The Mean Master and the Clever Servant
An Iranian Tale
Once upon a time a wealthy landowner received a roasted chicken and a bottle of fruit juice from one of his farmers. He called his servant boy and told him to take the gift to his house.
Knowing how clever the boy was, he explained that under the cloth there was a live bird and a bottle of poison. He advised him not to uncover the gift on the way, for if he did so, the bird would fly away and even the smell of the poison in the bottle would kill him.
The boy, guessing his master's plan immediately, found a comfortable corner, and made a good meal of the roasted chicken and the fruit juice.
At lunch time, the landowner went to his house and asked his wife to serve him the chicken and the juice which he had sent through the servant. He was very surprised and angry when his wife told him that she had not seen the boy since the morning.
The landowner ran back to his place of work and found the boy fast asleep. He shouted and kicked the boy awake and asked him angrily about the farmer's gift.
The boy said, "O Master, on the way to your house, a strong wind blew away the cloth which covered the bird and the bird flew off. I was afraid you would punish me, so I drank the poison which was in the bottle. And now I am lying down here waiting for death to come."