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Two Little Boys
- Stories Told by a Young Chinese Monk (13)

7 January 2008

One hot summer day, a little boy visited our monastery with his mother and somehow felt envious of our hairdo (or no-hairdo). Convinced that a clean-shaven head would make him feel cooler in summer, he pestered his mother for shaving his head. When refused, he sat on the floor crying.

Small children are masters at getting what they want through crying. But still, some children never know there is such an easy way of communication, for instance, No Dust.

No Dust’s parents divorced and he was sent to live with his grandma when his mother and step father went to city looking for work. They never returned home, while the grandmother was getting older and weaker by the day. A man running a circus offered to take care of the boy, but a life of wandering from place to place was not what the old lady wished for her grandson. She’d rather to send him to an orphanage, but her request was turned down as the boy wasn’t an orphan. Fearing she might die at any moment and left the boy alone, she finally sought help from our monastery.

By then the monastery barely got by on a day to day basis, but after a discussion, the masters agreed to look after the poor boy for the old woman, and gave him a Buddhist name No Dust. That year, the boy was four-year old.

When No Dust just arrived, he seldom spoke, nor did he laugh much. His tiny little heart was anxious within him. From time to time, he would ask me in a small voice, “Will you send me away again?” And I had to keep assuring him that we would not. It took quite a while for this little boy to feel secure about his place in the monastery.

Another little novice No Fool is just a little older than No Dust. And No Fool is full of life. Although he is a mischievous boy, when he is with his little friend, No Fool acts like a big brother, being protective and considerate. Under the cheerful influence of No Fool, No Dust has eventually transformed into a happy little chap.

But the boy who sitting on the floor crying on that hot summer day was not happy. He was grown up in an environment in which he never experienced fear an anxiety; he was yet to realise that the life is never meant to be perfect, and many of our desires and longings are left unsatisfied and unfulfilled. He didn’t know that, so he kept crying until his mother gave in.

On hearing his mother’s consent, the boy broke into a smile through tears, and swiftly left the floor for a bench to station himself under Master Wisdom Forever‘s shaving blade. Soon his little head was free of hair like that of No Dust and No Fool, and the boy gleefully ran to the backyard playing in the sun.

However, it didn’t take much long for the boy to run back to the hall crying again. With a clean shaven head, he felt scorching hot under the sun.

A spoiled boy can never be truly content with his life.

(You can visit Monk No Anger's personal blog to read his original posts in Chinese at "")

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