A man down on the ground was shouting to Nasruddin up on the roof. "Please, sir, come here!"
Nasruddin climbed down and asked the man what he wanted.
"I need money," the man explained.
"Why didn't you just say so?" said Nasruddin. "Instead, you made me climb down."
"I was embarrassed to shout it out loud," the man explained.
Nasruddin told the man to come up on the roof. Then, once they were both up on the roof, Nasruddin told the man he had nothing to give him.
"Why didn't you just say so?" the man asked.
Nasruddin just smiled.
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 53 in the book. Here is a longer version of the story in video format for English-language learners: