The Tale of the Stupid Oaf (retold by Nasruddin)
As I was saying, beloveds, I moved to Tekka's village permanently, which means my stay there was longer than usual. I rented a little apartment, and met the landlord to look it over and get the key (that's yet another story!). The landlord pointed out that the door was very special, and added just a tiny amount to the rent, because, he said, this type of door was in great demand. The special effect was that it was a two-way door: you could go out as well as in! Believe me, I was impressed. I suspected the window might also be special, and what do you know...I was right! The window was also a special two-way window: you could see out as well as in.
"That's wonderful!" I told the landlord, and took it, because the rent was really very reasonable. As soon as I had moved in (this process involved laying my little pack in the corner), I went to find the most important person in the village. I wanted to know what the local customs were, the rules of the village, and so on, so I could be a good citizen.
The most important person was a man (today that might not be the case) who lived near the center of the village. I went to him and said,
"Oh honored sir, I beg of you a few minutes to enlighten me. I have just moved to this village, and wish to know the customs and rules so I may be a good citizen."
The important person cleared his throat impatiently, and said, "I have much important work to do! I have no time for you! But I am passing by your house at two o'clock. Meet me then."
"You know where I live?" I was amazed at his omniscience.
"I own the building," he said gruffly.
"Two o'clock, then!" I replied, and I went to the market to buy some vegetables. I bought a few vegetables for my dinner: carrots, onions, beet greens, and my favorite...lentils! Then I found a comfortable tree in the square and sat down to watch the people in the marketplace.
I felt a little drowsy, but kept myself awake, until I didn't. I woke with a start, and saw that the shadows were long; the sun was low, and it was very late. I jumped up and ran to my apartment as fast as I could. There I found someone had taken a piece of white stone and scratched on my door, "STUPID OAF."
I hurried to the important person's place, and bowed low, and told him,
"Oh, sir, I am so sorry I missed our appointment. I remembered it, though, as soon as I saw you had written your name on my door!"