“There is a grasshopper at your feet”, laughed Grandmaster. I called him “Grandpa” once and he circumcised me with a bamboo reed and made me look for my foreskin in the jungle. I came back 12 years later and he said, “I told you to look in the jungle!” I cried, “I looked master. I have given up.”

     Grandmaster said, “Why do you give up? It is not in the jungle. It was thrown into the river. Long gone.”

Zen of Lions #1: Why would he tell me to look for something, knowing it wasn’t there?

     “Master,” I pleaded at the table during the Moon Feast- “Why would you tell me to look in the wrong place?” Master say, “The forest is not wrong or right place- is a good place. Did you enjoy it?”

     “No! I DIDN’T enjoy it!!”, I yelled, grabbing a knife with no thought to stab Master’s hand into the table. The Temple Guard in dark navy blue garb moved in with spears, not quickly enough though when Master yelled, “Stop!!!” like a crack of lightning and suddenly he rose from the table and was in the air.

     He laughed and drew back his white robe to reveal he was standing on one leg on the tip of his big toe. He laughed and laughed when “snap!!!” his big toe snapped. “Oh crap!”, he laughed.

   “I thought that might happen. Ow! General Tzo’s shit-can, does that hurt. Mao Tai! My opium!! Now! You rat!”

     The guard backed off. “I missed you, Andy. I’m 98 and more frail, but it was worth it! I had to get you out of the temple.”

      “WHY, Grandmaster?!”, I demanded. Master say, “Mao Tai and all classmates want to kill you. You too small. I make you strong and smart by driving you insane, sending you to look for a stupid thing.”

     I said, “But you are the Grandmaster. I do as you say. Why should I EVER listen to you again?”
Master say, “Who says I speak to you again? Do I have a command for you? Now listen to me. You are now a master. But do not say this. Blend in.”

      I sat down holding the dinner knife. In the reflection was Mao Tai standing behind me. He had overheard the conversation. I looked at Grandmaster. He closed his eyes, the signal of days end and I thrust the knife into Mao Tai’s heart. He fell. “Outside is a better place please,” said Master as I grabbed a sword.

        I cut Mao Tai’s foreskin off with little precision and mailed it to his brothers giving them the opportunity to avenge him if they wished so that they’d know it was I who cut off the head of Mao Tai and piked it, drew and quartered his body to East kingdom, high and low and West kingdom, high and low. Not one of Mao Tai’s 19 brothers or his polygamous father came to kill me. Instead they plead for me to kill their enemies.

    I said to Grandmaster, “They would make me serve them?” Grandmaster laughed. I said, “Help me Grandmaster… I wish to sneak in among these people disguised. I want to see what kind of people we are ruling over?”

     Grandmaster said, “Good!”, he laughed. Why not stay a while? And I have something for you to do. This time it is not for me. It will be difficult. It will be for you. And I will give all this to you.”

      “What, Grandmaster?”, I asked.
He walked into the other room and whispered,

“I will give you my Grandmastery.”