A young monk having difficulties adjusting to monastic life. Each night he climbs over the wall. Word soon came up from the town and it wasn't good! A senior monk was set to investigate and report back to his fellows the next day. It seems that each night before leaving he would empty the poor box. which was mostly fed by the poor farmers who came to hear the Abbott speak. Wanting to help feed the monks, the farmers had set up a box. The fruits and vegetables were a welcome break from brown rice. The money was also used to help the destitute, the old, widows and orphans.....any who asked. These are self-less men. Needless to say they are shocked by his impropriety, not mention theft. But if word spread of a whoring monk.... They rushed to speak to the Abbott while the young monk was still engaged over the wall. Half wanted to beat him almost to death. "(We are after all monks, not killers !!)" They were vehemently apposed by a second faction that had just sprung up between the meditation hall and the Abbott's quarters. They insisted upon beating him half to death and then permanently expelling him from their fellowship. ("The farmers won't support his kind of behavior and the melons are almost ripe!!") The Abbott listened to every one of their points of view and so passed most of the night. Around three hours before dawn he sent them off to bed without comment. He sighs and waits for things to settle in. When our wayward monk stumbled up to the wall he was so familiar with he wondered if he had stayed out to late. As he tops the wall he is at first delighted! Then perplexed. As cloudy as his mind is, it slowly dawns on him that someone must have come and placed the ladder he was using to climb down while he was away. reaching the bottom he turns... The Abbott! Just standing there in the last of the moonlight. He starts an angry defense of his actions. But it's obvious even to him that the Abbott does not see him. He regrets having spoken... but the Abbott did not hear him! "Thank you Buddha!" He staggers and stumbles off to bed leaving the Abbott to a brand new sun timid upon the horizon. His heart filling once more with awe. The life of the world was returning with the light.of heaven and he felt luminous, transparent in the dawn. The Abbott spoke briefly before the morning meditation. He needed to required of them that the ladder be left in place until it was no longer needed. He also pronounced that the wayward monk be taken off kitchen detail. He was to be put in charge of the monastery's out reach to the poor. The young monk fled the hall. Finishing with morning mediation and prayer they came drifting out into the courtyard, Stretching their legs and swinging their arms to re-awaken their bodies as sunlight came over the second inner wall of the courtyard to warm them. The last of summer's leaves danced a slow rotation across the worn stone paving. Seeming to never arrive. Surrendering instead to journey without goals. They soon found and took notice of the young monk knelling before a small fire., As they moved out of the wind they could see His eyes red with smoke and staring. He looked only at the Abbott across the swirling flames. the leaf rake across his lap. Tears falling though the smoke into the fire that even now was consuming their best ladder!