Nasruddin had decided that he would like to learn to play the lute.
Nasruddin happened to have a lute already, but he did not have much money. He knew that would make it difficult to find a music teacher, but he was determined to succeed.
"Can you teach me to play the lute?" Nasruddin asked.
"I can," said the teacher.
"And how much do you charge?" asked Nasruddin.
"Three silver coins for the first month, and then one silver coin monthly for the second month and thereafter."
"Excellent!" said Nasruddin. "I'll skip the first month and start with the second."
Inspired by: The Sufis by Idries Shah, free to read online at the Idries Shah Foundation.
Notes: This is in the chapter about Nasruddin.