In the middle of the darkest night Wudan had seen for over 400 years, Po woke me with a sharp slap to my forehead.
He commanded me to meet him in the courtyard. The night was perfectly still. The air smelt of the moon. The blue light filled Wudan and Po seemed uneasy.
To call this uncharacteristic is an understatement. Nothing troubled him.
But something was tonight... Anything powerful enough to trouble PO was beyond my comprehension, so I asked no detail.
Master Po sat in lotus position and commanded me to do the same. Once I sat opposite him he began to speak. “I am going to tell you the story, of an argument had between a tiger and a fly.”
He took a short pause, and turned his head towards the sky, as if he was acknowledging the gods of his storytelling, commanding them to pay attention.
“The tiger argued, that he was king of the jungle and that no one took notice of the fly. The fly simply laughed and stated that tiger was no king, as he couldn’t catch him.”
“Did the tiger try to swipe him?” I asked. Po stared straight through me. The same look I had seen him give opponents before taking their lives. He ignored my question.
“Eventually,” Po continued. “The fly died a silent death, unknown to the world.” “The very same day the tiger was poached, and his fur hung on the wall of the regions richest warlord.”
Po stood up and began to walk back to his quarters. “I don’t understand?” I blurted out. “What is the lesson of this story?”
Po continued walking and answered me without turning around. “There is no point to this story. Everybody dies in the end.”
For the following 1000 years of my study atop Wudan mountain, I never saw Po uneasy like he was that night. I never knew the reason.
Such is the way of Wudan.