Apr 12, 2007

The Glutton and Nasrudin the Mullah

The Glutton and Nasrudin the Mullah

This is another story about Nasrudin the mullah. This version comes fromwestern China -- but, as with all Nasrudin stories, it can be enjoyed byanyone, anywhere -- and it has something to tell us all. Long ago in China, there lived a very rich lord. His houseand garden were famous throughout the land for theirgrandeur and beauty. His clothes were so fine that, as hewalked by, people gasped in wonder.You might think that such a wealthy man would spare athought now and again for others less fortunate than himself.He might, perhaps, have given alms to the poor, or helpedthe orphan children of the town. But no, he preferred to donothing at all.
This meant he was often very bored so he spent his timetrying to think of new ways to amuse himself. And one day,he decided to play a trick on Nasrudin. For he knew that themullah blamed him for being selfish and lazy, and he wantedabove all to make Nasrudin look foolish.
He sent his servants out to buy a great many large, sweetmelons. Then he invited a large number of people to a feast-- including, of course, Nasrudin.
When the guests were seated, the servants brought in themelons, and the rich man urged them to eat. "Eat your fill,friends!" he said. "There is plenty more."
The guests needed no encouragement. They did not oftenhave a feast such as this, and they were determined to makethe most of it.II-As they ate, the heaps of melon skins grew taller on eachplate. Surreptitiously, the rich man (who had eaten morethan anyone else) slipped all his melon skins onto Nasrudin'splate.When all the melons were eaten, the guests sat back,patting their stomachs, satisfied with their meal.The rich man looked around the table and smiled. This wasthe moment for his joke.
"Look!" he cried, pointing to Nasrudin's plate and theenormous pile of melon peels. "This man is the greediestperson here -- though he teaches us to be generous and kind!Yet he goes and eats more melons than the rest of us puttogether! What a glutton!"
Everyone began to laugh -- even the Mullah. But as thelaughter died away, Nasrudin said quietly:
"But glutton as I may be, I am not the worst one here. Forlook, 1 have eaten only the fruit, and I have left the peelsuneaten. But our host here -- he's eaten everything -- peelsand all!"
And the rich man hung his head in shame.

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