The Bodhisatta was once an ascetic who lived in the Himalayas. One time he went down to a city to get salt and vinegar, and he built a leaf hut in a small mountain valley nearby. Some goatherders brought their goats there to graze, and in the evening when they returned home, a female goat got left behind. When she started to walk out, this goat found a hungry panther blocking her path. She knew she could not outrun it, so she tried to sweet-talk it into sparing her life: “How are you, my friend? My mother sends her regards.” But the panther was not swayed, so instead, she tried to talk tough, “My parents and brothers warned me about your wickedness, but I came anyway,” and then turned to begging, “Please don’t be cruel; spare my life.” But nothing worked, and the panther ate her. The Bodhisatta saw all this happen.
In the Lifetime of the Buddha
Moggallana, one of the Buddha’s top disciples, once lived in a leaf hut in a small mountain valley near a town. Some goatherders brought their goats there to graze, and in the evening when they returned home, a female goat got left behind. A hungry panther came by and blocked her path. The goat knew she could not outrun it, so she lowered her horns and charged right at it. She managed to avoid the panther’s attack and rejoined her herd.
The next day, when Moggallana met the Buddha, he shared what he had seen, and the Buddha told him this story so he knew that the she-goat and panther had met once before in earlier births with a different outcome.