Once upon a time two merchants lost their camel in a desert. It was loaded with wheat, honey and some jewels. They became very anxious and went about here and there in search of it.
A dervish was wandering in the desert and he met the two men.
“I think you have lost a camel,” said the dervish.
“Yes, “said the merchants, “and we are trying to find it out.”
“Was it blind in the right eye?” said the dervish.
“Yes, it was.
“And was it lame in the left foot?”
“Yes, it was.”
“Had it lost a front tooth?”
“Yes, it had.”
“Was it loaded with honey on one side and wheat on the other?”
“Yes it was.” said the merchants. “As you have seen it, please tell us where we can find it.”
“Well, my friends, said the dervish, “I have not seen your camel. I have only heard of it from you.”
“A pretty story you tell us to believe!”said the merchants. “But where are the jewels that our camel was also carrying?”
“I have seen neither your camel nor your jewels, “said the dervish.
The merchants at once seized the dervish and took him to the judge. They complained against him as a thief, and said everything he told them.
“If you have not seen the camel, “said the judge, “how is it that you know all about it?”
“I know, your honour, that there is a great reason for their suspicion, “said the dervish. “But they don’t know that one can gather knowledge by noticing things carefully. I have lived long and alone, and have learned to observe all things with great attention. When I was travelling, I saw the track of a camel had been lost by his owners. I saw that the camel had eaten the grass only on the left of the path. So I could understand that it was blind in the right eye. I knew that it was lame in the left foot, for I noticed that a little bit of grass was left in the middle of its bite; I knew that it had lost a tooth. I saw that the busy ants were picking up grains of corn on one side of the path. From that I knew that the camel was loaded with wheat on one side. On the other side of the path I saw many flies taking a little honey.
I could know that honey had dropped from the load on the other side of the camel.”
The judge was amazed to find that the dervish had such a power of observation and such cleverness in understanding what he observed.
He told the merchants not to give the wise man any trouble. He thanked the dervish and let him go.