Of Cats, Sandals, and Birds

Cat in the Zen Garden

A monk had worked long raking the Zen Garden.
Finally, satisfied with the result he sat down to
contemplate his masterpiece. Soon afterward, a cat
walked onto the gravel and defecated. As cat’s are
bound to do, it kicked gravel around to bury the
scat, and so ruined the monk’s delicate design.

The monk congratulating himself on his lack of
annoyance got up, and grabbing his rake was
about to fix the damage, when the master yelled
from a window,”Sit down, curd brain, It’s not the
garden, but your mind, which can’t accommodate cat shit.”


Master Shoe

Master Shoe ascended the platform and addressed the sandals.

“All your efforts are in vain, the true self is unattainable. That you walk and decide where to go is a delusion. You can neither choose to act, nor to rest.
Only the true self, which is inside you, acts and walks through you. No matter what you do, you won’t transcend apparelhood. As soon as walking is not required, you will be discarded and the foot will shine in all its splendor. Wait, oh faithful, for that glorious day.

There is no true sole in Buddhist sandals. Realization
is to discard your shoelaces. Some say there can’t be true Awakening until all leather is shed, and the Holy Foot shines in all its glory. But really, a good straw sandal is all that is required. The Foot without a sandal becomes a shoe. Some say there are no feet, only shoes. Others, say neither exist, there is only walking.

Our Exalted Goddess High Heel who dwells in our Payless Kingdom once said, “The shoe is The Way, The Way is the Shoe. Let’s walk the walk.

Now let’s adjourn to the lunchroom for a cup of shoe polish. ”


Perched on a plump branch,
the sparrow poops.


With a little imagination, we can visualize the poet sitting under the plum tree in bloom. The ground covered with fallen petals, the spring breeze gently blowing The mind of the poet struggling to capture the moment with a poem and then, a sparrow alights on a branch catching the poets attention. “Even the sparrow is enjoying this beauty,” thinks the poet. Then… the sparrow poops.


4 Responses to “Of Cats, Sandals, and Birds”

  1. Pete… you always make me smile!

  2. wow, that last one had me in stitches!!! hilarious, pete. by the way, do you mind if i link your blog to mine? Your stories and others have inspired me. silentdebate.wordpress.com

  3. Loved them all!
    You got me interested in the last one – decided to find the original.
    Found only

    鶯 や 梅 に とまるは 昔 か ら

    Which seems to be more like

    The nightingale –
    It has perched on the plum
    From ancient times.

    With all respect to Onitsura-san, love your interpretation.
    Or is it not yours? 🙂

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