Mulla Nasrudin

Hot soup, cold hands

   A man who had heard that Nasrudin was very wise, decided to make
a journey to see him. ‘I can learn something from such a sage as this,’ 
he thought. ‘And there must be method in his madness, if one can only 
find the constant factor which must run through it. I have, after all,
studied long and visited many metaphysical schools. This will enable
me to judge and to learn, where others have failed.’
   Accordingly, he undertook the long and tiresome journey to Nasrudin’s
tiny house, perched on a mountain-ledge.
   Looking in through the window, he saw Nasrudin huddled beside a 
feeble fire, blowing into his cupped hands. As soon as he was admitted, 
he asked the Mulla what he had been doing.
   ‘Warming my hands with my breath,’ Nasrudin told him. After that
neither party started any conversation, and the Seeker wondered whether
Nasrudin would vouchsafe any of his wisdom after all.
   Presently Nasrudin’s wife brought two bowls of broth. Nasrudin im-
mediately started blowing upon the surface of the broth. ‘I may now learn
something,’ said the Seeker to himself. Aloud he said, ‘What are you
doing, Teacher?’
   ‘Blowing on my broth to cool it with my breath,’ said the Mulla.
   ‘The man is undoubtedly a fraud, and probably a liar,’ said the visitor,
inwardly. ‘First he blows for hot, then he blows for cold. How can I 
believe anything he may say to me?’
   And he went away.
   ‘The time has not been wasted.’ he told himself, as he made his way
 back along the mountain road, ‘for I have at least established that
Nasrudin is no teacher.’