The Iron Flute, Case 90
There once was a little hut called Fei’tien, meaning “rich field,”
where a monk lived for thirty years.
(Fugai: Maybe he did not know how to move.)
He had only one tray made of clay.
(Fugai: Expensive things are not always precious.)
One day a monk, who studied under him, broke that tray accidentally.
(Fugai: The real treasure appears from the breaking.)
Each day the teacher asked the student to replace it.
(Fugai: Why do you want another?)
Each time the disciple would bring a new one, the teacher threw it out saying,
“This is not it. Give me back my old one!”
(Fugai: I would open my hands and laugh.)
(Genro: If I were the disciple, I would say, “Wait until the sun
rises in the West.”)
(Fugai: I will search for it before I am born.)
It is broken;
(Fugai: The whole tray remains.)
Run fast after it.
(Fugai: The sword disappears in the water.)
(Genro: The disciple cannot understand it.)
(Fugai: It has returned to him already. Call an iron kettle a bell; call the earth heaven . . . what’s wrong?)
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