a village near the city of
lived a peasant named Ahmad who planted watermelons. When summer came, and
’s field was full of watermelons, he loaded his donkey with his crop and
took them to the bazaar for sale. Everyday he fed his donkey a pound of
barley. The donkey was so happy he took the heavy load and looked forward
to the feast of barley at the end of a hard day.
’s wife nagged him that he cared more for his donkey than for her, and
she asked him to stop giving the donkey a pound of barley so he could buy
her a gold necklace .
became tired of his wife’s nagging and went to see Molla, the wise man
of the village, for advice.
described his problem to Molla. Molla thought a few minutes and said to
him that his problem was very complicated.
It needed a creative solution and he would need to think about it
overnight. Molla asked him to come back in the morning.
gave Molla a large watermelon as an advance payment for thoughtfully
searching for a right solution to his problem.
came back the next day, Molla was grinning with happiness and said,
“After all night consideration and careful analysis, I have found the
solution to your problem. Here is my proposed solution. Every day, very
carefully hidden away from your wife and the donkey, steal away a few
grains of barley. Over time, this will reduce your expenses and give you
the money to buy your wife the necklace she wants.”
gave another watermelon to Molla and went home happy.
month passed and
reduced the donkey’s barley to half of a pound. The donkey continued to
carry the heavy load of watermelons to the bazaar. The next month, Ahmad
continued to steal away even more barley from the donkey, giving the
donkey only a quarter of a pound of barley. The donkey continued to take
the heavy load of watermelon to the bazaar.
the money he saved he bought a gold necklace for his wife. He was happy
with his cleverness and continued to steal away more and more barley from
the donkey. One day from weakness the donkey collapsed and died.
ran to the Molla crying.
roared in laughter and said, “My dear fellow I said steal away a few
grains of barley, not all of them! There is no cure for greediness!”