Ungrateful son of a donkey, part 2

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

Ungrateful son of a donkey, part 2

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

 

[Continued from last week]

*    *     *

So Nasruddin traveled to see the Sultan in the great city of Woden, there was a very important king. Mullah entered the palace and came to the royal assembly.

He saw the king, bowed, and sat down among the people. Then he looked at the king, and whispered aloud, “Ahh, this is my son!”

Then he turned to other courtiers nearby, and said again, “Ahh, this is my son!” A few persons heard and reacted with shock.

The Mullah then spoke aloud, “Yes indeed, no doubt that is my son.”

Most of the courtiers heard it, but no one thought much of it, or perhaps they thought that the strange mullah was confused. But he continued repeating the same words, “This is my son.”

Shortly one of the courtiers came up to Nasruddin and asked him, “Pardon me, kind Mullah, what did you say?”

Nasruddin stood up, pointed to the Sultan, and announced, “This indeed is my son!”

This scandalized everyone in court, and the enraged Sultan declared, “Lock this madman up!”

Now Mullah was seized and bound with ropes on her arms and legs. As they were trying to subdue him, he said, “The children of donkeys have no gratitude. You, Sultan, are you not the son of my ass? Have I not made you and given you to the teacher so that he could teach you? Now you get a royal title, and I’m tied up. If you’ll let me go, I swear I’ll go right to your mother and cut off her tail!”

The Sultan became even angrier and ordered his men, “Take him out of here and execute him immediately!”

The vizier, a very wise man, intervened, He whispered to the Sultan, “It is better if you let this fool go, because clearly he does not know what he’s saying. No man with any brains can utter such words in your Majesty’s presence.” Thus Mullah was freed from his shackles, taken to the city limits, and released.

Finally he returned to Halil and told him, “Your words are true. The children of donkeys have no gratitude. The son of my ass got the kingship, and while in court he had his soldiers grab and restrain me. Now I am going to his mother and cut off her cursed tail. If you want it, I’ll give it to you for free. But first I must deal with the tail!”

The teacher replied, “Agreed. You must cut her tail off, because her son possesses no manners whatsoever. Then if you want to give me the tail, I’ll use it until I die.”

So Nasruddin went out to the stable, cut off Karakacan’s tail, and delivered it to the teacher.

 

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

now in print from Lethe Press

~

Ungrateful son of a donkey, part 1

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

Ungrateful son of a donkey

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One day, the Mullah’s donkey, Karakacan, gave birth to a foal. Believing himself the father, Mullah thought, Since now I have two donkeys, I shall send my younger son to a teacher to instruct him, so he will be taught, he will learn to read, and he will come to teach me.

So Nasruddin took the young donkey to the schoolteacher, Halil, and told him, “This, my son, wants to be educated. Please tutor him so that he will be less a fool than me.”

Halil replied in astonishment, “What are you asking me? This son of a donkey should be taught

Nasruddin just nodded.

“Well, pay me up front my proper tuition fee, plus room and board. Then I’ll gladly accept your son as a pupil and teach him everything I know.”

So Nasruddin counted out to Halil an exorbitant payment. The teacher took the reins of the donkey and told the Mullah, “Now go in peace. Do not worry, I will take care of your child and teach him well. I will treat him as if he were my own son.”

After Mullah left, Halil said to his wife, “That Nasruddin has gone completely out of his wits. I have never seen such idiocy. Everyone knows that you can’t teach the son of an ass not to be an ass.”

The next day, Halil took Nasruddin’s son of a donkey to the cattle market and sold it.

Nasruddin patiently waited a week, and then impatiently another three days, then he went to the teacher. When he arrived, he saw that his son was not anywhere to be found, so he asked Halil, “Where has your student gone?”

The teacher replied, “He is not here. I sent him not far from here, him and his friend, on an errand. But rest assured, he is progressing well in his studies and is very popular with the other students.”

“That’s good to hear. I was afraid he would misbehave with you as often as his mother has troubled me,” said the Mullah. “I’m going now, but I’ll return to check on him in ten days. “

Halil said, “Go ahead home and enjoy yourself. Your son has not told us he is lacking in any way. Rest assured he is in good hands.”

So Nasruddin walked home, and in ten days he returned to Halil’s house.

When he arrived he saw that his son was not there, so he asked, “Where has my son, your student, gone?”

Halil embraced the Mullah and said proudly, “Congratulations! Your son turned out to be one of my finest students. Simply brilliant. He was graduated with honors.”

Mullah was very pleased to hear that his son was a diligent student, and he asked the teacher, “When will I be able to see him? I have missed him all these weeks.”

Halil replied, “In fact, your son is no longer here. I sent him to another city to instruct other students of mine. Your son has become a very accomplished legal scholar and you should be very proud of him.”

“I am indeed a proud father, Halil, just as you must be a proud teacher of such an outstanding pupil. But I would like to be able to see him and talk with him about certain domestic affairs. The boy has not seen his father in months now, and I am certain he would like to see his mother as well.”

“Nasruddin, now that your son has become an authority on certain aspects of law, his time is truly at a premium. Go back home now, I will write him a letter to ask that you may come to him. Then I’ll write you a letter and let you know when and where you can meet him.”

Nasruddin said, “Okay then, I’ll just wait to hear from you.”

The Mullah returned home. He waited many days and weeks, but he saw no letter from the teacher and no greeting. He went to the teacher and said to him, “Well, Halil, here I am.”

The teacher said, “Just today I was going to write you a letter to give you a very nice message from your son.”

Mullah said, “Really? Come on, tell me what he wrote to you!”

Halil informed him, “It’s absolutely fabulous news. You won’t believe it.”

“Try me.”

“Your son wrote that last week he and his entourage moved to the capitol city. He has just been appointed the Sultan.”

This news well pleased Nasruddin, who said, “I shall now go and visit my son.”

The teacher replied, “All right, go see your son. He is in a city called Woden. But when you arrive there, do not tell anyone that you are his father, for he now holds significant title and prestige. If you go see him in court, definitely don’t identify yourself as his parent. It would be considered the height of rudeness. Also if you speak to him at the wrong moment, he’ll be sure to have you whipped within an inch of your life.”

Nasruddin became very angry and declared, “I’ll go see him, and talk to him about anything I like, and I am not afraid of him attacking me!”

So Nasruddin traveled to see the Sultan …

[continued next week]

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

now in print from Lethe Press

~

Small consolation

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

Small consolation

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One day as Nasruddin was traveling, he met on the road an elderly Turkman who halted him and asked, “Tell me, sir, are you a mullah?”

Nasruddin answered, “Yes, as it so happens, I am.”

The fellow clasped his hands and implored him, “Our small tribe has no imam. Please come with me to our village, and you can serve our tribe as our spiritual leader.”

Nasruddin agreed, and so the men continued on their journey. After they had walked for hours, they came to a crossroads, where they happened to meet another fellow, a rather brawny Turkman with an ink-black beard, riding a donkey. He asked the first Turkman, “Who is this man with you?”

Holding Nasruddin’s hand, the elder smiled and answered, “He is our beloved new imam. I’m taking him right now to our tribe, which has been without a religious leader for more than a year.”

The second Turkman jumped off his donkey and came up to the men. “You must surrender this mullah to us. My tribe hasn’t had an imam in nine years.” And he grabbed the mullah’s other wrist.

“Screw you, loser,” said the first man, pulling hard on Nasruddin’s arm. “We recruited him hours ago.”

“Let go of him, you filthy swine,” the second one yelled, yanking the Mullah’s arm in the other direction, “my tribe needs him more. Give him to us!”

As the men argued, they pulled the Mullah back and forth like a rope in a tug of war, wrenching his arms.

Finally, the second man pulled out a huge knife and yelled, “Enough! Release him, or I’ll slit his throat. That way, he’ll be of no benefit to either your tribe or ours.”

The Mullah, caught between a Turk and a hard place, trembled with fear.

The first man, not backing down in the least, said to the Mullah, “Don’t worry, effendi — I hereby swear, if this bastard kills you, I’ll murder his donkey to avenge your death!”

 

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

now in print from Lethe Press

~

My regular turban

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

My regular turban

As the vicious despot Tamerlane and his troops approached the town in which Nasruddin lived, a group of village elders came to Nasruddin’s house and awoke him, terrified.

The Mullah sleepily answered the door, and the townspeople implored him to quickly do something to stop the tyrant from marching through and rampaging in Akşehir.

Immediately Nasruddin took his bedsheets and wrapped them around his nearly bald head. When he finished, it looked like a turban as big as a wheel. Then, naked except for the turban, he mounted his little gray donkey and rode out to meet Tamerlane.

Mullah Nasruddin and his donkey, Karakacan. Portrait by Jaxinto.
Mullah Nasruddin and his donkey, Karakacan. Portrait by Jaxinto.

When Nasruddin approached Tamerlane, the shah exclaimed, “Mullah! What in the world are you wearing for a turban‽”

“Please pardon me for wearing it, your Highness,” replied Nasruddin, yawning, “but this is actually just my nightcap. I wanted to be sure to welcome you early, so I have rushed from my bed wearing this instead of my regular turban. The turban that I usually wear during the day is even bigger and requires another cart to follow after me.”

Tamerlane was so shocked at the strange outsized clothes of the townspeople that he decided to keep moving on. After the tyrant left, Nasruddin unwrapped his turban, wrapped the sheet around himself, mounted his little grey donkey, and returned home to get some sleep.

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

now in print from Lethe Press

~

Stuck in the mud

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

Stuck in the mud

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One day, Nasruddin came home and said to Fatima, “My dear, why don’t you cook a nice pilaf. I feel very good today. Let’s have a nice evening.”

Fatima made a lovely pilaf for dinner, which they enjoyed greatly. After they cleaned up and were getting ready for bed, there was a knock at the door. Fatima answered it and discovered her neighbor, Setare, standing there, anxious to gossip about the news of the day.

“Our donkey had twins this morning,” shared Setare, walking right in. “But one of the little ones was born without a tail or ears. It seems so peculiar.” The women continued chatting for a while about this and that, and eventually the neighbor left.

When Fatima returned to bed, Nasruddin asked, “So what’s up with our neighbors, Setare and Hussein?”

Fatima replied, “Oh, don’t even ask. Their jenny-mule had twins this morning, but one of the little donkeys was born without a tail or ears. How weird.”

Hearing this, the Mullah became enraged, growling, “Oh, that’s just fucking lovely. Maybe twice a year, we decide to have a pleasant evening together — and then the neighbor’s donkey gives birth to twins, and it’s all ruined!”

“Mullah, calm down,” said Fatima, “it’s hardly of any consequence. Why should you get all bent out of shape about the neighbor’s deformed baby donkey?”

Nasruddin fumed, “Is it possible not to be upset about such a thing? Just think about this for a minute. Three years from now, the animal will be three years old. It’ll be taken by Hussein to the mountain to haul firewood, and one day the animal will likely get stuck in the mud of a swamp, and he won’t be able to move it. So naturally, Hussein’ll come to me to ask for help, and then since the donkey won’t have ears or a tail, there will be nothing at all to hold on to, to pull him out of the mud. What a horrid predicament we’ll no doubt find ourselves in then!”

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

now in print from Lethe Press

~

 

 


A Perfectly Good Reason to Fall

by rjs
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Published on: January 28, 2013

A Perfectly Good Reason to Fall

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin

. . . continued from previous entry. . .

By the time the donkey seemed to be slowing down, Nasruddin’s turban was nearly dragging the ground, and he knew he would lose it if he didn’t try to catch it from slipping off his head. So cautiously Nasruddin took one hand off the donkey and, as he was trying to grab the end of his turban, he lost his balance and tumbled off to the left, landing with a resounding crash right into a market stand of walnuts, scattering the nuts for yards around.

Some small boys nearby clustered around the walnut stand, laughing and pointing at Nasruddin, who appeared dazed, but unhurt.

“Why do you laugh?” Nasruddin snarled. “Before I was on the floor, and once again as you can see I am on the very same floor. In Allah’s name, tell me: what’s so funny?!”

As Nasruddin slowly picked himself off the ground, he almost lost his footing as he stepped on the walnuts clattering about him, which caused the kids to almost split their sides all over again. They laughed until finally Nasruddin stood up fully, rubbing his rear. “That’s quite enough!” roared Nasruddin, silencing the peals of laughter. “Don’t get carried away with the idea, now!”

Nasruddin composed himself as he tried to regain his dignity, saying, “Clearly you never considered that I might have had a perfectly good reason to fall.” The doubtful kids could hardly contain their sniggering, as Nasruddin dusted himself off, straightened his coat, and rewrapped his turban. Süleyman, the walnut seller, who had been at the other end of the market and heard the commotion, came into view.

“Besides,” Nasruddin said to the kids as he started quickly gathering walnuts that had scattered everywhere, “I was going to get off anyway, sooner or later.”

. . .  story continued here . . .

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

 

 

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

Another example of how Nasruddin makes the inevitable seem impossible at times.

Of course, we had all along planned to get down off our high horse (or donkey, &c), even as we were riding high, moving forward, and enjoying the view. Now what I didn’t expect was to have been thrown off the beast so soon!

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.

Why Nasruddin Rode His Donkey Backward

by rjs
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Published on: January 23, 2013

Why Nasruddin Rode His Donkey Backward

NSR donkey closeOne morning, Nasruddin was leading his donkey out from the stable, on his way to teach at the school, for that is another one of the things that Nasruddin did for work in those days. Seeing Nasruddin appear on the street, some young students approached him to ask whether they might instruct them and hear their lessons. Nasruddin readily agreed, and invited them to the schoolhouse.

Nasruddin mounted his donkey from the left, put his right foot in the stirrup, and heaved himself up. Naturally this put him facing backward toward the ass’s rear. As they set off, Nasruddin commented, “Remember, kids: a donkey of your own is better than a shared thoroughbred mare.”

As they walked on, Nuri asked why the Mullah mounted his donkey that way.

Nasruddin said, “Because, my child, the donkey is left-handed.”

Ismail objected, “But Mullah, donkeys don’t have hands.”

Nasruddin replied, “Well, left-footed, then,” then nudged Karakacan with a shout — “Ugh-r-r-r,” which, as you might happen to know, is Turkish for “Giddyap!” — and a shove.

“In any case,” Nasruddin continued speaking to the students, “what usually happens is that I want to go in one direction, and this stubborn beast wants to go in the exact opposite way. So this is our compromise.”

. . . 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

There are few Nasruddin stories as iconic as this one, yet there is no one standard telling for this most basic of Nasruddin jokes. Usually this is explicated before the Hoca’s students, but sometimes villagers or strangers will ask the same question of the Mullah, “Nasruddin — where are you going?”

Several reasons for Nasruddin’s unconventional way of mounting, then riding, his little grey donkey (sometimes it’s a horse) are given among story variants. The most popular reasons  are:

~ I mounted the horse this way (backward) because the horse is left-footed (or left-hooved).

~ I’m not the one facing the wrong way — it’s the donkey!

~ The animal and I want to go in opposite directions, so this is our compromise.

~ If I ride my donkey facing backward, I can face my students as they follow me and ask their endless questions.

~ Don’t ask me — ask the beast!

A donkey wholesaler, or a donkey retailer?

by rjs
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Published on: January 15, 2013

A Donkey Wholesaler, or a Donkey Retailer?

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinEvery Friday on market day, Nasruddin arrived at market with an excellent donkey, which he sold almost immediately, for his prices were far below the usual asking price.

One day Musa approached him, “I cannot for the life of me understand how you do it, Nasruddin. I sell my animals at the lowest possible price. My servants force farmers to give me fodder free. My slaves look after my donkeys without wages. And yet I cannot match your prices. How do you do it?”

“Simple,” replied Nasruddin. “You steal fodder and labor. I merely steal donkeys.”

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 shows what profit is to be made by cutting out the middlemen. You have to hand it to Nasreddin to figure out how to accomplish what the slave-owner could not.

Peace Follows Renunciation?

by rjs
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Published on: January 14, 2013

Peace Follows Renunciation?

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinA gnarly band of bandits came upon an abandoned monastery in the countryside and decided to inhabit the place. Hoping to cash in on the Sufi reputation as respected teachers of immense insight, they put on stolen white tablecloths, intending to pose as dervishes in order to catch, confuse, and rob hapless travelers. The group began to beat a rhythmic dirge that was sure to catch the attention of some hapless sucker.

As it so happened, the Mullah and his son were traveling in the countryside at that time and came across the converted dervish retreat center. Nasruddin told his son, “Look, night will be falling soon, and this appears to be a highly advanced sect. Let us ask for their hospitality and stay the night.” The pseudo-monks in their white outfits welcomed them in and immediately began the evening service, which seemed to entail mostly of jumping and spinning around in a circle while chanting these words. The fake dervishes encouraged him to participate, so Mullah handed over the rein of his little grey donkey to his son and began to jump and spin about and sing along with their peculiar chant.

The dervish impersonators intoned, “I surrender all attachment to everything!”

The Mullah obediently repeated the words as he gyrated, “I surrender all attachment to everything!”

Next they chanted, “I forsake all desire for physical possession of anything!”

The Mullah repeated as he spun around, “I forsake all desire for physical possession of anything!”

The fake monks then shouted, “I renounce my addiction to the illusion of ownership!”

The Mullah breathlessly and obediently repeated the words, “I renounce my addiction to the illusion of ownership!” louder and louder, as he whirled round and around.

The false dervishes then began chanting faster, “I give away my saddlebag and little grey donkey!”

The Mullah obediently repeated the words, “I give away my saddlebag and little grey donkey!” as he turned, faster and faster as the tempo increased, until finally he was spinning and shrieking at such a hysterical frenzy that he fainted and passed out on the floor.

When Nasruddin finally came to in the morning, his saddlebag and little grey donkey — and the dervishes — were nowhere in sight. The Mullah awoke his son and started to cuff him, saying, “What did you do, you little fool? You were left in charge of the animal!”

“But Father,” said Ahmet, “when one of the dervishes came and led away the donkey, I ran to you, and you kept saying, “I give away my donkey and saddlebag,” so often and with such fervor and in front of so many witnesses that I understood that you meant to give them away.”

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

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

Like Nasreddin in this story, so often we fervently spin our hopes for a better tomorrow into a fantasy of unrealistic expectations, which just confuses us all the more, until finally we collapse in a heap on the floor, helpless to defend ourselves against those who would take our livelihood away from us (the donkey and saddle), while our children watch on in silence.

 

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