Tales : Nothing by half

It happened once upon a time that, early one morning, Mullah Nasruddin was awakened by a thunderous banging on his door. When he opened it, he was confronted by an angry stranger, clad only in a long shirt.

“You are the mullah here,” said the stranger. “Someone from this village has robbed me, and I demand, in the name of all that is holy, that justice be done!”

The mullah stroked his beard, thinking. “You were robbed, you say? And they took your, um, clothes?” He glanced briefly at the man’s naked legs and bare feet.

“My clothes, my money, my donkey – even my worn out sandals!”

“A terrible crime,” said the Mullah, commiseratingly. “But did this happen here in the village?”

“No – on the road, but not far from here. It had to be one of your neighbours!”

Nasruddin shook his head firmly. “I can tell you with certainty,” he said, “it was not one of our people. Look, the thief left you a shirt – and we never do anything by halves!”

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