The Butcher and the Boy

Mohanji with an animal

Many years ago, I think it was 14 years ago, when I used to write blogs, I was not known as Mohanji at that time. One young boy wrote to me. He was probably in his teens. He was walking towards his school. He found a small lamb tied to a post near the slaughterhouse, waiting to be slaughtered. He felt very bad. He did not know what to do. And when he came near the lamb, the lamb was trying to come to him, even though he was tied to the post. He was trying to come near him with the hope that he would be rescued. The boy went to the butcher. And he told the butcher, “I want to buy this lamb.” The butcher thought it was a joke. So, he told him a price which was very expensive. The boy asked the butcher, “Please, can you wait for me? I’ll bring the money.” The butcher jokingly said, “Okay, I’ll wait for you.” 

PC: Google images – Lamb tied to a Post

He (the boy) didn’t go to school, he went back home. And he tried to get the money. He was not a rich boy. He tried to get bits and pieces of money which was not sufficient for buying that lamb. Then, he went to a shop in the neighbourhood from where he used to buy grocery. And he requested the shopkeeper, “Can you give me some money?” The shopkeeper said, “How much do you want?” He asked for whatever was the balance amount needed. The shopkeeper gave him the money. Thus he somehow found the money. He brought the money to the butcher, and the butcher had kept his promise. He did not slaughter that small lamb. He had kept his promise. Then he said, “There’s a great demand for lamb meat today. I can’t really sell this lamb to you because I don’t have any more lambs to the slaughter, I can’t give another lamb.” Then the boy started crying. He said, “I want this lamb. I’ve taken so much effort to bring this money to you.” And the butcher said, “I will give you this lamb”, and he took the money, a little bit less than what he had asked for.

PC: Google images – Butcher

The boy then bought that lamb and took the lamb home. He then wrote to me saying, “Mohanji, because of your stories. I did this today. I feel great, but then now I feel that a lot of lambs, cows and calves are slaughtered every day, what will I do?”

PC: Google Images – The boy with the lamb

I told him, “I am proud of you. You actually practised what you believed in. You rescued one lamb. That’s a big message to the world about your compassion. You can’t change the world easily. The world will be in its own way because it’s a taste which the world has cultivated over time. You cannot rescue all the lambs, and all the cows and calves, or all the animals which are being slaughtered. Millions of animals are slaughtered every day. We can’t rescue all of them. We can’t. A few compassionate people cannot change the world. But at least you have made this effort and that will travel. You have given a message to the world. And eventually, I’m sure you will set up a sanctuary, in which animals will be saved and people will be inspired by your activity.” 

I was really impressed that my message worked on somebody and they literally acted on it. What I’m trying to say is that we are always talking about what is needed to be done in the world. How many people listen to it and forget it? How many people act on it? That makes the difference. When I say something, I say it with conviction. I’m sure of what I’m saying. I don’t insist that you should follow it. But if you follow it, there would be a transformation. This small boy had an inner transformation. He got the courage to do more for the animal kingdom, which is our duty, our responsibility.

So, (even though probably a thousand people would have read my blog), this small boy acted on it. And that made a big difference. When I see these pictures, and when I see this agony the animals go through during their last moments; I feel the world badly needs Ahimsa. Think about it.

Transcribed by Ulla Bernholdt

Proofread by Rekha Murali

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