The Zen Librarian

A woman asked the Zen Librarian where to find a book with a certain call number. The Zen Librarian directed her to a shelf where she should look. She returned to the Zen Librarian and said, “There is nothing on that shelf but a pile of stones. Where may I find that book?” The Zen Librarian told her to look on the same shelf as before.

The woman went to the shelf again, and she returned with a large stone, which she dropped on the Zen Librarian’s foot. He bowed and retrieved the book for her.

When the book was returned after being checked out, it was a week overdue. The Zen Librarian picked up a stone, dropped it on his foot, and handed the book to a clerk.

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