Nasruddin heard people shouting by the lake.
He ran to investigate: a man had fallen in. The tax collector! He couldn't swim and was shouting for help.
"Give me your hand!" the people yelled, reaching out their hands for the man to grab. "We'll help you!" But he just kept flailing in the water.
Nasruddin shouted, "Take my hand!"
Immediately, he seized Nasruddin's hand and Nasruddin pulled him to safety.
"You need to understand people," Nasruddin explained. "He's a tax collector, so he's not going to give you anything. But if you tell him to take something, he'll take it!"
Inspired by: The Little Book of Sufi Parables by Nico Neruda
Notes: This is story 59 in the book.