The Alternative

I am a hospitable man, said Nasrudin to a group of cronies at the teahouse. Very well, then – take us all home to supper, said the greediest.

Nasrudin collected the whole crowd and started towards his house with them. When he was almost there, he said:

I’ll go ahead and warn my wife: You just wait here. His wife cuffed him when he told her the news. There is no food in the house – turn them away.

I can’t do that, my reputation for hospitality is at stake.

Very well, you go upstairs and I’ll tell them that you are out.

After nearly an hour the guests became restless and crowded round the door, shouding, Let us in, Nasrudin. The Mulla’s wife went out to them:

Nasrudin is out.

But we saw him go into the house, and we have been watching the door all the time.

She was silent.

The Mulla, watching from an upstairs window, was unable to contain himself. Leaning out he shouted:

I could have gone out the back door, couldn’t I?

This spiritual story is from the book The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah.

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