"One day a man who owned a field left it in the care of another man. He took good care of the land, ploughing, weeding, planting, harvesting it. When the owner came back he said to the man who had been taking care of it, 'Give it back now. The land belongs to me.'

" 'No,' said the other man, 'I won't. The land belongs to me. You are the owner, but I am the one who has taken care of the land all this time. The land is mine.'

"They began a fight, until the neighbors brought them to a judge to settle the dispute. The judge happened to be Hodja Nasrudin. Each man said, 'The land is mine! The land belongs to me!'

"Hodja walked to the field, lay down in the dirt, and put his ear to the ground. 'What are you doing, Nasrudin?' they asked.

" 'I'm listening.'

" 'What are you listening to?'

" 'The land.'

"Both men laughed at him. 'Listening to the land? Listening to the land? What does the land have to say?'

Hodja looked up and said. 'The land says that both of you belong to the land.' "