Word got out that Nasreddin Hodja possessed a jar full of vinegar that was 40 years old. One day a neighbour came knocking on the door.

`Hodja Effendi, is it really true that you have a jar full of 40-year-old vinegar?’

`It is true.’ the Hodja replied.

`Could I have a cup full of that vinegar?’

`No.’ said Hodja tersely.

`But Hodja Effendi,’ the displeased neighbour pursued, `why wouldn’t you give me some? I only asked for a cup full.’

`Because,’ Hodja explained, `if I were to give a cup full to everyone who asked, my vinegar wouldn’t have lasted for 40 years.’

Vinegar – Mullah Nasruddin Stories

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