What is above and what is below

A headstrong grandee had obtained from the Sultan the rights of share-cropping on the land occupied by Nasrudin. When the Court clerk asked him what crop he wanted to share, he merely said: ‘Just put in “whatever is above the ground”.’

He presented himself at the Mulla’s house with the ordeer duly sealed. But that year Nasrudin had planted turnips, and the above-ground share did not amount to much.

The following year the townsman arrived for his share, having had specified on his order the ‘whole crop below ground’. This year, however, the Mulla was growing wheat.

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