A wicked man planted a thornbush in the road beside his house.
The people begged him to destroy the thornbush. "It tears our clothes!" they cried. "It pricks our hands and feet; we're bleeding."
The man didn't care. He did nothing.
"Uproot that thornbush!" ordered the mayor.
"Maybe tomorrow..." said the man. He did nothing.
Then the governor came. "Uproot it now!"
"Maybe later..." said the man. He did nothing.
Then the sultan came. The roots had grown deep; the thornbush couldn't be uprooted.
So the sultan set the thornbush on fire, and the wicked man's house burned down too.
Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 34 in the book. I added the part about the man's house burning down.