As one of Nasruddin's neighbors walked by, he noticed that Nasruddin was throwing sesame seeds onto the ground. There were sesame seeds everywhere!
"What on earth are you doing?" the neighbor asked.
"I'm scattering sesame seeds," Nasruddin replied calmly.
"I can see that!" said his neighbor. "But I don't understand why you're scattering sesame seeds."
"To keep the tigers away," said Nasruddin. "I highly recommend you give it a try too!"
"I still don't understand," his neighbor replied. "There aren't any tigers anywhere near here."
"I know!" Nasruddin exclaimed. "Isn't it wonderful? The sesame seeds are working just as expected."
Inspired by: The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin by Idries Shah, free to read online at the Idries Shah Foundation.
Notes: This is story 4 in the book. In other versions of the story, Nasruddin is keeping lions or other dangers away, and the substances and ritual actions vary (playing drums, doing a dance, etc.).