One rainy morning, Mistress Tarantino was sitting quietly in the garden under a banyan tree. She was very still. Suddenly, she heard a noise and opened her eyes. She watched a man climb over their two‑foot tall security fence and creep into the yard. He looked around quickly, but didn’t see her watching. The man plucked some apples off the apple tree, then picked up the large bronze statue of Buddha in the center of the garden, lifted it onto his shoulder, and started walking towards the fence.
“Hey!” Mistress Tarantino shouted. “Stop!”
The man didn’t look to see who was calling out. He began to run towards the wall. The Buddha was heavy, so he couldn’t run very fast, but he was almost at the wall when he was tackled from behind. The statue fell to the ground, the apples flew into the air, and the man lay sprawling.
The poor man looked up and saw Mistress Tarantino standing above him. “I didn’t take track in school for nothing,” she said.
“I’m sorry,” the thief replied. “Really, I’m very sorry. Please, don’t call the police.”
“Police?” Mistress Tarantino smirked, “we don’t need no stinking police.”
“What are you going to do? I’ll do anything to repay you.”
“Anything?” asked the Mistress.
“Okay, if you insist.” Mistress Tarantino helped the man to his feet. “First off, promise to never steal again.” The man nodded. “Secondly, please put the Buddha back where you got it.” The man nodded again. “You must be strong. That sucker is heavy duty. Last, but not least, come back here every day for the rest of the apple harvest, take what you can carry, and give them away to anyone you see who is hungry.”
The thief was perplexed. “Is that all? Is there no punishment?”
“You’ve already punished yourself with the karma you’ve created. There is no need to add oil to the fire.”
“Thank you Mistress.” The thief bowed, then took the statue and placed it back in the middle of the garden. “I will return tomorrow and take a bag of apples into town. I know several families that need them.” He bowed again and started to leave.
“One more thing,” Mistress Tarantino said. “I strongly urge you to meditate and strengthen your awareness. If you ever decide to steal again in broad daylight, at least you will be more attuned to your surroundings and will see if someone is sitting just ten yards away watching your every move.”
More thieving words at: Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.