Ancient Chinese fable – A Moment of Idleness





A Moment of Idleness

A high official paid a visit to a monastery. The monk in charge, having been notified of this previously, had made meticulous preparations for this occasion. After several drinks, the official recited a Tang poem:

Passing by the monastery I drop in to have a chat with the monk;

Out of this busy life a moment of idleness I enjoy.

The monk laughed. When asked why he laughed, he replied, “Your Worship has enjoyed a moment of idleness, but I’ve been busy for three days.”

Tan Gai

(杨宪益、戴乃迭 译)

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