Mudcat Café message #609530 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #42074   Message #609530
Posted By: Auxiris
14-Dec-01 - 05:08 AM
Thread Name: Story: The Harp With No Strings
Subject: Story: The Harp With No Strings
Dear friends, there was once a hermit who had the reputation of having marvellous talents and who lived all alone in the desert.

One day, while he was sitting quietly in the place where he sat every day, he saw a cloud of dust appear on the horizon. The cloud of dust grew larger and larger as it approached and soon he saw that it was being kicked up up a man running toward him.

The man, who turned out to be a young man, threw himself upon the ground in front of the hermit, panting from his long run. The hermit waited until he had gotten his breath back and then asked, "What do you want?"

"Great teacher," answered the young man, "I have come to listen to you play the harp that has no strings."

"As you wish," replied the hermit

The hermit did not change position, took no instrument into his hand, did nothing. The hermit and his fervent disciple sat still, facing each other for "a certain time", which could have been several hours, several days or even several years.

After this "certain time" had passed, the young man began to show, perhaps by a gesture or slight cough, signs of fatigue. "Is something wrong?" asked the hermit.

The young man hesitated, began to mumble. . . it wasn't at all clear what he wished to say, so in order to help him express himself, the hermit leaned toward him and asked, "Did you not hear anything?"

"No", replied the young man, trying to hide his shame.

"Then," asked the hermit, "Why didn't you ask me to play louder?"