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The fisherman and the samurai.

Never rush to a conclusion.

Precisely one year ago to the day a samurai had lent 10 koku to a fisherman in a small coastal village. Today was the day the fisherman had promised he would repay the debt. Seeing the samurai coming up the beach the fisherman threw himself to the ground, and bowed his head. "Get up" said the samurai. "I have come to collect the money you owe me." Without raising his head the fisherman replied, "It has been a very bad year, and I regret that I do not have the money I owe you."

Hearing this the samurai quickly drew his sword. "Why should I not simply slay you instead" shouted the samurai. Fearing for his life the fisherman boldly spoke out. "For some time now I have been studying martial arts. One of the lessons that my master teaches is to never strike when you are angry. I beg you give me one more year to pay my debt."

The samurai slowly lowered his sword. "Your master is wise." he replied. "I too have heard that lesson many times, but sometimes I get so angry that I still act without thinking." Putting away his sword the samurai said, "You shall have another year, but when I return if you do not have all the money I shall not hesitate to take your life." Without another word he walked away.

Having left the village later than he intended it was already dark by the time the samurai arrived home. Seeing no lights on in the house he crept in quietly, not wishing to wake his wife, or the servants. As he entered his bed chamber he noticed that there were two persons lying on his futon. One wore the clothing, and the swords of a samurai.

Swiftly he drew his sword. Just when as he was about to strike the fisherman's words came back to him. Pausing he took a deep breath, and made a loud noise. Hearing the sound both his wife, and the stranger immediately woke up. He found himself face to face with his wife, and his mother.

"What is the meaning of this." he demanded. "I almost slew you both." His wife quickly explained that when he had not returned by night fall they decided to dress his mother up to look like him. That way if an intruder entered the home they would be frightened off by the sight of a samurai. A that moment he realized that his habit of acting without thinking had almost cost him the life of his wife, and his mother.

A year later the samurai again walked visited fisherman. "It has been an excellent year my Lord, here is all the money that I owe you with interest." said the fisherman.

"Keep your money." replied the samurai. "I came to tell you that your debt has already been repaid."

 Remember: “Never act on emotion alone.”