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Girl on His Back

Today in the Word, December 19, 1994

A story is told of two monks on a pilgrimage who came to the ford of a river. There they saw a girl dressed in all her finery, obviously not knowing what to do since the river was high and she didn't want to spoil her clothes. Without much discussion, one of the monks took her on his back, carried her across, and put her down on dry ground on the other side.

The monks then continued on their way. But the other monk started complaining, "Surely it isn't right to touch a woman. It's against the commandment to have close contact with women. How could you go against your rules as monks?"

The monk who carried the girl walked along silently, but finally he remarked, "I set her down by the river and hour ago. Why are you still carrying her?"