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  • Writer's pictureNathan

The Monkey and the Salamander

Updated: Feb 12, 2021

There was a time when a salamander was found passing through a village, on his way to nowhere in particular, when he came across a brotherhood of monkeys.

Seeing that the salamander was a traveling teacher, a monkey motioned to him. “Hello, Salamander! I wish to welcome you into our temple to worship. For I see you have no temple with you.”

The salamander settled on his walking stick and answered, “Thank you, Monkey. I will accept your offer. But I must say that it is to the contrary. My temple is precisely wherever I happen to be.”

The monkey leaned in. “Ah yes! As it is with us here. For we teach the same lessons to our pupils. You are far from home. Please accept one of our beds so you may rest.”

“Thank you very much.” Said the salamander as he peered around the monkey. “Please excuse me in saying your home is smaller than mine. A far-reaching home was made for me long ago with all things that were made.”

Scratching his chin for a moment, the monkey said, “Well! you are in good company. For we also know this to be true.” The monkey began again in haste. “Come! Sit with us. Am I right in saying it is infrequent you are able to converse with other masters?”

The salamander examined a furry moth resting on the dorsal of his hand. “You are very generous, Monkey.” He paused as the moth fluttered on its way. “I find teachers in all places, especially those not resembling forms ordinarily presumed.” He met the monkey’s eyes. His face lit up in a sudden crescendo nearly emerging in laughter.

At this, the monkey blushed in amusement. For he was, until now, unable to see what stood there before him. He gave a knowing smile in return and led the salamander into the monkey pagoda where the traveler was given the best accommodations. The monks shared tales, customs, and chatter of the village. The nomad told of his journey.

The next day the sage went back to his walking, and the ascetics back to their sitting. The brotherhood had gained another member and the member another brotherhood.

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