Disclaimer: I don't own Kino's Journey (Obviously) or the koan written below.
Two monks were once traveling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.
Coming around the bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
"Come on girl", said the first monk at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
The second monk did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told the first monk, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"
"I left the woman back at the crossroad," The monk said, "are you still carrying her?"
The story of the crossroads that divided the two villages has spread far and wide. I never had any intentions of visiting the crossroad itself, despite hearing the origin recently. Honestly, the tale had already drifted to the back of my mind when I found myself staring at a distinctive sign pointing towards two different countries. I had never seen the clearing before, but it was familiar all the same.
"I'm running out of gas again, Kino." Hermes sputtered slowly up to the signpost that noted the two different directions that they could go.
"There's nothing that we can do about that now Hermes, but it looks like there are a couple of towns coming up where we can re-supply." I kicked down the stand so that we'd have a moment to think as we figured out what to do next, and lifted up my goggles to inspect the sign more closely. Unfortunately, it didn't have any markings to show how far we were from either town.
"Well in that case, I'll need to get my tail lights fixed as well, they've been on the fritz ever since we left that one country a while back."
I smiled—Hermes' lights were working just fine, but sometimes the motorad just had to be dramatic. "Which way do you think we should go?" Both roads were ambiguous enough that as far as I could tell it didn't matter which one we chose.
Hermes hummed, strangely in tune with the low rumble of his engine, "I vote left."
"Left it is then." I said, pulling my goggles back down on my face.
"That's it? Usually you'd want to go your own way anyways." Hermes questioned.
"Usually we aren't running low on gas in the middle of nowhere."
"Oh I see, you just don't want to be responsible if we end up stranded in the middle of nowhere."
I kicked up the stand, and began wheeling Hermes down to our new direction. "Well, there is that…"
"Well, either way you look at it, there's about an equal chance that either one of us could end up picking the wrong road." I revved up the engine and we started heading off towards our next destination, "Honestly though, I just don't want to have listen to your complaining if we actually do run out of gas."
"Hey, that is uncalled for!"
I laughed, "That would definitely make me regret not filling up at the last station."
As we zoomed past the trees that dotted the vast country road, Hermes shouts were swallowed up by the expansive emptiness surrounding us, and the darkening orange-pink sky. "Laugh it up now Kino, but no matter what ends up happening, it's still your fault for not thinking this far ahead!"