Ali, who was working a long way from home, wanted to send a letter to his wife, but he could neither read nor write, and he had to work all day, so he could only look for somebody to write his letter late at night. At last he found the house of a letter-writer whose name was Nasreddin.
Nasreddin was already in bed. ‘It is late,’ he said. ‘What do you want?’ ‘I want you to write a letter to my wife,’ said Ali. Nasreddin was not pleased. He thought for a few seconds and then said, ‘Has the letter got to go far?’
‘What does that matter?’ answered Ali.
‘Well, my writing is so strange that only I can read it, and if I have to travel a long way to read your letter to your wife, it will cost you a lot of money.’
Ali went away quickly.