Master Tova was traveling with Sister Sun and Sister Moon to visit one of the community centers. They came upon a narrow rope bridge which crossed a deep gorge and raging river below.
“I’ll wait here until you return,” Sister Sun said, shaking in her boots every time she looked towards the walkway.
“Nonsense,” Master Tova replied. “There’s nothing to be afraid of.”
“I’ll stay with Sister Sun,” Sister Moon added, holding on to her companion for dear life.
“We must cross,” Master Tova replied. “They are waiting for us and Sister Star needs our assistance. You know she is very ill and may not have much time left.”
“We feel deeply for Sister Star,” Sister Sun trembled, “but it will do her no good if we parish before we see her.”
“This bridge has been here for centuries,” Master Tova explained.
“Exactly,” Sister Moon exclaimed.
“Thousands upon thousands have safely made their way upon its planks and rope handrails,” Master Tova reassured. Both sisters stood frozen, shaking their heads. “Look,” Master Tova said, as she walked onto the bridge and turned around. “See, it’s as strong as a rock.” She jumped up and down several times. The bridge bobbed and swayed side to side. Master Tova returned to her reluctant students and said, “You must trust in life or you will never get anywhere.”
The Master took hold of Sister Sun and Sister Moon’s hands and led them toward the structure. Just as Master Tova was about to step on the bridge, Sister Sun coughed. Her cough caused a loud crack. They watched in horror as the ropes snapped, the wooden planks broke, and the walkway plummeted into the gorge below with a deathly crash.
Sister Sun and Sister Moon’s eyes were as large as saucers, as they pulled Master Tova back from the edge and fell to the ground.
As they got up and dusted themselves off, Master Tova turned and spoke. “Like I said, it’s always good to consider alternatives, and cough before proceeding. We’ll have to walk upstream and wade across the shallow portion of the river. It will take longer, but we’ll get their safe and sound.”
Many honest and trusted stories at: Zen Master Tova Tarantino Toshiba: The Illustrious and Delusional Abbess of Satire.