The Incredible Story of an Ox’s Reincarnation

A cow and its calf.

It was later discovered that the ox was the reincarnation of a debtor who had returned to pay his obligations incurred in his previous life. (Image: Joe Sohm via Dreamstime)

A farmer bought a strong young ox from a butcher to plow his fields. However, it was later discovered that the animal was the reincarnation of a debtor who had returned to pay his obligations incurred in his previous life.

A seemingly robust young ox

One day, the farmer saw a robust young ox at the village butcher and asked the butcher to sell it to him.

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The butcher agreed and offered to sell it to the farmer for one tael and 12 coins of silver, given their long history as neighbors. The farmer eagerly accepted the offer and took the ox home.

The farmer was overjoyed and told his wife: “This ox is both docile and well-behaved, and it seems to understand my words. It will plow the fields diligently without any guidance.”

His wife was also pleased and said: “Great! We can have a better harvest this year and make more money.”

However, a few days later, the ox suddenly collapsed and died, causing the farmer to regret that he had spent his hard-earned money without recovering any of his investment.

The butcher agreed and offered to sell it to the farmer for one tael and 12 coins of silver. (Image: Public Domain)

A unique story

The butcher was shocked by the animal’s sudden death. So he visited a wealthy man in the village, his close friend, and mentioned the ox’s death. The rich man was also shocked and told the butcher that the animal had a unique story.

He explained that one day while napping in his chair, he saw in a dream a man named Wang Yanshu, a Taiyuan boatman, walk into his house with a white belt around his waist. Wang Yanshu walked silently toward the cattle pen and then disappeared.

The wealthy man knew that Wang Yanshu had passed away a few days prior, and he couldn’t understand why he had come to his house, causing him to wake up in fright.

They could not believe fate had played such a role in the ox's life and death.
They couldn’t believe fate had played such a role in the ox’s life and death. (Image: Nuttawut Parasert via Dreamstime)

A short while later, the wealthy man’s servant informed him that one of his cows had given birth. When he saw the calf, he noticed a white stripe on its waist. Then, he realized that Wang Yanshu had returned as an ox to pay off a debt that amounted to one tael and six coins of silver.

The wealthy man’s words left the butcher in wonderment. He asked: “So you raised it and sold it to me for one tael and six coins of silver, which is exactly what Wang Yansu owed you before his death?”

The wealthy man nodded in agreement. The butcher then realized that he owed the farmer one teal and 12 coins of silver for the meat he butchered from the young ox, which he later sold at a profit.

The two men were amazed at how all the man’s debt had been paid off through his reincarnation as an ox. They couldn’t believe fate had played such a role in the animal’s life and death.

The farmer was also grateful to the ox for helping him pay off his debt, and he knew that he would always be thankful for the animal’s contribution to his life.

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