THE PIOUS SON-IN-LAW*

Nai Dee was a rich farmer.  His rice fields stretched in all directions.  But Nai Dee did not approve of his new son-in-law, Thid Kham.  Thid Kham was a very pious man. He had spent many years in the monkhood and still retained his pious nature. One day as the father-in-law and his new son-in-law were walking Nai Dee began to brag.

"Look at all of these fields!  All of this is mine!  The rice is just being planted now, but when the harvest comes, I will be a very rich man."

Thid Kham looked over the rice field and spoke cautiously.

"Father-in-law this is not certain.  The rice grows well now, but a flood might come and spoil the crop.  Remember what the Lord Buddha has said,

"Dai dai nai lok luan anijang.  Nothing is certain."

The father-in-law did not like to hear this.  He was angry but kept silent.  Some weeks later the two walked again in the fields.

"See Thid Kham. There was no flood. The rice is blooming now. There is sure to be a good harvest!"

But Thid Kham still was cautious.

"This is not certain, father-in-law.  Yes, the rice is blooming.  But insects might come and eat the rice before it can be harvested.   Remember what the Lord Buddha has said,

"Dai dai nai lok luan anijang.  Nothing is certain."

His father-in-law was furious to hear these words from his son-in-law.   He waited until the rice was hanging heavy and ripe on its stalks.  Then he walked with Thid Kham to the fields again.

"Now will you stop your foolish sayings.  See, the rice is ripe. Floods did not come. Insects did not come.  This is certain. I am a rich man."

"I do not believe this is certain, father-in-law.  I can see that the grain is ripe.  But it is not harvested yet.  Fire might sweep through the fields and burn it all.  No, you must remember the words of the Lord Buddha.

"Dai dai nai lok luan anijang. Nothing is certain."

The father-in-law could hardly keep his temper.  As soon as the rice was harvested and stored in the granaries he brought Thid Kham to see.

"Now LOOK. There was no flood, no insects, no fire.  This is now a certain thing. You can see for yourself!"

But still Thid Kham hesitated.

"Yes, I can see the rice.  But still mice may come and eat it."  I must repeat the words of the Lord Buddha,

"Dai dai nai lok luan anijang.  Nothing is certain!"

The father-in-law was furious.  He ordered some of the rice cooked and brought Thid Kham to his house.

"Here Thid Kham.  The rice grew, it bloomed, it ripened, it was harvested, it was put in the storehouse, nothing bad had happened to it.  Now at least youu must admit that this is a sure thing.  Eat a mouthful and you will see!

Thid Kham lifted the rice to his mouth.  He was just about to taste it. But he paused.

"Father-in-law, I can see that the rice did grow, it did ripen, it was harvested and stored.  All this is true. Still I must repeat the words of the Lord Buddha to you.

"Dai dai nai lok luan anijang.  Nothing is certain."

The father-in-law could control his anger no longer.  He reached out his hand and slapped the bowl of rice from Thid Kham's hand.

"Then leave my house! You will never stop with this foolish saying.!"

Thid Kham slowly picked up the rice bowl from the floor and looked at his father-in-law.

"But you can see for yourself the wisdom of our Lord Buddha's words, " said Thid Kham. 

"The rice was planted, it bloomed, it ripened, it was harvested, it was stored, it was cooked, and was almost in my mouth. And yet it was lost to me. Surely no one here can doubt the truth of this saying,

"Dai dai nai lok luan anijang. Nothing is certain."

And at last his father-in-law was silent.

"Yes, it is true.  Dai dai nai lok luan anijang. Nothing is certain."