Ja 44 Makasajātaka
The Story about the Mosquito

In the present some foolish villagers the Buddha came across on his walking tour, aiming to clear the clouds of mosquitos manage to shoot themselves instead. The Buddha tells of a previous life in which a son, aiming to save his father from a mosquito, had, through his recklessness, killed him with an axe instead.

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
1. Seyyo amitto matiyā upeto
Better is a foe endowed with wisdom

−−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Na tveva mitto mativippahīno,
Than a friend who is lacking in wisdom,

⏑⏑−⏑−¦−⏑⏑¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
‘Makasaṁ vadhissan’-ti hi eḷamūgo
Thinking: ‘I will kill a mosquito,’ the

−−⏑−¦−⏑−¦−⏑−− Tuṭṭhubha
Putto pitū PTS: pitu, spoiling the metre. abbhidā uttamaṅgan-ti.
Foolish son split his father’s head open. Lit: supreme limb = head.

Tattha, {1.248} seyyo ti pavaro uttamo.
In this connection, better means distinguished, supreme.

Matiyā upeto ti paññāya samannāgato.
Endowed with wisdom means endowed with wisdom. Paraphrasing by saying the same thing with different words.

Eḷamūgo ti lālāmukho bālo.
Foolish means a fool who dribbles at the mouth.

Putto pitu abbhidā uttamaṅgan-ti,
The ... son split his father’s head open,

attano bālatāya putto pi hutvā,
through his own foolishness the son,

pitu uttamaṅgaṁ matthakaṁ: “Makasaṁ paharissāmī” ti dvidhā bhindi.
thinking: “I will give a blow to the mosquito,” split his father’s head, his crown, in two.

Tasmā bālamittato paṇḍita-amitto va seyyo ti.
Therefore a wise enemy is better than a foolish friend.