Jalal, an old friend of Nasrudin’s, called one day. The Mulla said, ‘I am delighted to see you after such a long time. I am just about to start on a round of visits, however. Come, walk with me, and we can talk.’
‘Lend me a decent robe,’ said Jalal, ‘because, as you see, I am not dressed for visiting.’ Nasrudin lent him a very fine robe.
At the first house Nasrudin presented his friend. ‘This is my old companion, Jalal: but the robe he is wearing, that is mine!’
On their way to the next village, Jalal said: ‘What a stupid thing to say! “The robe is mine” indeed! Don’t do it again.’ Nasrudin promised.
When they were comfortably seated at the next house, Nasrudin said: ‘This is Jalal, an old friend, come to visit me. But the robe: the robe is his!’
As they left, Jalal was just as annoyed as before. ‘Why did you say that? Are you crazy?’
‘I only wanted to make amends. Now we are quits.’
‘If you do not mind,’ said Jalal, slowly and carefully, ‘we shall not say any more about the robe.’ Nasrudin promised.
At the third and final place of call, Nasrudin said: ‘May I present Jalal, my friend. And the robe, the robe he is wearing … But we mustn’t say anything about the robe, must we?’
The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin Idries Shah, Octagon Press