A man caught a snake. "I shall sell this snake for a great price!" he thought.
But before he could sell the snake, a thief stole the snake from him.
The thief also hoped to sell the snake for a great price, but before he could sell the snake, it bit him and then slithered off into the darkness.
When the man found the thief, he was already dead.
"I prayed that God would give me back my snake," he exclaimed, "but now I realize that God has saved me. What I thought was a loss was instead my salvation!"
Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 22 in the book.