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Two Zen monks were walking along a country road when they came to a stream swollen to a raging torrent by the heavy spring rains. There they found an attractive young woman waiting on the shore, unable to cross.

One of the monks approached the woman and offered to help her. With her consent, he lifted her in his arms and carried her across the stream. Then the two monks continued on their way in silence.

When they got back to the monastery, the monk who had watched his friend carry the woman could not contain himself any longer. "You know we're not supposed to have any contact with females, especially attractive one. How could you possibly do that?"

"Ah," said the other monk, "I put the woman down hours ago, but you're still carrying her with you."



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