At the frontier
Nasrudin was carrying a basket of eggs across a frontier.
The egg producers of the transborder country, anxious to
preserve their rights, had petitioned the King. The King had
decreed that no eggs were to be imported.
The customs officers on duty easily spotted Nasrudin, took
him to their post, and started to interrogate him.
‘The penalty for lying is death. What have you in that basket?’
‘The smallest possible chickens.’
‘That comes under livestock. We shall impound them’, said
the officer, locking them up in a cupboard, ‘while we make
inquiries. But have no fear, we shall feed them for you. That
would be our responsibility.’
‘These are special chickens,’ said Nasrudin.
‘Well, you have heard of animals pining, getting old before
their time, when deprived of the attention of their master?’
‘These chickens are so sensitive, and of such a special breed
that if they are left alone for a moment, they become young
before their time.’
‘They can even become eggs again.’