A Heifer and an Ox lived with a Master. One day, the Heifer saw the Ox harnessed to aplough. He went to the Ox and said, “How do you keep working so hard all day? I would have felt so unhappy doing so much work.” He then started boasting, “Look at me, I am completely free. I can do whatever I feel like. The Master cannot force me to work.”
The Ox kept working quietly. Just as the Heifer was about to leave, the Ox said, “I may be working hard right now but the Master is a good man. He will definitely reward me.” Shortly afterwards, at the harvest festival, the Master set the Ox free to roam around. He praised him and said, “You are a hard worker and I am proud of you.” The Master then walked away to find the Heifer. On finding him, the Master bound the Heifer with ropes and led him to the altar to be killed in honour of the occasion.
The Ox was watching quietly. He smiled and said to the Heifer, “You were allowed to live in idleness, because you were to be sacrificed.”
Hard work always pays.