One day, Nasreddin's life companion, his most cherished treasure, his soulmate—his donkey—was stolen. He hired the town crier to announce a decent reward to whoever brings back his beloved. All in vain. No one showed.
Nasreddin then started threatening. He announced that the thief will be severely punished. But nothing, still no one showed.
Seeing that, he started spreading the word that if his donkey will not be returned to him, he will do "what his father did." And then we'll see…
The next day the thief showed up and returned the donkey to Nasreddin. He apologised profusely, asked forgiveness in the most heartfelt manner, while finally admitting that he was deeply troubled by Nasreddin's mysterious threat, "I will do what my father did…"
"Would you have really done it?" the thief asked Nasreddin.
"Without a moment's doubt," Nasreddin answered.
"And what did your father do?"
"He bought another donkey."
after Jean-Claude Carrière