CASE 31. JOSHU INVESTIGATES AN OLD WOMAN
A (travelling) monk asked an old woman the way to Taizan. The old woman said, "Go straight ahead." When the monk proceeded a few steps, she said to herself, "This monk with such spirit also goes off like that!" Afterwards, another monk told Joshu about this, and Joshu said, "Wait until I go and investigate the old woman." The next day off Joshu went and asked the same question and the old woman gave the same answer. Upon his return, Joshu told the congregation of monks, "I have investigated the old woman of Taizan."
The old woman sat in the tent and planned the campaign, but she did not know that there was the famous bandit who knew how to take the enemy commander prisoner. Old Joshu sneaked into her tent and menaced her fortress, but he wasn't a real general. Indeed both had their faults. Now I would like to ask you: "What was the point of Joshu's investigating the old woman?"
The question was the same,
The answer was the same.
Sand in the rice,
Thorns in the mud.