From A Catholic Life:
Saint Philip Neri once gave a lady who gossiped the following penance:
"Go to the market, buy a chicken, and pluck it on your way back here, scattering the feathers as you walk. When you give me the plucked chicken, I'll tell you the rest of your penance."
The woman was baffled did as she was told. After she handed the plucked chicken to the saint, St. Neri said, "Now that you've spread those feathers about, go pick them up."
"But, Father! It's impossible to know where they've all gone!"
"Just like the words of your gossip," he said.