Starfish

Anonymous, collected by Scharding

One day a young man was walking along a deserted beach. He saw a frail old man bend over and pick up a starfish and put it back into the receding ocean. He watched for awhile, and to his amazement, the old man picked up one starfish after another and placed it back into the water. The young man walked up to the old man, who was holding a small starfish in his hand, and said,

"Old man, why are you putting starfishes into the ocean."

"They will die on the drying sand unless I put them into the water." he replied.

"But that's silly! There are thousands of beaches in the world and millions of starfish who will die each day. Why should you waste your time on such a meaningless act."

The old man paused, and in reply he tossed the starfish far out into 2g6 the water. After a while he spoke, "It makes a difference to this one."

The Island with Two Churches collected by Sam Adams, o.d.a.l., gr., be.

A Welshman was shipwrecked upon a deserted island for twenty years before a rescue party finally discovered him. The Welshman was delighted at his rescue, but wished to show his rescuers all the work that he had done. He had missed civilization greatly, so he had cut down several trees in order to build a village. There was a bank, a theatre, a pub, a hotel, a jail and two churches. When the rescuers saw the two churches they asked him why he had built two churches.

He smugly replied, "You see the one on the left? That's the one I don't go to!"

Sufism is a generic Western term for the various mystical orders of the Muslims. It would be too difficult to try to explain them or even to compare them to any other group. Sufis are Sufis. Shelton and I recommend further readings on Sufis by the author Idries Shah. One interesting characteristic about them is that they are known for a sense of humor, often with religious undertones. Two of their most reknowned fool-sages in their jokes are Mulla Nasruddin and Bohlul. Please enjoy these lessons, which are disguised as jokes, that have been collected from throughout the Muslim world. These selections represent only the tip of an iceberg, so if you like these stories then search out further collections.

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