The stories that I posted during the winter holidays were so popular with readers that I've decided to cave in to the peer pressure and provide a new story every week on Saturdays--we'll call it Story Saturdays, and who knows--maybe other blog writers will pick up the idea!
Many cultures have trickster-heros; locally, ours is generally Raven. Bre'r Rabbit is a trickster hero from the American South, although some of those stories can be traced back to the trickster stories of Anansi the Spider in western Africa.
Even if you grew up "story-deprived" in America, you are still probably familiar with a trickster-hero who made the leap from fireside to children's cartoons: Coyote. He hasn't always played around with dynamite and weird gadgets from the Acme Company, but he's always been looking for trouble and he usually finds it.
About today's story
The Mulla Nasruddin is a wise-fool trickster from the Middle East. He is often just as wise as he is foolish, but you never know until you reach the end of the story if it's a wisdom story or a fool story. There's a tradition that the Mulla is buried in a grave surrounded by a tall fence. Yet the tombstone reads "Sometimes you do not need a key to get through gates, but need only walk around to where there is no wall."
The Mulla Nasruddin came upon a frowning man walking along the road to town. "What's wrong?" he asked.
The man held up a tattered bag and moaned, "All that I own in this wide world barely fills this miserable, wretched sack."
"Too bad," said the Mulla, and with that, he grabbed the bag from the man's hands and ran away.
Having lost everything, the man burst into tears and, more miserable than before, continued walking.
Meanwhile, the Mulla quickly ran around the bend and placed the man's sack in the middle of the road where he would have to come upon it.
When the man saw his bag sitting in the road before him, he sang with joy, and shouted, "My sack! I thought I'd lost my sack, and now I found it! I have regained everything I own in the world!"
Watching through the bushes, the Mulla laughed.