The emperor laughed. "Teach him to read, and I'll give you a hundred gold coins."
Nasruddin hurried home, took a book, and put barley between the pages. The donkey turned the pages with his tongue, eating all the barley.
Over time, Nasruddin reduced the amount of barley between the pages. Then, he returned to Tamerlane.
"Behold: the donkey who reads!"
As the donkey turned the pages and didn't find any barley, he started to bray.
"That's not reading!" objected Tamerlane.
Nasruddin laughed. "That's how a donkey reads!"
Inspired by: Nasreddin Hodja compiled by Alpay Kabacali.
Notes: This story is on p. 4 of the book. Compare a different story about teaching a donkey to read and to write: A Donkey's Tuition.