Nasrudin was lurking near a tavern. He was penniless: and besides wine was forbidden to true believers. The sultan’s cup bearer came out, carefully carrying a delicate flagon of wine. They caught sight of one another at the same moment.
‘Honourable Saki,’ began the Mulla, ‘give me…’
‘Give you what, Mulla?’
To ask for wine would be a direct admission that he drank it.
‘Give me … a piece of advice.’
‘Very well. Go and read a book.’
Half to himself, Nasrudin muttered: ‘Oh, no, that won’t do.’
‘Oh … er … I tried that, once.’
The Pleasantries of the Incredible Mulla Nasrudin Idries Shah, Octagon Press