Never regret good done;
only regret not knowing
how to better do good.
Once upon a time there was a man who one day was pursued by a ferocious tiger named Nana. To escape from him, the man climbed as fast as he could into the nearest tree. Showing no pity, the tiger tried to catch hold of the man’s right foot, which was resting on a broken branch. With a horrendous aggressive roar, he bounded into the air toward his prey. The man immediately drew up his right foot and, with his last strength, climbed up a little bit farther toward the top of the tree. The mouth of the tiger, gaping wide, instead of biting the man’s foot, closed down on the broken branch. The tiger couldn’t get loose. A sharp and unbearable pain spread through his mouth.
The more he twisted and turned trying to free himself, the more deeply he hooked himself on the point of the broken branch. Blood began flowing from his mouth, down along his muscular neck, and down along his empty belly. Nana shrieked with pain and begged the man to help him. Seeing such a noble beast suffering so horribly, the man felt his heart fill with a feeling of compassion that replaced his terror. He quickly climbed down out of the tree and lifted up Nana the tiger best he could in an effort to get his mouth off the hook of the pointed branch. At last free, the tiger regained his spirits and jumped on the man again with the intention of devouring him. The man, stunned, cried out, “I just saved your life. Could it be that you are so wicked and ungrateful that you want to eat me?”
Nana knew nothing but the law of the strongest. He knew nothing of gratitude and nothing of compassion. He expressed his way of seeing things, and the man shouted and expressed his regret for his act of kindness. They had been arguing a good while when a hare approached and asked them what it was they were arguing about. Glad to have somebody willing to listen to him, the man readily recounted to the hare what had happened. Very slyly the long-eared animal pretended not to fully understand the situation. He told them that he could help them determine which of them was right, but he would have to gain a better understanding of the situation.
He asked them to show him what position each of them had been in so he could sort out their disagreement. Right away the man, who had understood the hare’s plan, climbed back up the tree, and Nana, who was without doubt ferocious but also stupid, leaped up as he had before, his mouth open, and once again got himself hooked on the broken branch. Once again the beast shrieked with pain and begged the man for help. At this moment, the sly hare calmly said, “So there you have it. The situation is back the way it was before your argument. Now you have a second chance to think over carefully just what it is you want to do.”
The Prince And The Zombie: Tibetan Tales Of Karma