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Tag: Teaching Stories

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March 30, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The King, the Dog, and the Golden Bowl IV

Then an old man appeared, in a rough woollen robe, and with a stick in his hand, upon which he leant heavily.

“Greetings my son,” said the old man. “What brings you to this place?”
“Some time ago I came here in rags,” said Hassan, and was fortunate  enough to be given the meat from its bowl by this dog here. When I left I took the bowl, sold it, and replenished my fortunes, and now I have come to repay the debt, and returned his bowl.”
“All those times are gone,” said the old man, “the vanity and pomp which was once my court has vanished.”
Hassan now saw that this was indeed the generous king whom he had seen feeding the poor and needy in the great palace long ago.
“Your Majesty,” said he, “please take this bowl which I have brought.”
“No,” said the old king, “I had no need for anything, except that which I have here. My hounds catch me game from my one daily meal, and my old gardener has remained with me and continues to grow some roses and vegetables for me. Together, he, I, and the hounds managed to enjoy our lives. After my enemies destroyed my city and my people were taken away in slavery, I have lived very simply here.”
“But, the bowl,”  said Hassan, “May I not leave it to your Majesty?
  “If a dog of mine thought it fit to give away his bowl,” said the King, “it is not for me to take it back. I am sure that he has no need of it now. Oh, return from whence you came, we are sufficiently provided for at the present time.”
So, bowing to the king, Hassan mounted his horse and rode away. He looked back, and saw the old man, leaning upon his stick, wavered last farewell, and then disappear back into the ruins, with his three hounds about him.
 And Hassan, in after days, often told the story, that men should not forget the tale of the King the Dog and the Golden bowl.



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March 29, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The King, the Dog, and the Golden Bowl III

By clever buying and selling, he soon had enough merchandise to take back to his native town, where his friends greeted him with much joy.

His luck soon changed, and Hassan became a successful trader once again, and before long he was once as rich as he had ever been. 
 Some years later, he felt the urge to return to the town where he had been shown such kindness by the dog. He made up his mind to replace the golden bowl which he taken away at the insistence of the dog.
Within a few days, a replica of the bowl was ready, and Hassan climbed onto his best horse with flowing robes and boots finest leather, set off
 At last he arrived and once more saw the old walls which were built around the city. But, upon writing inside the gates, he saw with amazement that the glory of the palace was no more. It lay wide open to the sky, roofless and ruined, its beautiful pillars broken as if destroyed by Mongol hordes.
The wrecked houses were silent and empty, the shops where rich and contented merchants had been, were sacked and smashed, their merchandise looted.
Sorrowfully, Hassan was mounting his horse to ride away, when a great hound darted out of the palace ruins and was followed by two others. Hassan recognized them as the dogs which had been brought by the attendant to feed from the golden bowls when he was a beggar in that very same place.


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March 28, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The King, the Dog, and the Golden Bowl, II

There was a great concourse of people, young and old, being given food and money by the generous monarch, who sat upon a great golden throne in the middle of the lofty hall.

Suddenly from his hiding place, Hassan saw three great hounds being brought to space a few feet away from him; and an attendant placed to three bowls of finest meat before each of the dogs. The man then went away, and Hassan found his eyes fixed upon the delicious meat which had been given to the dogs. As he was thinking that he could with joy feed from even the leftovers in the animals’ bowls, so great was his hunger, the dog nearest to him raised his eyes. Looking at him in an almost human fashion he pushed his jewelled  golden bowl towards Hassan. The famished man, unable to wait a second longer, helped himself to one of the pieces of succulent meat, and pushed the bowl back to the dog. But, with its paw, the animal again pushed it over to Hassan, until he had eaten to his heart’s content. Then the intelligent creature ate, and after it had licked the bowl clean, it pushed it back to Hassan. The man saw it was offering him the bowl, and so he took it in his hands and then hid the precious object under his tattered cloak. When he had done so, the animal seem to nod his head in agreement.
Hassan realised that if he sold the bowl, and bought himself new clothes, he would at least have a chance to approach a merchant to do some sort of work.
He patted the hound gratefully on the head, and slipped away from the crowd. Next day he sold the bowl, which, being studded with precious jewels, brought him in such a good price, but he was able to set himself up in business once again.


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March 27, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The King, the Dog, and the Golden Bowl I

Here is one of my favourite stories… I’m giving it here because I have just been to see the carpenter, Mr. Reda, who built the library for me at Dar Khalifa.  I was reminded of the king’s fate in the story, because Mr. Reda  was sitting in his workshop, alone. He said there was no work, and he had let all his carpenters go… but instead of being sad he had resigned himself to fate.


Once upon a time there lived a merchant, called Hassan,  who was wealthy and generous, happy and fortunate.
But one day, disaster stared him in the face. His ships, bearing great loads of treasure from afar, were captured by pirates and his warehouse — containing many valuables — was burned down. Unable to face his friends, he sold his house and his remaining belongings, and set off in search of his fortune.
But good luck deserted Hassan. A thief stole his remaining money while he was asleep in a caravanerai, and this time he found himself without a single coin to his name, in a strange and foreign land.
He went to the mosque and asked if he could stay the night, and was very ashamed at having to ask the charity. How was he ever going to hold up his head again, he wondered? He asked the mosque-keeper what he should do. “My brother,” said the old man, “go three days march from here, and you will arrive at such and such a place. The king there is generous and kind, and you may be able to put your case before him. He would be sure to give you more charity but I can give, because we are so poor.”
  Before leaving the mosque, Hassan gave his last few coins to the imam, and wished him a long and prosperous life.
Hassan set off on a rough road and was soon thirsty and tired, wondering whether the journey was a good idea at all.
  After three days he arrived almost starving at a walled city. The shopkeepers there were richly dressed in contented. Hassan walked wearily towards the palace, where the old mosque-keeper had told him the generous king helped thousands of people each night. But when he finally got there he was so ashamed of his rags, and so fearful of presenting himself in such a state before the king, that he hid behind a pillar, from which vantage point he could look upon the scene of the royal court….


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March 20, 2009 Posted by tahir in Travel

Effective

Nasrudin was throwing handfuls of bread crumbs around his house and waving a huge pink flag all about. His neighbour looked out of his window and asked:

   ‘Why are you doing that, Nasrudin?’
   The Mulla replied: ‘I’m keeping the tigers away!’
   ‘But there are no tigers around here.’
   ‘It’s effective, isn’t it?!’


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March 19, 2009 Posted by tahir in Travel

Questions

‘Baba, why do you always answer a question with another question?’

‘Do I?’ Nasrudin replied.
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March 18, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

The Greatest Fool

The King asked Nasrudin to go and find the most stupid man in the world to come to court and be jester. The Mulla set off and travelled for days, weeks and months. Finally, he returned to the throne room where the King called to him.

‘Have you found the most stupid man in the world to be my jester?’ asked the monarch.
‘Yes, indeed I have, Your Majesty, but alas he is too busy searching for fools to take the job.’


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March 17, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

Creeping Up On Himself

Bedar, the watchman, caught Nasrudin prising open the window of his own bedroom from the outside, in the depths of the night.

‘What are you doing, Mulla?’ he asked. ‘Are you locked out?’
‘Hush!’ snapped Nasrudin. ‘They say that I walk in my sleep and so I’m trying to surprise myself and find out!’


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March 16, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

Only One Thing Wrong With it

Walking with a disciple one day, Mulla Nasrudin saw for the first time in his life a beautiful lakeland scene.

‘What a delight!’ he exclaimed. ‘But if only…’
‘If only what, Master?’
‘If only they had not put water on it.’


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March 15, 2009 Posted by tahir in Books

Light the Candle

Nasrudin was sitting, talking with a friend as dusk fell.

‘Light a candle,’ the man said, ‘because it is dark now. There is one just by your left side.’
How can I tell my left from my right in the dark, you fool?’ as the Mulla.


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