I like this story also, but some of you seem to have missed the "bite" in this story.
In some versions the "lady" is clearly a concubine, on her way to met a "client".
It was intended to show she was clearly a prostitute.
That is why the junior monk was so critical.
As the senior monk tries to point out he simply picked her up, carried her across the muddy water, and then put her down on the other side.
It was the junior monk who passed an unwarranted judgement on her.
And that was exactly the point of the story, at least before it was "cleaned up" to be more presentable.