The White-nosed Civet Cat


A-Fu was born into a rich family. He never had to work, and he was very lazy. Before his father died, he told A-Fu, “A-Fu, you must work hard even though you are rich, or one day all the money will be spent, and you will starve to death.” However, A-Fu continued to be lazy. He spent all his money after a few years and even then, he was too lazy to get out of his bed to work.

One day, A-Fu felt so weak and hungry, he crawled into the temple of the God of Fortune, and prayed for money. Miraculously, the God of Fortune came to A-Fu's dreams that night and said angrily, “A-Fu! You are so lazy! How dare you ask me for money! Are you not ashamed?” A-Fu trembled and said, “God of Fortune! I may be lazy, but I have never done anything bad.” The God of Fortune replied, “I will give you a silver ingot, because your ancestors did good deeds. Be sure to work hard in future!” Then, the God of Fortune cracked his whip, and A-Fu woke from his dream. A-Fu waited and waited, but he starved to death before he got the silver.

After dying, A-Fu's ghost went to the God of Death and complained that he had been cheated by the God of Fortune. So, the God of Death sent for the God of Fortune and asked, “God of Fortune, how could you not honor your promise to A-Fu?” The God of Fortune replied, “I sent my helper to give A-Fu the silver three times! But he was too lazy to open his door! I cannot be blamed for this.” A-Fu said, “I thought the silver would be delivered straight into my hands. I didn't know I had to open the door.” The God of Death said amusedly, “You are so lazy! Serves you right to die of hunger. However, seeing that you never did anything bad, I will allow you to be reincarnated. What would you like to be reincarnated as?” A-Fu replied, “Humans have to work to feed themselves. I want to be reincarnated as a white-nosed civet cat! Mice will come to me, thinking that my white nose is rice, and I will only need to open my mouth to eat them up.” The God of Death said, “You are hopeless! Civet cat it is!” From then on, A-Fu and his offspring lived their lives as civet cats.