The Wind-Up Bird

A Zen master was meditating under a bridge when his disciple approached him carrying a bag.

“Master,” the disciple said, “in this bag is a wind-up bird. When turned on, it produces music indistinguishable from a real bird’s.”

The master gazed at the student.

“When it’s turned on or when you’re turned on?” asked the master.

The disciple blinked.

“Um, when it’s turned on.”

The master stared at the disciple.

“Because it’d be pretty funny if it was the other way,” he said.

“Yes, master,” the disciple replied. “So, do you want to see the bird?”

“The bird in your bag or, like, your bird?” asked the master.

“The – the bird in the bag. The wind-up bird.”

“Because, it’s like ‘Why does he want to show me his bird?’ Right?” asked the master.

“Right,” said the disciple.

“Get out of here,” said the master. “Go get some lunch.”

“Do you want me to leave the bag?” asked the disciple.

The master thought for a moment, but couldn’t figure out how to turn the question into something suggestive. So, he just shook his head.

The disciple was in a bad mood for the rest of the day. Surprisingly, so was the master. He wished the conversation had ended better, with, like, a pun or something.

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