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STORIES IN A NUTSHELL – THE SMUGGLER

The Smuggler

A Sufi Tale From The Middle East

A clever smuggler came to the border with a donkey. The donkey’s back was heavily laden with straw. The official at the border was suspicious and pulled apart the man’s bundles till there was straw all around, but not a valuable thing in the straw was found. “But I’m certain you’re smuggling something,” the official said, as the man crossed the border.

Now each day for ten years the man came to the border with a donkey. Although the official searched and searched the straw bundles on the donkey’s back, he never could find anything valuable hidden in them.

Many years later, after the official had retired, he happened to meet that same smuggler in a marketplace and said, “Please tell me, I beg you. Tell me, what were you smuggling? Tell me, if you can.”

“Donkeys,” said the man.