361. into the woods again

the tortoise returned to the woods. the guru saw him leaving, and chased after him. “why are you running into the woods again?” the guru asked.

i’m not running,” said the tortoise. “i’m a tortoise.

“why are you walking very slowly into the woods, then?”

my wife has vanished, and a priestess said that she had gone into the woods after me, so i must go after her. please do not follow me. instead, wait here in case she returns.

the guru agreed, and he sat there for several hours until mrs tortoise walked out of the woods. “guru!” she said, near tears. “i have just gone into the woods looking for my husband. do you know where he is?

“well,” the guru said, “he had returned to the village, but finding you gone, he left and returned to the woods.”

oh no,” mrs tortoise said. “will you help me find him?

“he told me to stay here in case you returned.”

and then what were you supposed to do?

i don’t know,” the guru said. “i didn’t ask him that.”