Two Questions, Part II, having to do with dandelions.
It turns out the man had a second question. He explained to me in great detail, his problem. H was very fond of roses, and had planted them all around his house, but they never grew. All that ever grew were dandelions.
"Hmm," I said, "I myself am fond of dandelions, but as you can see, they do not grow here."
"Why is that, do you think?" asked the man.
"Probably because I never planted any." I replied. "But to return to your problem, let me restate it. You love roses, but you only grow dandelions. If you love roses so much, why not plant them?"
"No, no , you misunderstand! I plant roses, but only dandelions grow!"
"Ah," I replied. "Your conundrum is clear. I have heard a solution for this, which involves three hot peppers and the dung of a camel of advanced age."
"I already tried that one," he said.
"There is another remedy I have heard for growing roses, but it involves moving to Persia and growing them on the banks of the river Tigris."
"That would be very inconvenient," said the man.
"And expensive," I said, "though you could probably afford it."
"No," he said, "I don't believe that's a good solution. Do you know any others?" He looked at me hopefully.
I pondered, and pondered, and pondered. He waited patiently. Finally, I had the solution.
"I have a solution!" I said, "But you won't like it."
"Oh, I will, Nasruddin, I will! Please tell me."
"No, I know you will not like it. I don't think I should suggest it."
"Please, O Great and Wise Nasruddin, please tell me."
"Well, when you put it that way...no, I can't. I know you won't like it."
"Enough, already, Nasruddin, what is the solution?"
I took a deep breath.
"You must learn to love dandelions."
* * *
Do you think he liked that solution? You are right, he did not...at first. But a year afterward, he came to visit again, to invite me to see that year's splendid crop of dandelions.