One day Latif the Thief ambushed the commander of the Royal Guard, captured him and took him to a cave.
‘I am going to say something that, no matter how much you try, you will be unable to forget,’ he told the infuriated officer.
Latif made his prisoner take off all his clothes. Then he tied him, facing backwards, on a donkey.
‘You may be able to make a fool of me,’ screamed the soldier, ‘but you’ll never make me think of something if I want to keep it out of my mind.’
‘You have not yet heard the phrase which I want you to remember,’ said Latif. ‘I am turning you loose now, for the donkey to take back to town. And the phrase is:
‘ “I’ll catch and kill Latif the Thief, if it takes me the rest of my life!’ ”
From: Thinkers of the East, by Idries Shah.