A wandering Sufi arrived in a distant town and went to the local Sufi house. They welcomed him there, lodging his donkey in their stable.
To honor their guest, the Sufis wanted to arrange a celebration, but they had no money, so they sold the stranger's donkey to buy the food.
The celebration was magnificent!
As they danced in the circle, the Sufis all sang, "The donkey is gone! The donkey is gone!" The stranger, caught up in the ecstasy, also sang, "The donkey is gone!"
He was dismayed to learn the next morning that his donkey really was gone.
Inspired by: The English prose version of Rumi in Tales from the Masnavi by A. J. Arberry.
Notes: This is story 27 in the book.