Ch 02 The Morals Of Dervishes Story 37

A dervish arrived in a place, the owner of which was of a noble disposition, and had surrounded himself with a company of distinguished and eloquent men, each of whom uttered something elegant or jocular, according to the fashion of wits. The dervish who had travelled through the desert and was fatigued had eaten nothing. One of the company asked him by way of encouragement likewise to say something. The dervish replied: ‘I do not possess distinction and eloquence like you and have read nothing so you must be satisfied with one distich of mine.’ The company having agreed with pleasure he recited:

‘I am hungry and opposite to a table of food
Like a bachelor at the door of a bath of females.’

The company, having thus been apprised of his famished condition, produced a table with bread but as he began to eat greedily the host said: ‘Friend, at any rate stop a while till my servants roast some minced meat’; whereon the dervish lifted his head and recited:

‘Do not order pounded meat for my table.
To a pounded man simple bread is pounded meat.’

by Saadi Shirazi

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