A forest deer escaped to an imam meditating by a huge tree.
The imam with one look at the frightened animal understood what was happening and wrapped it hidden in his cloak.
Soon the king and his hunting entourage arrived.
The king asked the imam:
“Have you seen any deers around here?”
The imam gave no reply. He smiled and continued his meditation.
The king was furious and bellowed:
“I am the king of this land! How dare you not answer my question!”
The imam opened his eyes, still smiling, and said:
“You are the slave of my slave. Why should I obey you?”
“Slave of your slave?” The king was shocked. “What do you mean by that?”
The imam revealed the deer cowering in his embrace.
“For years now I have mastered desire and made it my slave, but you,” the imam said to the king, “you are still slave to desire. Doesn’t that make you the slave of my slave?”
The king was stunned for a while.
Then he laughed.
He bowed to the imam respectfully, called off the hunt and left the forest to return to his palace.