The sympathetic inspector

I got two birds in Puerto Rico and I wanted to bring them back to New York. The pet shop told me they were Quaker parrots.

Usually you need a certificate to bring birds into the United States. When I went to get the certificate, they told me it would take four or five days. So I couldn't get it.

When I arrived at the airport, the inspector opened my bag and saw the box with the birds in it. He told me, "I have to see the birds. If they are very small, I will allow you to take them. Otherwise, I will have to charge you. And if they are very rare, you will need special permission to take them."

I said, "Just yesterday I came here and today I am leaving. How could I get a certificate, since it takes four or five days?"

He asked, "Why did you come here?"

I said, "I came here to run the marathon."

He said, "What marathon?"

I said, "The Sri Chinmoy Marathon."

He said, "The marathon of Master Sri Chinmoy?" He did not know who I was. He just knew about the Sri Chinmoy Marathon from the radio and newspapers.

I said, "Yes."

He said, "How did you do?"

I said, "I ran only ten miles."

He said, "Poor man," and he didn't even open the box with the birds. He just let me go through.