Don’t Ask Me — Ask the Donkey

by rjs
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Published on: January 26, 2013

Don’t Ask Me — Ask the Donkey

. . . continued from previous entry. . .

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinNasruddin rode his little grey donkey, Karakacan, sitting backward as usual, facing his students.

As he was about to make a point, suddenly there was a series of loud pops and bangs — one of the boys, Mehmet, had set off firecrackers! The frightened donkey bolted with Nasruddin clinging to its backside and the kids running behind them, laughing and yelling. As the terrorized donkey galloped into the village, the Mullah held on for dear life. His turban came undone, but he dare not take one hand off to tuck it back in.

By the time the donkey entered the market with Nasruddin bouncing and bumping on its rear end, shouting for it to stop, his turban waving like a long banner from his bald head, and the kids shrieking as they followed, the whole market turned to witness the spectacle and laugh.

Nasruddin’s son, Ahmet, saw him riding backward at full donkey speed and called out, “Oh Father, you are going ass-backward!”

Nasruddin called out to Ahmet, between bumps, “It’s not me . . . that’s sitting on . . . my donkey backward . . . it’s the donkey . . . that’s facing . . . the wrong way!”

The donkey kept running in circles, but Nasruddin could not get it to stop. On their next circling around the market square, someone yelled, “Hey Nasruddin, where are you going in such a hurry?”

Nasruddin yelled back, in a shaken, desperate voice, “Don’t ask me — ask my donkey!”

. . . to be continued . . .

Excerpted from The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin: Stories, Jests, and Donkey Tales of the Beloved Persian Folk Hero




Your Daily Nasruddin

This story is classic Nasruddin, riding backward on his donkey (or a horse in certain versions). Asked why he travels backward, Nasruddin will deny that it is he who is facing the wrong direction. Asked where he is destined, Nasruddin can only reply, “Don’t ask me, ask the donkey.” And in all honesty, the Mullah does not know where he is headed, so the most logical (though still incredibly foolish) response is to refer the questioner to the animal who is wildly dragging the man behind him throughout the marketplace.

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