Nasreddin in his youth used to be a very obstinate and contrary fellow. His father, however, had found a way to correct this fault. Whatever he wanted done, he told Nasreddin to do the opposite and they got along fine.

One day father and son were returning from the mill, each of their donkeys laden with two sacks of flour, balanced on either sides of the pack-saddles. On their way they had to cross a shallow stream. The narrow bridge was not safe for the passage of the loaded donkeys.

"I will wade the stream myself," said Nasreddin's father, "and you can go across the bridge."

As might have been expected, both father and son were wading the stream and enjoying the cool water on their legs. But when they were about half way across, Nasreddin's father noticed that one of the sacks on his son's donkey had gotten loose and was in danger of getting soaked.

"Son!" he called out, "Mind the sacks! The one on my side is nearly touching the water. Press down on it hard, will you?"

What the old man expected was of course that his son, as usual, would do just the opposite and push the sagging side up, thus saving the load. But this time Nasreddin did exactly as he was bidden, and when he pressed down with all his might the saddle overturned and both the sacks were immersed in the water.

"What have you done, Nasreddin?" cried his father in a rage.

"Nothing, father," replied Nasreddin. "Once in a blue moon I thought I would do just as you bid me, and look what happened!"

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