It happened once upon a time that Mullah Nasruddin was attending the court of the king at a moment when there was a visit from the king’s barber.
As everyone knew, the king was very vain about his appearance. Therefore the barber needed some courage to say, “Majesty, perhaps I could dare to suggest that we put a little something in your hair today…”
“Something?” said the king suspiciously. “What do you mean? What kind of ‘something’?”
“A little colour, your Highness,” said the barber. “There are just one or two grey hairs, you see…”
“Grey hairs!” shouted the king, outraged. “How dare you say such a thing? Guards, take this barber outside and beat him until he knows better.”
And the unfortunate barber was instantly hauled away.
“Grey hairs,” fumed the king, peering at himself in the mirror. “What is he talking about? You,” he said, pointing to the Vizier, “do you see any grey hairs on my head?”
“None whatsoever, majesty,” responded the Vizier promptly.
“Liar!” shouted the king. “What use is a Vizier that won’t tell the truth? Guards, take him outside and beat him, too.”
And the poor Vizier was also hauled off, despite his protests.
“You, Mullah,” said the king, “do YOU see grey hairs on my head?”
“Majesty,” said Nasruddin, “by the Blessings of the Almighty I was born colour-blind. I am unable to answer your question.”