Monk Ki either has an early case of hay fever or is just blasé about things in general. Apologies to Pascal. He wanders down the garden path looking for a place to sit. Maybe if he just sat things would change. Of course he forgets that things are always changing and he is caught up in his own thoughts. He almost bowls over Master Ho Ha.
“What ho, Monk Ki?” The old man sounds like a yankee captain on a schooner.
“I’m sorry, Master Ho Ha; I didn’t see you.”
“Perhaps my diet is working.” Master Ho Ha laughs. “Something is bothering you Bouncing Student.”
“Monk ki looks up . “How could you know that?”
“You have a tell.”
“Excuse me. A tell?”
“Yes, when I used to play poker I would look for a tell. A mannerism that the other player displayed when he had either a good hand or a bad one.”
Monk Ki was still stuck on the image of Master Ho Ha sitting at a poker table gambling.
“You have a tell when you are worried. You look at the ground when I approach. It is quite obvious. You are bothered.”
Monk Ki wondered whether the old master wore sunglasses and a western riding hat when he played cards. “Yes. Something has me puzzled.”
“Spill the beans, pardner.”
“I try to be friendly with others. I really do. Sometimes I don’t think they really care. I think I’m a mote in their eye. An insignificant mote. A bother.”
“I think I should speak in tongues.” Master Ho Ha laughed. “Fundamentally, your problem is like the tongue on a wagon.”
“I’m sorry, I have no idea what you are talking about.”
“Monk Ki, you have much to learn. There are many parts to a wagon. I learned that when I was the chuck wagon cook. Sitting all day on a bouncing wagon and then cooking a meal. That was the life.” Master Ho Ha looked off across the garden. “Whee was I? Og yes, the tongue.
The tongue is the part of the wagon that sticks out of the front. It’s what the horses are hooked to in order to pull the wagon. It isn’t very large but it is necessary.
“So you are telling me that the tongue is important?’
“No eye, no ear, no nose, no tongue body or mind.” Master Ho Ha roared with laughter.
“Of course the tongue is important! How else can you get attached to a cold flag pole? Listen Monk Ki.
Horses must be hooked to the tongue of a wagon in order for it to go anywhere. Horses are backed into the tongue so that the traces and rig can be attached. Don’t you see?”
“I am completely lost.”
“You must back horses into the tongue. The trick is how to convince them that they want to go backwards. Do you understand.”
“Have a nice life.” Master Ho Ha clapped the monk on the shoulder and laughed.