The Mullah Nasruddin, the one-man Three Stooges of Sufi holy wisdom, wanted to buy something, so he strolled to the market and there saw a splendid bushel basketful of red peppers. He asked how much they cost. Only one dinar, exactly how much money he had! He went around inquiring what other baskets of things cost, and all of them were much more expensive.
And so he bought the beautiful peppers and went home. Soon a neighbor walked by and saw Nasruddin sitting in front of his house with a half-empty basket of peppers in his lap, eating them and crying miserably. “Mullah Nasruddin, why are you eating those peppers?” the neighbor asked. Nasruddin looked at him tearfully and said, “I went to the market and bought them. I paid a full dinar. Surely one will be sweet!”
—from “Foreword” (The Missouri Review, 1994)