Professional Fee

The mayor was trying to fasten his saddle-bags, but each time he positioned the bag it slipped to one side.

‘Nasrudin,’ he said, as the Mulla walked by, ‘you claim to understand everything. How can I solve this problem?’ Inspecting the load, Nasrudin saw that one of the bags was full of rice while the other was empty. ‘As a scientist,’ he said, ‘I can see that the laws of physics are working against you.’ He then removed the rice and divided it into three equal piles. He put one pile in each bag and, sure enough, the load was perfectly balanced.

‘Excellent,’ said the mayor, ‘but what about the third pile?’

‘That,’ replied Nasrudin, ‘is my professional fee.’

The World of Nasrudin Idries Shah, Octagon Press

A donkey in a field

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