Serving the Guest: A Sufi Cookbook
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The Other Story of the Toe

A Mevlevi dervish was once washing dishes in the tekke kitchen when a spoon fell down the drain, and the sertabbah came over to see what had happened. It was the night of sema; the sertabbah was wearing his khirka (robes) and his sikke (hat) and didn't want to get dirty. So he bent over at the waist to look down the drain and, out of habit, crossed his right toe over his left. The dervishes who were serving the meal looked over and saw the sertabbah standing this way, and, one by one, they lined up in ranks behind him. And it soon came to pass that all the dervishes of that tekke were there in the kitchen behind their sertabbah, silently staring down at the spoon lodged in the drain.