Thursday, 13 March 2014

Koan: The Cougar and the Jungleberry

A man was walking in the forest when he heard something in the brush. As he turned, a huge cougar stepped onto the trail. Terrified, he began to run.

This proved unwise, for the lion, ruled by a hunter's instinct, began to chase him. The man crashed through the undergrowth until he stumbled over a precipice and into a ravine. Catching a small vine maple on the way down, he hung for life.

As the cat snarled down at him, its mate appeared on the ravine floor, snarling up. And then the man heard a chewing sound. Looking up the branch, he saw a tiny jumping mouse, gnawing at great speed.

"I'm beginning to have a bad feeling about this," he said.

At that moment the man noticed a single jungleberry, hanging like a golden jewel before his face. He grabbed it and popped it in his mouth.

And it was most delicious thing he ever tasted.

Wu Ya's commentary: "An honest man gets his just desserts."

(Adapted from 100 Days on the Mountain, copyright RK Henderson.)
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