Hodja resolving a land ownership dispute

A long time ago in a land far away, there was a man who owned a small but beautiful farm. He loved his land, took care of it, and grew fruits, vegetables, and grain. Unfortunately, he had to travel far away to visit his relatives and to take care of them. Since the land needed to be taken care of during his absence, he asked a friend to look after it. After what seemed like a very long time, the man finally returned. He was very happy to be back to his land and resume taking care of the land.

But the friend who had taken care of his land did not want to give it back.
He said, “You were away from here for too long. During that time, I took care of it. I weeded it. I sowed and planted and reaped the harvest. I put my heart and soul into it as though I was taking care of my own child. So I don’t want to give it back. I consider it mine now.”

The owner of the land said, “No, it is mine. I only wanted you to take care of it while I was gone. You need to give it back.”

The friend answered, “It is my land now. Sorry.”

So there was a big argument. Both of the men refused to give in. Before letting the argument turn into a serious fight, they decided to consult with someone who is very wise living in their village, named Hodja.

Hodja came to the farm land the two people were arguing about. Hodja listened carefully to both sides of the story. After hearing their stories, Hodja put his ears on the ground. The two men were wondering, “Hodja, what are you doing with your head on the ground?”

Hodja replied, “I am listening to what the land has to say about all this.”

The two men thought that Hodja was a bit crazy and they started to laugh. Still laughing, they asked, “So what is the land saying?”

Hodja replied, “The land says the two of you belong to the land.”