One day the Disciple came to the Teacher and asked him:
“Teacher, how is a clever man distinguished from a fool?”
It was a quiet, sunny morning, the Teacher was drinking green tea and indulging in reflections on the essence of eternity.
However, for the sake of the Disciple, he put aside the bowl with the unfinished tea, stopped his reflections, got up and led the disciple after him.
The teacher led the apprentice to the mountain, to that slope where there was a small cave-in recently, and stones of different sizes lay at the foot of the mountain.
And Teacher told the Disciple to carry all the stones on the top of the mountain.
There were a lot of stones, and the Disciple dragged them all day, and the Teacher was sitting in the shade of a tree and read the work of a great philosopher.
The Disciple was very tired, but by sunset, he finally dragged all the stones.
Then he approached the Teacher, full of pride of the work done and asked him again:
“Teacher, now can I find out the answer to my question?”
“No,” Teacher shook his head, “you’re not ready yet.”
“Why did I have to carry all these stones?” The disciple whispered.
“Here it is,” the Teacher raised his index finger. “A clever man would have asked this question before he started dragging them.”