Many thanks to Hanzík for the Czech translations!
The Sparrow Clan was in disgrace and disarray. Its head monk had chosen an honorable death by seppuku, but fear of further staff cuts had set the remaining monks at each other’s throats. A priest had been assigned stewardship of the clan to restore order, but his efforts were in vain.
“The subtraction of one has led to the division of all,” said the priest to the head abbot. “We must correct the remainder of the clan before they set a poor example for the temple.”
“I see no need for discipline,” sighed the abbot, who was known for his excessive leniency. “It will be simpler to disband the Sparrow Clan. How many monks remain?”
“Six,” replied the priest.
“Good. Then send half to one clan of your choosing, and half to another.”
The priest began to protest, but thinking better of it he merely bowed stiffly and left. That evening he summoned the quarrelsome monks. With a single whirl of his blade he neatly bisected all six at the waist.
“Send the heads to the Laughing Monkey Clan, and the tails to the Elephant’s Footprint,” he said to one of his novices. “And bid them consider the price of dischord.”
The priest then reported to the abbot: “I have done as you commanded, and indeed all arguments have ceased.”
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