February 2, 2023


Writer's Showcase


2 min read
Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons. The young monk smiled, touched his forehead to the ground, and quietly departed.

A young monk approached his master – the Abbot of the monastery. Bowing deeply, and giving a respectful cough, the young monk summoned his voice to speak:

“This unworthy person presumes to impose upon your boundless wisdom what can only be a tedious and no doubt foolish question”.

“Speak grasshopper”, replied the Abbot.

“Well Master, it seems to this ignorant and superficial person that there is much striving after wealth, position, and prestige, in the world of many things; this being so even when accompanied by a noble sentiment. But Master, I have pondered upon the transience of any lasting fame, which may be attached to a person’s name once they have departed the scene of their endeavours; either to join their ancestors in the celestial realms, or while living, to retire to a quiet life in a distant province of our great empire.”

“Ah, grasshopper, though rudely put I am still able to apprehend the essential nature of your question. To answer it I must first ask you to fetch me a bucket of water.”

Though perplexed the young monk obeyed the instruction, and soon returned, bearing a bucket of water, which he placed before his master.

“Now grasshopper, to answer your question, I must first ask you to roll up your right sleeve and put your arm into the bucket. Good. Now, roll up your left sleeve and place you left arm into the bucket. Good. Now, if my weed-grown memory serves me aright, your question was concerning the lasting nature of a person’s fame and influence once they have departed the scenes of their activities?”

“Yes Master.”

“Now please be so good as to remove both your arms from the bucket of water, and tell me what impression they have left in the water”

“Non Master”.

“Exactly grasshopper”.

The young monk smiled, touched his forehead to the ground, and quietly departed.


©D G Moody 2022

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4 thoughts on “Grasshopper

  1. Deep!, it was very deep actually. Such a big thing taught in such a simple way. It is a lesson that we all need to learn, money is not the true wealth, peace of mind is. We keep running behind these lucrative things and showing off to people but in the end, no one remembers. We should please our minds by giving them peace. Excellent writing Doug, it is a great addition to the collection.

    1. Thanks for the comment, Mike. And yes, indeed there is too much striving after material things, or as the prophet said: ‘do not store up your riches where the moths and rust can devour them’.

  2. A deep and equally important lesson, which has been put in beautifully. This generation is deeply indulged in making money that they mostly forget how important their mental peace is and eventually become rather a materialistic person, forgetting their lives have more meaning than being a money machine.

  3. Thanks Sofia, and glad you liked it. Another expression of the same truth is found in Matthew 6:19 ‘“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal.” It always amazes me how we humans spend so much of our lives trying to acquire material things, when we loose it all at death. Put another way, the only two certainties in life are death and taxation.

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