Chinese Zodiac Story - Ox

Why does the Ox rank the second in Chinese Zodiac?

In ancient times, the ox was a servant of the Jade Emperor and it often traveled between the heaven and the earth. One day, the farmer asked the ox to take a message to the Jade Emperor: ''the earth is barren and it is too ugly; could you grant some seeds to the mortal world and make it beautiful?'' The Jade Emperor thought it was reasonable, so he asked the Gods if there was someone who wanted to go to the mortal world to sow grass seeds.

''Your majesty, I will.'' The ox volunteered.

''You are careless, can you finish it?'' The Jade Emperor didn't trust the ox.

''Don't worry. I'll kiss the rod if I can't finish it!'' The ox was determined.

The Jade Emperor agreed and urged the ox to sow one handful of grass seeds every three steps.

The ox took the seeds and went out the Heavenly Palace. While crossing the Heavenly Southern Gate, it accidentally fell down and felt dizzy; it mistook the Jade Emperor's will as sowing three handfuls of seeds every step. Therefore, a large amount of seeds were sowed on the earth.
In the next year, the weeds overgrew and the farmers couldn't grow crops.

They asked the Kitchen God to tell the information to the Jade Emperor. After learning the news, the Jade Emperor asked the ox about the situation and knew that it sowed three handfuls of seeds every step and screwed it up.

"You careless ox, you made the world full of weeds! How did you promise to me? From now on, you and offspring are only allowed to eat grass to weed out for the farmers. Also, you have to work for the farmers!" The Jade Emperor was so angry that he kicked the ox off the heaven. The ox fell down to the earth with the mouth down and had its upper teeth swigged off. Since then, the ox worked for the famer for a whole life and never stopped eating grass. Its upper teeth never grew out again even to this day.

But the ox was a good animal corrected its mistake quickly. It bore the burden of hard works willingly and it was diligent and honest; it never slackened and did a lot of work for the farmer, winning the praise of people. While ranking the zodiac signs, the human elected it as the top of Chinese Zodiac. If the tricky rat had not hidden under the ox horn, the ox would be the top of all zodiac signs.

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