The Man in the Coffin

One day a bus was traveling from Kerbala to Najaf, and on its roof it was transporting an empty coffin. Along the dusty road way a man waved to the bus to stop as he wanted to get on. The bus was full, there was no room inside, and so he climbed onto the top of the bus. Soon it began to rain and rain very hard. The man on top of the bus was getting soaked. With a long journey still ahead, what did he do? He got into the coffin and lay down and closed the cover over himself. A little later, the bus was hailed by another passenger. He also went up to the roof of the bus. The new passenger did not know that someone was sleeping in the coffin.


Some time later, the man in the coffin who had had a good nap finally woke up. Wondering what the weather was like, he put out his hand to see if the rain had stopped. His rooftop companion saw a hand reaching out of the coffin. He was so frightened that he jumped off the top of the bus onto the road, hurting himself badly. The driver stopped the bus and shouted, “What’s wrong? Why did you throw yourself off the bus like that?” The passenger, whose arms and legs were bruised, said, “A hand came out of the coffin and reached for me!”

The man in the coffin heard the commotion and sat up and said:” It’s only me! I didn’t mean to frighten him. When it began to rain I lay down in the coffin to keep dry. I fell asleep and when I awoke, feeling stiff, I put my hand out to see if the rain had stopped so I could get out, and I frightened this poor fellow, and he jumped off.”


“How would I know that someone was riding in the coffin? Only a crazy man would ride in a coffin before his time!”
“And only a crazy man would jump off the top of a moving bus!”


“Since both of you are crazy,” said the bus driver, “you’d better shake hands and be friends.”