Smell and Sound

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Mulla Nasruddin bought 10 naans for his donkey. And 2 naans plus roasted sheep meat for himself.
He sat on his mat and enjoyed the feast while the donkey ate on its feet. They had chosen the spot where they would spend the night. Travellers with more means and money had pitched their tents and lay inside comfortably.
Suddenly, sounds of some raised voices reached Mulla Nasruddin’s ears. Something was happening on one side of the shop he had brought meat and naans from.
Mulla Nasruddin went there to investigate. The meat shop owner was demanding something from a poor looking traveller.
He was saying, ‘You must pay. You, on purpose came to lie down here because wind was blowing this way carrying the rich aroma of roasting meat from my shop. All evening you have been enjoying flavours of my cooking, smacking your lips. Do you want to free-load? I am doing no charity here. Pay.”
The poor man was very confused and embarrassed. May be, like Mulla, he too had no spare money for food. Mulla’s heart went for the humble man who was being bullied by the greedy meat shop owner.
Just then, the shop owner said turning to Mulla Nasruddin, “Sir, you bought your food from me like a noble man. This man has savoured my meat without paying. Look at his satiated face! Shouldn’t he pay?”
Mulla Nasruddin said to the poor traveller, “You have enjoyed the smells of his cooking. You should pay. Give me what money you have.”
The face of the greedy shop owner lit up.
The cornered poor man tearfully emptied the coins his purse contained on Mulla’s palm. It was not much as Mulla Nasruddin had guessed.
Mulla Nasruddin cupped his hands holding the coins and said to the meat seller, “Listen carefully.” And he shook the cup of his palms making the coins jingle. The meat seller looked on puzzled.
Mulla asked, “Did you hear the jingle of coins?”
“Yes, I did. Now give that money to me.”
But Mulla Nasruddin put the coins back in the poor man’s purse.
He turned to the meat seller, “That settles the accounts. He savoured the flavours of your cookings. You enjoyed the sweet jingle of his coins.”
The meat seller looked nonplussed. The people who had gathered there nodded their heads to Mulla Nasruddin in approval.
The poor man smiled his thanks at him.

Moral : Tit for Tat

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