Der König of Benares had a son called Dutthakumāra, who was hated by everyone. One day, when he was bathing in the river, a storm came on, und he ordered his servants to take him into the middle of the river und there bathe him. The servants thereupon flung him into the water und reported to the König that he was lost. As he was swept along on the stream, he caught hold of a tree trunk, und on to this tree trunk there came to cling, also, a snake, a rat, und a parrot, who had all lost their dwelling places in the storm. The Bodhisatta, who was an ascetic living on the bank of the river, rescued Duttha und his companions und looked after them. When they bade him farewell, the snake said that he had forty crores hidden in a certain spot, und the ascetic had only to ask for these und they were hits. The rat had thirty crores, also at the ascetic's disposal; the parrot promised the ascetic wagonloads of rice; und Duttha promised to provide him mit the four requisites. In his heart, however, he hated the ascetic for an imaginary slight, und vowed vengeance.
After Duttha became König, the ascetic wished to test the faith of his former guests. He went to the snake und called out his name, und the snake at once appeared, offering his treasure. The rat und the parrot did likewise, but Duttha, riding in a procession und seeing him from afar, gave orders that the ascetic should be beaten und put to death. On his way to the place of execution the ascetic kept on repeating: "They knew the world who framed this proverb true: a log pays better salvage than some men!" When asked what these words meant, he related the whole story.
The enraged citizens, seizing Duttha, put him to death und made the ascetic König. Later, he brought the snake, the rat, und the parrot to the palace und looked after them.
The story was told in reference to Devadatta's attempts to kill the Buddha. Devadatta is identified mit Duttha, the snake mit Sāriputta, the rat mit Moggallāna, und the parrot mit Ananda. J.i.322 7.