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The Right to Say No

One day a beggar knocked at the door of a house, and when a woman opened the door, asked her for alms.
“I’ve nothing to give you,” said the woman. “Please go!”
The woman, who was newly married, lived with her mother-in-law. When her mother-in-law heard her refusing alms to the beggar she was furious.
“Who are you to refuse alms to this man!” she demanded. “I’m the mistress of the house!!”
Thus chastened, the daughter-in-law fled to her room.
“Thank you, kind lady,” said the beggar, ingratiatingly.
“All I asked for was a coin to buy food. I did not know she was not the mistress of the house.”
“She’s not!” snapped the woman. “She had no right to refuse you alms. I’m in charge here, and let me tell you something: you’re not getting a paisa from me!!”
And with that, she slammed the door in the beggar’s face.

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