Dhanañjaya, king of Indapattana, was wont to neglect his old warriors and to show favour only to newcomers. The result was that he once suffered defeat in a rebellion. On his return from the battle he consulted his chaplain Vidhurapaṇḍita (the Bodhisatta), who told him of a goatherd of yore, called Dhūmakāri. Once, when Dhumakāri was tending his goats, a herd of golden deer came from the Himavā, and he looked after them and neglected his own goats. In the autumn the deer went back to the mountains and he found that his goats had died of starvation.
The story was told to Pasenadi who, like Dhanañjaya, suffered a defeat, and for the same reasons. Pasenadi sought the consolation of the Buddha, who told him this ancient tale.
Dhanañjaya is identified with Ānanda and Dhumakāri with Pasenadi. J.iii.400 ﬀ.