Mulla Nasrudin

Never miss a bargain

   Nasrudin had so much against his donkey that the obvious
thing to do was to sell it and get another one. So he went to
the market-place, found the auctioneer, and gave him the 
donkey to sell.
   When the animal came up for sale, the Mulla was standing
by. ‘And the next lot’, shouted the auctioneer, ‘is this superb,
unequalled, wonderful donkey. Who will start the bidding at
five gold pieces?’
   ‘Only five for a donkey?’ Nasrudin was impressed. So he
started the bidding. As the price mounted higher and higher,
with the auctioneer singing the praises of the donkey at every
bid, Nasrudin became more and more anxious to buy. The 
bidding finally settled down to a duel between the Mulla and a
farmer. At forty gold pieces it was knocked down to Nasrudin.
   He paid the auctioneer his commission of one third, took 
his share of the money as the seller; then he took possession
of the donkey as the buyer. The donkey was worth perhaps
twenty gold pieces. So he was out of pocket; but he had bought
a donkey of whose merits, as he now realized, he had been 
ignorant until they had been so glowingly portrayed by the town 
   ‘I never miss a bargain,’ said Nasrudin to himself, as he walked
home with his prize.