced to undergo in Hell. I wish I were alive again to spend my days peacefully under the sun, but I have committed too many crimes. I have made a fortune in beef, and this is my own fault. My bottom has been beaten so brutally that it is all swollen. This is just the beginning. My hard heart has doomed me to suffer the torments of Hell.”

His friends were very sad for him. Then they saw that his head had been replaced with a bull’s head, as a warning of the dangers greed and wickedness can cause.

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