Tales : The debt is cancelled

It happened once upon a time that Mullah Nasruddin, while leaving his favourite tea-house, tripped over someone’s wandering goat and nearly fell into the nearby pond. It was only the quick reflexes of a certain man that was passing at that moment, who was able to grab Nasruddin’s sleeve, that kept him from falling headlong in the water.

“Mullah,” said the man, “lucky for you that I was here! Otherwise, you would have got soaked!”

“Yes,” said Nasruddin, straightening his turban, “thank you.”

The next day, Nasruddin went to the tea house, and encountered the same man. “Mullah,” the man said jovially, “Don’t forget, you owe me a favor now! You see,” he told everyone in the tea-house, “I saved the Mullah from a real soaking! Good thing I was there! Imagine, he could have caught pneumonia! But I caught him, yes indeed!”

And it seemed that, from then on, every time the Mullah went to have a cup of tea, the man was there, cheerfully reminding Nasruddin and everyone else that the Mullah owed him a favour because he had saved him from getting wet.

Finally, one day, when the man began the same song, the Mullah stopped him, and said, “Friend, come with me.” And Nasruddin led the man to the bank of the pond, where, without ceremony, he jumped in.

“There,” said Nasruddin, standing up to his chest in the pond, “now the debt is cancelled.”

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