Jamal was a lazy, good-for-nothing fellow. He lounged about the house all day, much to his wife Fatima’s annoyance.One day, Fatima told her husband to dig the patch of land outside their hut.“I’ll borrow a spade from our neighbour,” she said. “Then we can plant some vegetables.”
Jamal agreed reluctantly. The soil was hard and he was soon tired. He leaned against the spade for a moment, then, hearing Fatima’s voice, he quickly resumed digging.
Thunk! His spade struck metal. Jamal excitedly scraped away the mud. It was a big cooking pot. As Jamal leaned over to see if there was anything in it, his pouch of tobacco and some coins fell into the pot. Jamal bent to retrieve them, then jumped back in surprise. There were now two pouches and double the number of coins!
“Come quickly!” he called to Fatima. “Look what I’ve found!”
When Fatima came over, she was so excited that she put the coins in four or five times. Soon there was a tidy pile of money. She stooped to collect the coins and lost her balance. Into the pot she fell and out came two Fatimas, one a mirror image of the other. They immediately set to squabbling over Jamal.
Jamal stood irresolute for a moment, then jumped into the pot. The new Jamal refused to leave with his wife till they were given an identical set of possessions —right down to a blanket with two holes. But how did he recognise his wife?
She was a mirror image so her nosering was on the left nostril, while the real Fatima had always worn hers on the right!