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Three Monks, No Water
by Ting-xing Ye
ISBN 1550374435 / 9781550374438 / 1-55037-443-5
Publisher Annick Press
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A young monk lives a simple life, meditating, tending to his vegetable garden and fetching water from a cold stream. Rain or shine, he never misses a day lugging this burden up the mountain to the temple. One day he invites a travelling monk to stay with him. Since they will share the water, they descend the mountain together to fetch it. Due to the difference in their heights, the men are unable to balance the shared load on their carrying pole without sloshing the contents of the two buckets all over the short monk. They manage to retrieve only a fraction of the water the young monk would have carried on his own, and not enough to care for the garden. Just as the young monk begins to see his guest as ungrateful, and the other monk begins to see his host as unreasonable, a third monk arrives.[via]