‘I’ll give you a chance,’ he said, ‘although you don’t look the type who could fell trees. Take this axe and chop down as many trees as you can from that plantation.’
After three days Nasrudin reported to him.
‘How many trees have you felled?’
‘All the trees in the plantation.’
The forester looked, and sure enough there were no trees left. Nasrudin had done as much work as would be expected from thirty men.
‘But where did you learn to chop trees at that rate?’
‘In the Sahara desert.’
‘But there aren’t any trees in the Sahara!’
‘No, there aren’t now,’ said Nasrudin.
The Subtleties of the Inimitable Mulla Nasrudin Idries Shah, Octagon Press