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A Small Tale.

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One of the Master's pupils was a notorious hypochondriac.

Every day, the pupil would complain to the Master of some new ailment. At first, it was innocuous; a rash from harvesting herbs, or a scratch from chopping firewood, or maybe a bruise.

But as time wore on, the pupil's complaints became more serious. Eventually, he came to the Master and claimed that his liver was diseased.

Nonplussed, the Master demanded evidence.

The pupil, having no evidence, stammered and fell silent. In shame, he walked away.

The next day, however, he returned, again claiming to have felt disease in his liver.

Once again, the Master asked for evidence. And again, the pupil could offer none.

The third day, the pupil came again before the Master.

"Master," he pleaded, "you must believe me! My liver is diseased!"

The Master simply sat in silence for a few moments.

"I know I have no evidence," protested the pupil, "but you have to help me!"

After another moment of silence, the Master summoned his aide, and requested a sharpened knife.

The aide returned shortly, carrying a ceremonial dagger used for the honorific sacrifices.

In a single deft motion, the Master leaped from his mat, grasped the dagger, and sliced the annoying pupil's stomach wide open.

The pupil collapsed onto the ground, screaming in agony, demanding to know the purpose of the Master's actions.

Still saying nothing, the Master picked up his walking stick and proceeded to prod about in the innards of his dying pupil.

At last, he seemed satisfied; and finally, he spoke.

"You had no evidence that your liver was diseased. Now you have proof that it is not so. I have healed you! Now be gone and contract no further illness."

As he drew his final breath, the pupil was enlightened.
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Yikes! Moral of the story: Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice..., you can't get fooled again. Or something along those lines.

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