Eating his money
Mulla Nasrudin, as everyone knows, comes from a
country where fruit is fruit, and meat is meat, and
curry is never eaten.
One day he was plodding along a dusty Indian road,
having newly descended from the high mountains of
Kafiristan, when a great thirst overtook him. ‘Soon’,
he said to himself, ‘I must come across somewhere
that good fruit is to be had.’
No sooner were the words formed in his brain than
he rounded a corner and saw sitting in the shade of a
tree a benevolent-looking man, with a basket in front
Piled high in the basket were huge, shiny red fruits.
‘This is what I need,’ said Nasrudin. Taking two tiny
coppers from the knot at the end of his turban, he
handed them to the fruit-seller.
Without a word the man handed him the whole basket,
for this kind of fruit is cheap in India, and people usually
buy it in smaller amounts.
Nasrudin sat down in the place vacated by the fruiterer,
and started to munch the fruits. Within a few seconds,
his mouth was burning. Tears streamed down his cheeks,
fire was in his throat. The Mulla went on eating.
An hour or two passed, and then an Afghan hillman
came past. Nasrudin hailed him. ‘Brother, these infidel
fruits must come from the very mouth of Sheitan!’
‘Fool!’ said the hillman. ‘Hast thou never heard of the
chilis of Hindustan? Stop eating them at once, or death
will surely claim a victim before the sun is down.’
‘I cannot move from here,’ gasped the Mulla, ‘until I
have finished the whole basketful.’
‘Madman! Those fruits belong in curry! Throw them
away at once!’
‘I am not eating fruit any more,’ croaked Nasrudin,
‘I am eating my money.’