Near the place where Zen Master Hakuin lived there happened to be a food store. The owner of the food store had a beautiful unmarried daughter. One day she was found with child. Her parents flew into a rage. They wanted to know the father, but she would not give them the name. After repeated scolding and harassment, she gave up and told them it was the Zen Master. When the child was born they ran to the Zen Master, scolding him with foul tongue, and they left the infant with him. They said to him: “Take care of this child as you’re the father.” The Zen Master said, “Is that so”. That was his only comment.
He accepted the child. He started nourishing and taking care of the child. By this time his reputation had come to an end, and he was an object of mockery. Days ran into weeks, weeks into months and months into years. But there is something called conscience in our human life, and the young girl was tortured by her conscience. She finally disclosed to her parents the name of the child’s real father, a man who worked in a fish market. The parents again flew into a rage. At the same time, sorrow and humiliation tortured the household. They came running to the spiritual Master, begged his pardon, narrated the whole story and then took the child back as they said to him: “You don’t need to take care of this child anymore as you’re not his father.”
His only comment was: “Is that so.”
(Taken, with light editing, from Reps, Paul; Nyogen Senzaki. Zen Flesh, Zen Bones: A Collection of Zen and Pre-Zen Writings)