One day Nasruddin saw a man walking along the road. He had a heavy bag and was looking gloomy.
Nasruddin called out to the traveller, “What’s making you so miserable?”
“I’m on a trip to seek happiness,” the man told him. “And I’ve travelled far and wide, but I’ve not been able to find out how happiness is produced.”
Without another word, Nasruddin grabbed the traveller’s bag and he ran away with it. Off he went down the road, as fast as a rabbit. Then, round a bend, Nasruddin darted out of sight into some undergrowth.
The traveller, who did not know the area so well, just carried along up the road. And he looked even more unhappy, now that his bag had been stolen.
Nasruddin took a shortcut and reached the road a good bit further along. Then he put down the bag and waited.
Presently the traveller appeared. He saw his bag. He ran towards it. And, when he realised it hadn’t been stolen after all, he picked it up and shouted with joy.
“There you are,” said Nasruddin. “That’s one way of producing happiness.”