The mighty King Mahmud of Ghazna, out hunting one day, was separated from his party. He came upon the smoke of a small fire and rode to the spot, where he found an old woman with a pot.
‘You have as guest today the monarch. What are you cooking on your fire ?’
The crone said:
‘This is a bean stew.’
The emperor asked her:
‘Old lady, will you not give me some?’
‘I will not,’ she said, ‘for this is only for me. Your kingdom is not worth what these beans are worth. You may want my beans, but I don’t want anything you have. My beans are worth a hundred times more than all you have. Look at your enemies, who challenge your possessions in every particular. I am free, and I have my own beans.’
The mighty Mahmud looked at the undisputed owner of the beans, thought of his disputed domains, and wept.
by Shaykh Farriduddin Attar (ra)