Moon left behind



The thief
Left it behind –
The moon at the window.

Ryōkan

One evening a thief visited Ryōkan’s hut at the base of the mountain only to discover there was nothing to steal. Ryōkan returned and caught him.

“You have come a long way to visit me,” he told the prowler, “and you should not return empty-handed. Please take my clothes as a gift.”

The thief was bewildered. He took the clothes and slunk away. Ryōkan sat naked, watching the moon. “Poor fellow,” he mused, “I wish I could have given him this beautiful moon.”

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