An old demon saw that human beings were blessed in the human world, so he told the little demons: “We need to disrupt human life, otherwise there is no place for us in the human world.”
The first little demon
He sent a little demon to harass a farmer, because the farmer, although he worked hard every day with little income, was happy and contented. The little demon wanted to disrupt this farmer’s life. It made the soil very hard. The farmer tried to break up the ground. He toiled very hard with little achieved. However, he took a rest for a while then he continued to work without any complaint. The little demon saw that his plot did not work, so he retreated.
The second little demon
The old demon sent the second little demon to the farmer. The little demon stole the farmer’s lunch and water. It imagined that when the farmer, being tired and hungry, found that his lunch and water were gone, he would certainly lose his temper. When the exhausted and thirsty farmer went to take a rest under the tree and found that his bread and water were gone, he thought: “I wonder if some poor person needed that bread and water more than I do. I hope he will be satisfied with them.” The little demon failed and retreated.
The third little demon
The old demon felt strange. Was there no way to destroy this farmer? At that time, the third little demon came. He told the old demon: “I can do it. I can destroy him.” The little demon made friends with the farmer. The farmer was very glad that he had this friend because the demon had the power to predict. He told the farmer that there would be a drought next year, and asked the farmer to plant his seeds on wet soils. The farmer did as he was told, and the next year no farmers had any harvest except the farmer. He became rich because of it.
The little demon told the farmer what to plant for the next year. After 3 years the farmer became very rich. It also told the farmer to make liquor out of rice to make more money. Gradually the farmer stopped working; he made a living by selling.
One day the old demon came and the little demon told the old demon: “Now, I will demonstrate my success. The farmer has a pig’s blood now.” The farmer held a banquet; many rich men came, and there were many servants to wait on them. They wasted a lot of food and were all drunk, behaving stupidly with messy clothing.
“You will see that he has a wolf’s blood now,” the little demon said as a servant stumbled when he was holding wine. The farmer scolded: “Why are you so careless?”
“Master, we have not eaten anything, we are so hungry that we do not have any strength.” “How can you eat anything before your work is done?” said the farmer.
The old demon saw it and was pleased: “Great! How did you do it?”
The little demon said: “I only let him own more than he needs as this induced greed in his human nature.”
Translated by Audrey Wang and edited by Helen