61. Muhammad and the Eagle

At the time of prayer, Muhammad took off his shoes.
Then an eagle swooped down and grabbed one of the shoes.
Muhammad shouted at the eagle as it flew away, "O Creature-of-God, why do you act so rudely?"
The eagle then waved the shoe back and forth, and out tumbled a poisonous snake which fell to the ground and was killed.
The eagle then returned the shoe. "I apologize for acting rudely, O Chosen-of-God! I did so out of dire necessity; please forgive me."
Your rudeness was kindness!' exclaimed Muhammad. "I was thinking only of myself, but God sees all."

Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 88 in the book.

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