I love the Silanisamsa Jataka:http://www.greatwesternvehicle.org/ati_ ... bl142.html
Long, long ago, at the time of the Buddha Kassapa,3 a lay disciple who had already entered the path booked passage on a ship along with one of his friends, a rich barber. The barber's wife asked this disciple to look after her husband.
A week after the ship left the port, it sank in mid-ocean. The two friends saved themselves by clinging to a plank and were at last cast up on a deserted island. Famished, the barber killed some birds, cooked them, and offered a share of his meal to the follower of the Buddha.
"No, thank you," he answered, "I am fine." Then he thought to himself, "In this isolated place, there is no help for us except the Triple Gem." As he sat meditating on the Triple Gem, a naga king who had been born on that island transformed himself into a beautiful ship filled with the seven precious things.4 The three masts were made of sapphire, the planks and anchor of gold, and the ropes of silver.
The helmsman, who was a spirit of the sea, stood on the deck and cried, "Any passengers for India?"
"Yes," the lay disciple answered, "that's where we are bound."
"Then come on board," the sea spirit said.
The layman climbed aboard the beautiful ship and turned to call his friend the barber.
"You may come," the sea spirit said, "but he may not."
"Why not?" the disciple asked.
"He is not a follower of the holy life," answered the sea spirit. "I brought this ship for you, but not for him.""In that case," the layman announced, "all the gifts I have given, all the virtues I have practiced, all the powers I have developed — I give the fruit of all of them to him!"
"Thank you, Master!" cried the barber.
"Very well," said the sea spirit, "now I can take you both aboard."
The ship carried the two men over the sea and up the Ganges River. After depositing them safely at their home in Baranasi, the sea spirit used his magic power to create enormous wealth for both of them. Then, poising himself in mid-air, he instructed the men and their friends, "Keep company with the wise and good," he said. "If this barber had not been in company with this pious layman, he would have perished in the middle of the ocean." Finally, the sea spirit returned to his own abode, taking the naga king with him.