One day the Mullah, an important man in the village, found his donkey was gone when he wanted to go visit a friend. He was very angry and ran around to look for his donkey.
The Mullah ran about looking until he was too tired. He sat down to rest at his gate. A few friends came to join him.
"That no-good lazy donkey!" said he. "If I ever see her again, I'll sell her for a dollar!" Selling a donkey for a dollar was just a joke.
Just then the Mullah heard the sound of his donkey's feet. He looked around. There was his donkey. On her back rode a boy.
"Where did you find her?" asked the Mullah. "We couldn't find her anywhere."
"I knew where I would go if I were a donkey," said the boy. "I found her eating grass with the sheep and goats."
Suddenly, the Mullah looked to one side and saw one of his friends holding up a dollar. On the other side he saw another with a dollar.
"I'll buy your donkey, " said the two.
"I was joking!" said the Mullah.
"You didn't sound as if you were joking, " said the two.
The Mullah couldn't break his word. That would be wrong for an important person in the village. He certainly didn't want to sell his donkey for a dollar. So he said, "Meet me at the donkey fair on Saturday. I shall sell her at that time. I shall sell my donkey to the one who will treat her most kindly."
Everybody was kind to animals in the village. So the Mullah thought out a plan. He wanted to keep his word and also to keep his donkey.
On the night before the donkey fair, the Mullah bought a piece of rope. No one had any idea why the Mullah should want a piece of rope.
On Saturday, man and boy in the village came to the donkey fair.
They found a cat tied with a piece of rope to the tail of the Mullah's donkey! Beside them stood the Mullah, who looked happy.
"It is true, I'll sell my donkey for a dollar," said the Mullah. "Just one thing, though. My donkey and my cat are very good friends. They must not be parted. The kind man who buys my donkey must buy my cat also."
"How much is your cat?" asked many voices.
"Oh, my cat is a very important animal," said the Mullah. "Her father caught a mouse for a king. Her mother caght a mouse for the Queen. She is one of the finest of cats. For such a great cat I want one hundred dollars."
The men laughed, and gave up the idea of owning the donkey.