Is That So?
A Zen Koan.
The Zen master Hakuin was praised by his neighbors as a man living a pure life.
He lived next door to a shoe store owned by a family with a beautiful young daughter.
One day, the parents discovered their daughter was pregnant. They were very upset.
She would not confess who the father was, but after a lot of harassment, she named Hakuin as the father.
The parents were furious and confronted Hakuin about the child.
"Is that so?" — is all Hakuin responded with.
After the child was born it was brought to Hakuin to take care of him. By this time he had already lost his good reputation within the community.
He took the child and took very good care of him. He obtained milk from his neighbors and saw to all of the child's needs.
A year later, the young mother couldn't take the guilt any longer. She told her parents the truth — Hakuin was not the father. A young man who worked in a nearby fish market was the real father of the boy.
The mother and father immediately went to Hakuin to ask for forgiveness. They apologized profusely and asked for the child.
Hakuin returned the child without restraint — "is that so?"