Once upon a time it happened that Mullah Nasruddin lost his donkey – yes, again! If the Mullah is involved, such occurrences should not surprise us.
When he realised that his donkey was lost, the Mullah went to the market place, climbed on the table of a friend who was selling cucumbers and onions, and began to address the people.
“Friends,” called the Mullah, “my donkey is lost! Surely you know him – such and such an age, one ear like this, one leg like that…” And he gave them a description of his animal. “Whoever finds him, I promise a great reward!”
Someone in the crowd called, “What reward? What will you give us?”
“The donkey himself!” said Nasruddin. The people in the market looked at each other in astonishment, and then scattered in all directions, hoping to find the donkey and claim the prize.
“But Nasruddin,” said his friend as the Mullah climbed down from the table, “if you give the donkey as a reward, why even search for the beast?”
“My friend,” said the Mullah, “haven’t you ever lost something and felt the joy of finding it again?”