The Sultan of Arabia had grown very fond of Mulla Nasruddin and often took him along on his travels. Once, while on a journey, the Royal caravan approached a small nondescript town in the desert.On a whim the Sultan said to the Mulla, “I wonder if people would know me in this small place. Let us stop my entourage here and enter the town on foot, and then we’ll know if they can recognize me”.Accordingly, they dismounted and walked down the main road of the town. The Sultan was surprised to see that many people smiled at Nasruddin but ignored him completely.
Irritated and a trifle angry, he said, “I see that the people here know you but they don’t know me!”
“They don’t know me either Your Excellency”, replied the Mulla.
“Then why did they smile at you only?” questioned the Sultan.
“Because I smiled at them.” said Nasruddin, smiling.