There was an old woman who had supported a monk for over twenty-years. Not only did she make a dwelling for him, but also looked after his needs eventually. Yet her self-less devotion to assist a monk could only delay the arrival of the ultimate thought- What progress did he make in all this time?
To find out, she obtained the help of a girl rich in desire. ‘Go and embrace him,’ she told her, ‘and then ask him suddenly: “What now?”‘
In accordance with the request, the girl approached the monk and without much ado fondled him, asking him what he was going to do about it.
‘An old tree grows on a cold rock in winter,’ replied the monk somewhat poetically. ‘Nowhere is there any warmth.’
The girl returned and related what he had said.
‘To think I fed that fellow for twenty years!’ exclaimed the old woman in anger. ‘He showed no consideration for your need, no disposition to explain your condition. He need not have responded to passion, but at least he should have evidenced some compassion.’
She at once went to the hut of the monk and burned it down.