The Four Flies

A samurai was calmly eating his supper in a small inn, ignoring four flies which kept buzzing around him. Three ronin (masterless samurai) came in, they looked enviously at the two magnificent swords which the man had fixed in his belt, for these weapons represented a small fortune. A look of intense satisfaction came over their faces: they man seemed to be defenseless and alone against three.

Sitting at a nearby table, they began to make fun of him in raised voices in the hope that he would be provoked into a duel. As the man remained completely indifferent to them, they got more and more acid. So, slowly raising the chopsticks with which he had just eaten his rice, the samurai effortlessly struck each of the four flies in four quick, precise actions, after which he delicately put down the tools, and all without so much as glancing at the three boors.

A heavy silence followed. The three ronin looking at each other realized that before them was a man of formidable mastery. Frightened, they fled.

Much later, they learnt that this man who had so shrewdly sparred them was called Miyamoto Musashi…

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