The Bodhisatta was once a tree sprite and lived near another tree sprite. No one dared to enter the forest, fearing a lion and a tiger who roamed about there. So the people could not collect wood. One day the second tree sprite assumed an awful shape, in spite of the Bodhisatta's advice, and frightened away the lion and the tiger. The people, finding that they had disappeared, began cutting down the trees. Then the foolish tree sprite tried in vain to bring the animals back.
The story was told in reference to Kokālika's attempt to bring Sāriputta and Moggallāna back, after having insulted them. Kokālika is identified with the foolish sprite, Sāriputta with the lion, and Moggallāna with the tiger. J.ii.356 8; cf. the Takkāriya Jātaka.