by Mahasi Sayadaw
In a certain town in Monywa district, there lived a man who was engaged in the business of money-lending during the British regime. He asked for the return of a loan from a certain farmer who replied he had already repaid the money he had borrowed. The moneylender repeatedly insisted that the farmer had not yet repaid the loan. Finally, he declared, "May I become a buffalo in your house if I had really asked for a double payment of the forty kyats which you said you had already returned." With this oath, he pressed again for the return of his loan. The poor farmer was thus forced to make knowingly a double settlement of the loan he had taken.
Soon after, the moneylender passed away. And there was born in the house of the farmer, who had made a double payment of his loan, a young buffalo. Guessing that the moneylender had made a rebirth in his house as a buffalo, the poor farmer called out to the young buffalo, "Saya, Saya, please come,' in the same way he used to address the old moneylender. The young buffalo answered his call and came to him. Believing now that the old moneylender had really become a buffalo in his house according to his oath, the farmer started to talk about this incident. Thereupon, the daughter of the departed moneylender went to court suing the poor farmer for defaming her father.
The judge who heard the case sent for the appellant, the defendant and the young buffalo together with witnesses for both sides. In the court, the farmer called out 'Saya, Saya, please come' to the buffalo in the same way he used to address the moneylender. The buffalo responded to his call by coming to him. The moneylender's daughter used to address her father as 'Shi, Shi'. In the court when she said 'Shi, Shi', the buffalo went to her. The judge came to the conclusion that the poor farmer was making an honest statement (without any intention of defamation) and accordingly discharged the case. From this story it is not hard to believe that a human being may be reborn a buffalo. It is plain, therefore, that tanha will cause rebirth. It should be observed also that swearing a false oath is liable to land one in dire calamity.http://www.thisismyanmar.com/nibbana/dhamak5b.htm