Khusrau and Shirin and the Fisherman

King Khusrau of Persia and his Queen Shirin were fond of fish. Once a fisherman brought a big fish for the King and was rewarded four thousand dirhams. But Shirin told the King that the fisherman had been rewarded excessively, and so his reward should be revised.

She continued that if the fish was a male, the King should say he wanted a female fish and vice-versa. When the King asked the fisherman, he cleverly told him that the fish was a hermaphrodite, both female and male. The king was so amused with the answer and gave another four thousand dirhams.

As he was leaving, one coin fell from the bag and he bent to collect it. Seeing this Shirin told the King that it was such pathetic of him to collect one dirham on the ground after accumulating so much wealth and not leaving it there.

When the King asked the man why he picked the coin, he replied that the two sides of the coin were the likes of the King and he did not want it to come under the feet of anyone. The King was mightily pleased and gave him another four thousand dirhams.

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