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The Archer and the Arrow

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Dear All,

Here is a story from the web. My sincere thanks to the author Chris


Jai Maa




There was once a general of war who had spent his entire life

fighting in campaigns for many kings. Now at the end of his career,

he became tired of fighting. He had spent a lifetime perfecting his

skill in all the arts of war and his skill was famous, but he was

weary and had but one wish: to spend the rest of his days studying

archery, the one art of war he had not mastered.


The general did not want to learn archery in order to be a better

fighter, but rather to study and reflect. He had heard of Master

archers, living in distant monasteries, who spend a lifetime doing

nothing else but perfecting their skill. Their life appealed to him,

and so he retired from fighting and began to search for the Master



After a long journey the general found a monastery where the monks

were devoted to archery. He entered the monastery and begged to join

them and pass the remainder of his days on this earth studying

archery. For 10 years that is what he did.


Then, when he had perfected his skill as an archer, the abbot of the

monastery came to the general and said, "It is time to leave." The

general was shocked and he protested, saying that his life in the

world outside the monastery was over. His only desire was to remain

within the monastery walls and continue to meditate on the bow, the

arrow, the target.


The general argued and pleaded with the abbot, but the abbot was

resolute. He insisted that the general must leave. To advance his

skill, it was necessary for the general to go out into the world and

teach what he had learned.


And so he left the monastery. Once outside, the general had nowhere

to go; he decided to return to the village of his birth.


It was a long journey over many lands, but finally he neared the

village. As he walked through the surrounding forest he noticed a

bull's-eye on a tree, with an arrow in the exact center. The general

was surprised by this and even more so when he noticed more trees

with bull's-eyes and arrows in the center.


Soon he came to the farmlands and there saw many barns and homes

with bull's-eyes and arrows dead center. He became agitated and

walked quickly into the village center. There, on every wall of

every building was a bull's-eye with an arrow right in the center.


The peace he had gained from his years of monastic life was gone. He

was indignant to find that after 10 years of study and reflection

there lived an archer more skilled that he. Quickly, he approached

the elders of the town and demanded that the archer responsible for

this perfection meet him at the edge of town by the mill, in one



The general waited by the mill, but as the hour approached no one

came. There was, however, a young girl playing by the river. The

girl noticed him and came over.


"Are you waiting for someone?" she asked, looking up at the general.


"Go away," he said, irritated.


"No, no," said the girl, "you look like you're waiting for someone

and I was told to come and meet someone here."


The general looked unbelievingly at the little girl and said, "I'm

waiting for the Master archer responsible for the hundreds of

perfect shots I have seen.


"Well, that's me then," said the girl.


The general, feeling more indignant still, looked skeptically at the

girl. Finally, he said, "If you are telling the truth, then explain

to me how you can get a perfect shot every single time you shoot

your arrow."


"That's easy," said the girl, brightening. "I take my arrow and I

draw it back very tight in the bow. Then I point it very, very

straight and let it go. Wherever it lands I draw a bull's-eye.



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