A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story
No harm on the outside
Once the tyrant Tamerlane wanted to test Nasruddin’s nerve and ordered him to stand in front of a wooden target with his arms spread wide open. “You are to stay there absolutely still, while three of my finest archers will each shoot a single arrow at you.”
The first archer stepped up, aimed, and sent the arrow hurtling toward Nasruddin. The arrow hit the wall behind him with a thud just below his left wrist, pinning his shirtsleeve. Nasruddin showed a resolute face, silently reciting verses from the Quran that pertain to survival.
The second soldier walked up, aimed, and shot. The arrow sliced through the air and landed with an even louder thwack just below Nasruddin’s right elbow. Now both his arms were immobilized, but Nasruddin kept composed, fervently praying to Allah.
The third arrow pierced the knot at the top of Nasruddin’s turban with a juddering twang! Tamerlane thought that at first that Nasruddin had fainted, because his eyes were closed and he was motionless. But then the Mullah opened his eyes and laughed.
Tamerlane said, “Nasruddin, you have passed my test! I command your courageousness. Rest assured I will replace your shirt and turban with fine replacements, and reward you later. Congratulations!”
Nasruddin replied in a weak voice, “If it please your Majesty, I beg of you to issue me a set of trousers as well, so that I may have a complete set of new clothes.”
“But your pants were not cut or damaged by an arrow.”
“Quite true,” said Nasruddin, “your archers did my trousers no harm on the outside. However, the inside of my trousers is a completely different situation.”
Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha
forthcoming November 2014 from Lethe Press