A man who was going away for some time enjoined his son: "If anyone asks for me, you can tell him that your father has been called
away to attend to a minor matter and be sure to ask him in for a cup of
Afraid that his idiotic son might forget his instructions, he wrote them down
upon a slip of paper and gave it to his son, who tucked it into his sleeve and
took it out to look at every now and then.
Three days passed without anyone coming to see his father. Thinking that he had
no more use for that slip of paper, the boy committed it to the flames. On the
fourth day, however, an unexpected visitor dropped in.
"Where is your father?" asked the visitor.
The boy immediately put his hand into his sleeve and fished around for the slip
of paper. As he could not find it, he ejaculated:
Taken aback, the visitor asked:
"No more? When did it happen?"
"Burnt last night."