Following Instructions

Nasrudin desperately needed money to pay his debts. One day, he collected feathers from his chicken coop and fashioned them into fans. As it was summer, there was no shortage of people trying to keep cool. Encouraged by success, Nasrudin tied more feathers together that night and returned to the bazaar the next day. As soon as he set up his stall, he was mobbed by the previous day’s customers.

‘These are not fans — they are just feathers!’ they clamoured. ‘As soon as we tried to use them, they fell apart.’

‘Unfortunately,’ replied Nasrudin, ‘I cannot refund your money because you have failed to follow the instructions.’

‘And what might the instructions be?’ demanded the crowd.

‘Take a fan, open it, and move your head from side to side.’

The World of Nasrudin Idries Shah, Octagon Press

feather fan

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