Ancient Coffer of Nuri Bey is a story that rotates around an ancient chest, whose power lies in the mistery of its contents.
Certain stories, and this is one of them, reveal what we conceal from ourselves.
And they do this by reflection.
Some phrases resonate with us louder than others, lending new meaning to the story.
Often the truth they disclose about us is not flattering.
But this makes them all the more valuable.
Ultimately, these stories help us discover who we really are.
If we let them.
Ancient Coffer of Nuri Bey by Idries Shah
Nuri Bey was a reflective and respected Albanian, who had married a wife much younger than himself. One evening when he had returned home earlier than usual, a faithful servant came to him and said:
"Your wife, our mistress, is acting suspiciously. She is in her apartment with a huge chest, large enough to hold a man, which belonged to your grandmother. It should contain only a few ancient embroideries. I believe that there may now be much more in it. She will not allow me, your oldest retainer, to look inside."
Nuri went to his wife's room, and found her sitting disconsolately beside the massive wooden box. "Will you show me what is in the chest?" he asked.
"Because of the suspicion of a servant, or because you do not trust me?"
"Would it not be easier to just open it, without thinking about the undertones?" asked Nuri.
"I do not think it is possible."
"Is it locked?"
"Where is the key?"
She held it up, "Dismiss the servant and I will give it to you."
The servant was dismissed. The woman handed over the key and herself withdrew, obviously troubled in mind.
Nuri Bey thought for a long time. Then he called four gardeners from his estate. Together they carried the chest by night unopened to a distant part of the grounds and buried it.
The matter was never referred to again.