A woman sought the Tree of Heaven.
She asked a dervish for help.
"I can teach you," said the dervish, "but it takes thirty years."
"I can't wait," she said.
"Then I can't help you," he replied. "Seek the dervish Arif."
She sought Arif, who sent her to Hakim, then Majzub, Alim... so many teachers.
Thirty years passed.
Then she reached the garden: there was the Tree of Heaven!
And beneath it... the dervish.
"Why didn't you tell me you were the Tree's keeper?"
"You didn't ask," he said. "And I know the Tree fruits only once every thirty years."
Inspired by: Wisdom of the Idiots by Idries Shah, free to read online at the Idries Shah Foundation.
Notes: This is on p. 1 in the book. Compare this story: Advice to a Seeker.