There’s No Pleasing Anybody

by rjs
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Published on: January 12, 2013

There’s No Pleasing Anybody

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinNasruddin and his son, Ahmet, were taking a trip with Karakacan, their faithful little grey donkey, the son riding while the Mullah walked alongside. As some strangers encountered them on the road, one man admonished Nasruddin’s son, “Look at you, a healthy young man, letting your aging father walk. Why, the old man looks like he’s about to have heatstroke. That’s today’s youth for you — indolent and disrespectful.”

After they passed out of sight and earshot of the men, the boy felt very ashamed and got off the donkey. He insisted that his father ride while he walked, and so they went and everything was fine for a while.

Farther along they met a group of women sitting by the road. They clucked their tongues and complained loudly, “Look at that — the lazy father rides the donkey and makes the little boy walk, on a hot day like this. How cruel and unfair is that‽”

Embarrassed by the women’s comments, Nasruddin pulled his boy up to ride on the donkey with him, and they traveled like that for a while in silent dread of the next encounter.

Before long they approached some villagers, and one piped up, “What a shame! I feel sorry for that abused little donkey — carrying both of those grown men in this blazing heat. They are surely going to break its back. The poor beast looks almost ready to collapse.”

After this group passed, Nasruddin stopped the donkey, dismounted, and helped Ahmet get off. He grasped both his son’s hand and the donkey’s rein and declared, exasperated, “Now nobody can complain,” and they resumed their journey.

At the next village, they walked by a shop where several men were standing. When the men saw the trio trudging along on eight legs, they laughed and pointed, taunting them, “Look at those stupid fools — walking in this heat with a perfectly good donkey they could ride! Don’t they have any brains at all‽”

Nasruddin turned to Ahmet and said, “This just goes to show you, my boy, about the wicked criticism of people whom you don’t know. Everyone has an opinion and is quick to share it with you — but there is no pleasing anyone in this world. Therefore, you may as well just do as you wish.”

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

 

 

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

In one version of this story, the Mullah and his son carry the donkey – until someone comes along and criticizes them. I would have included this variant in the published story, but I’m certain that someone would disapprove.

Never Miss a Bargain

by rjs
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Published on: August 15, 2012

Never Miss a Bargain


The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinNasruddin was fed up with Karakacan, his ill-tempered donkey, and decided to sell the beast at the market. So the next Wednesday, he took her to the donkey bazaar.

Nasruddin found Musa, the livestock auctioneer, and handed over the donkey, then stood around and looked at some other donkeys. Then he spoke with some of the donkey traders about their animals. When Nasruddin’s donkey was led up to the stand, Nasruddin was left standing in the back and couldn’t see over the heads of the men in front.

The auctioneer shouted grandly, “And here’s a magnificent beast of burden! It’s a superb, unequalled, fabulous donkey. Who will start the bidding at five gold pieces?”

“Just five, huh,” thought Nasruddin, and as the auctioneer sang the praises of the donkey, he was impressed and raised his hand to start the bidding. Immediately a shill of the auctioneer pretending to be a farmer bid eight gold pieces, and as the auctioneer exaggerated at great length the donkey’s many fine qualities, a short bidding tussle began, finally going to Nasruddin.

Nasruddin’s new donkey would cost him twenty gold pieces, far more than the worth of his old one.

So Nasruddin as the buyer paid the auctioneer twenty, and the auctioneer handed over the tether to the donkey, took his one-third commission, counted out thirteen gold pieces back to Nasruddin as the seller, thanked him for his business, praised him as a upright businessman, and left.

Nasruddin beamed with pride as he returned from the bazaar with his new prize, a donkey of the highest quality. He had to keep tugging the donkey, who, as stubborn as ever, resisted being led back. Nasruddin didn’t mind at all. He could think only of all the fine words the auctioneer used to describe the animal.

All the way home, proudly dragging his donkey behind him, Nasruddin thought, I never miss a bargain.

 

[conclusion with Fatima tomorrow]

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

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

It’s not advantageous to be short, unless you’re in front.

Perceiving your own shortness is completely relative to your perception of others’ height.

Don’t buy anything you can’t see.

 

Donkey for a Dinar, part 2

by rjs
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Published on: February 14, 2012

Donkey for a Dinar

part 2

Nasruddin stroked his beard, as he did whenever he had some hard and fast thinking to do. Then he spoke, “Oh sure — but it’s too bad that the donkey bazaar is not held today. We will have to wait until Wednesday. At that time I will sell for a single dinar my donkey to the one of you that I think will make the best master.”
So for the next week Abdul and Mali went to great pains to demonstrate to Nasruddin how kind and generous they were to all the town’s animals. Abdul made a point of throwing handfuls of feed to birds while Nasruddin was looking, and Mali made a great show of brushing his many fine dogs and parading them about, and both men groomed and festooned and treated their own donkeys like royalty.
Come the day of the donkey bazaar, Mali and Abdul were anxious as to whether they each had impressed Nasruddin enough to make him sell his beloved donkey at such a bargain. The two men waited outside with everyone who also came to see the outcome.
Soon enough, a faint sound of donkey hooves could be heard approaching. After some time, the buyers realized they heard another noise, not so familiar, the sound of a somewhat displeased cat. They waited as the sound grew louder, until around the corner came the Mullah leading Karakacan by a tether, just as he had promised. Nobody expected to see, however, that tied to the tail of the donkey — was Nasruddin’s tawny cat.
Once everyone had gathered around this spectacle, Nasruddin announced, “I indeed am willing to sell my beloved donkey for one dinar. But my donkey and my cat — I mean, the donkey’s cat — are such good friends, it would be cruel to separate them. Whoever buys my donkey must also purchase her dearest feline companion.”
It only took two seconds for the would-be buyers to say, “How much for the cat?” in unison, reaching into their moneybags to grab another dinar or two.
“Oh, this is a very distinguished cat,” Nasruddin replied, gesturing to the distressed feline, which tried batting at the red ribbon tethering it securely to a big knot in the donkey’s tail. “Its past is exotic and fascinating. I know for a certain fact that her great-grandfather lived in the King’s palace. And that was from just this precious cat’s third life — still six more lives left.
“So,” Nasruddin continued, “as much as I hate to part with my dear kit— I mean, the donkey’s dear feline friend, the price of the cat is quite reasonable, considering her regal pedigree: one thousand dinars.”
Mali and Abdul looked at each other, and broke into wide grins, and everyone laughed. They hugged Nasruddin and slapped each other on the back and all were glad, because everyone knows that a man and his ass should never be parted.

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

 

 

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

Second, concluding part of a long Nasruddin story.

Turkey’s national currency is currently not the dinar. Nor is it the Euro: it is now the New Turkish Lira. The dinar is still used by many countries including Iraq, Tunis, Azerbaijan, Yugoslavia, and Sudan.

Although some Nasruddin stories portray cruelty to animals, this one demonstrates the Mullah’s uncommon love of his critters.

 

Donkey for a Dinar, part 1

Donkey for a Dinar

part 1

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinOne time, when Nasruddin lost his little grey donkey, Karakacan, he was complaining to his friends at the teahouse.

“That no-good donkey has run away for the last time. I promise you, if I could get my hands on that beast, I would sell that crappy piece of donkey meat to the first buyer for one lousy dinar.” Nasruddin thus named a price that would insult even the lamest common donkey.

Abdul the baker grinned.

“That would be a good bargain, wouldn’t you say?” said Mali the carepenter. He laughed at the thought of getting Nasruddin’s burro for a measly dinar.

Just then they could hear the familiar clip-clop of small hooves coming toward them and a few moments later, they saw Shoja, Abdul’s son, smiling and riding Nasruddin’s donkey.

When donkey and rider reached Nasruddin, Shoja jumped off and handed the tether to its owner. “Where did you find her?” asked Abdul.

Shoja said, “I knew where I’d go if I were a donkey. I found her grazing in the tall grasses just outside of town.”

Nasruddin was now just as overjoyed as he was discouraged the minute before. He hugged Karakacan, he hugged Shoja for finding her, he hugged Abdul and praised him for having such a clever child. He was about to raise a new wave of praise for Shoja, when he felt a poke at his right arm and a tug at his right sleeve. He turned to his right to see Mali holding up a dinar, then he turned to his right to see Abdul wiggling a dinar at him.

“I will buy your donkey for one dinar,” said both of Nasruddin’s friends.

“Not at all,” replied Nasruddin, tightening his grip on the donkey’s tether. “My donkey is not for sale!”

“But you said you would sell it for one dinar if you found it,” Mali reminded him, and all the men agreed that Nasruddin had indeed vowed to sell his donkey.

Mullah giggled nervously, “I was joking!”

“It didn’t sound like a joke when you said it,” said Abdul, who would do anything to get a bargain, “you weren’t laughing then.”

Nasruddin stroked his beard as he did whenever he had some hard and fast thinking to do.

* * *

Story concluded next time!

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

 

 

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

First part of a long piece set in the village.

Turkey’s national currency is currently not the dinar. Nor is it the Euro: it is now the New Turkish Lira. The dinar is still used by many countries including Iraq, Tunis, Azerbaijan, Yugoslavia, and Sudan.

Although some stories portray cruelty to animals, this one demonstrates Nasruddin’s love of his critters.

Guilt by Association

by rjs
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Published on: February 10, 2012

Guilt by Association

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinOne night, Nasruddin’s beloved little grey donkey was stolen. Instead of consoling Nasruddin, the wags in the teahouse the next morning offered only words of remonstration.

“As they say, ‘Take care of your donkey, it will carry you from Morocco to Mecca.’ So Mullah, why didn’t you take care to tie up the donkey securely?” asked Ali, the teahouse keeper.

“How could you have slept through the theft of your beloved ass, Nasruddin?” said Faik.

“You should have replaced the rotting door on your shed, Nasruddin,” commented Hamza.

“I bet you didn’t even close the bolt on the shed door,” accused Hussein. “That’ll teach you.”

“You were just asking for someone to break in, the way you neglect to secure your stable,” added Nasruddin’s uncle, Mesut.

Nasruddin listened to the wags’ criticism for a while, and then stood up and said, “Enough! Obviously, it’s completely unfair to blame me alone, or even primarily, for the theft of my donkey.”

“Tell us, Nasruddin,” said Ali, “who else was responsible?”

“Don’t you think the thief was at least a tiny bit guilty in all this,” the Mullah replied, “or was he entirely innocent in your view‽”

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 a handful of stories about the loss of Karakacan, Nasruddin’s beloved little grey donkey. She’s often described as old, feeble, and resistant, and seems to lose her way much more often than, say, my donkey, if I had one. Still the old burro has the same sort of indomitable spirit as Nasruddin, always seeming to return just in time for the next story.

Nasruddin settles the question among a number of conflicting opinions among his neighbors and fellow villagers in the community. He almost always gets the last word!

Insh’alllah (God willing)

by rjs
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Published on: January 19, 2012

Insh’alllah (God willing)

One night as they retired for sleep, Nasruddin stuck his bald head out the window and looked at the stars and sky to assess the weather for the next day.

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

“Tomorrow,” he announced to Fatima, who was getting into bed, “if it is pleasant outside, I shall plow the field.”

Fatima glared a warning at him. “God willing! Do not forget to say Insh’allah, my good husband!”

Ignoring his wife’s comment and noting some gathering storm clouds, Nasruddin continued, “If it rains tomorrow, I shall chop wood.”

“Speak carefully, Nasruddin!” rebuked Fatima. “Never, never, never say what you will do without adding Insh’allah! Like this: ‘Tomorrow I shall weave, Insh’allah.’”

Less concerned than she was about this particular religious custom, Nasruddin replied, “Either it will rain or it will shine, and I have decided what to do in either case! If it rains, I chop! If it shines, I plow!” And with that he pulled the covers over himself and was soon snoring soundly.

Fatima knew better than to argue with the sleepy Mullah, but that night her sleep was disturbed by dream after dream of the bad luck that occurs when a good Muslim forgets to say Insh’allah. Nasruddin, however, slept as soundly and loudly as his little grey donkey.

Morning brought a steady chilling rain, but stoically Nasruddin shouldered his axe and headed to the woods. He was hoping that his wife or one of his friends might say a word of discouragement, at which he would gladly have turned around to return home, but alas, Fatima was silent as Nasruddin left, and nobody was out in the awful weather.

By the time Nasruddin trudged along the rutted main road out of the village, he was soaked and cold. Ahead at the crossroads he saw a group of men, one of whom, Nasruddin thought, might be kind enough to dissuade Nasruddin from working in such harsh weather. As he approached them, however, he could see they were soldiers having some sort of argument. He wished he could avoid encountering them, but it was too late — they had noticed Nasruddin approaching.

“Hey, you!” growled the captain of the soldiers at Nasruddin. “Which is the way to Konya?”

Nasruddin tried his best to act stupid. “Don’t ask me! I don’t know,” he shrugged, feigning ignorance. “I am just going to the woods nearby to chop wood,” he said, trying to casually pass by the group of mean-looking soldiers.

This show did not impress the captain, who grabbed the Mullah by his cloak and said, “Oh no, old man, you don’t fool us so easily! We will help you remember!”

The soldiers shook Nasruddin shouted at him and slapped him, until he cried out, “Funny thing! I just remembered the way to Konya now!”

“Then lead us there,” said the captain. “March!”

Drooping his head so dejectedly that his turban seemed to rest on his shoulders, Nasruddin led the group through the rain on the long muddy road to Konya. Presently the mud sucked his shoes off, and then his feet seemed to turn into balls of mud that made it even harder to trudge forward, but any time he slowed, the soldiers brutalized him with curses and fists.

As he plodded on and on, Nasruddin could only think of Fatima, sitting snugly at home, safe and warm, working at her loom . . . wise Fatima, who had common sense and knew enough to have said the night before, “Tomorrow I shall weave, Insh’allah.”

It was nearly dusk when they arrived at Konya, and the soldiers were only too happy to be rid of their guide. Without a word of thanks, they entered an inn and slammed the door shut behind them. Knowing not a soul in the strange town, lacking even two coins to rub together, Nasruddin decided it would be best to use the remaining daylight to try to get home.

Soon enough after Nasruddin began the trek back to Akşehir on this moonless, monsoon-like night, he could see no farther ahead than his outstretched arm. He had to feel his way along the rutted road with his hands to move forward. He was so exhausted that he would have slept in the soft mud, except for his sneezing and coughing impelled him to press on toward home, where Fatima was no doubt warm and dry, having said the proper blessing, Insh’allah.

Well after midnight, Nasruddin stumbled back on the cobblestones of Akşehir. He leaned up against the gate at the entrance to his home and jangled the knocker.

Fatima opened the door to a vision of her exhausted, bedraggled husband, so covered with mud from heels to head that she could hardly recognize him. “Is that you, Nasruddin?” she exclaimed in shock.

“Yes, my wise Fatima,” Nasruddin whimpered, “it is me — Insh’allah!”

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

 

 

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

One of the most famous Mullah stories. Nasruddin comes to accept Fatima’s superstitious but goodhearted advice, but alas! too late.

Getting Used to It

by rjs
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Published on: December 29, 2011

Getting Used to It

Because of a long drought followed by a protracted winter, Nasruddin had to ration the barley he fed his donkey.

So Nasruddin decided to teach the donkey to eat less. He put the donkey on a diet and started feeding it just a little bit less barley every day.

At first, the donkey seemed just as content with what it was offered, so Nasruddin continued gradually reducing the number and amount of the donkey’s meals. The donkey was quieter than usual and moved slower, but to Nasruddin the animal seemed fairly content.

After several months of this diet, however, one day Nasruddin walked into the stable to find that the donkey died.

Nasruddin, desperately sorry, lamented to Fatima, “Such a pity. All the donkey needed was just a little more time and the poor beast would have gotten used to hunger. Sadly, she didn’t live long enough.”

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 told with the Mullah expressing varying amounts of sadness and regret. Some versions portray him as sad and shocked at his little grey donkey’s demise. In others versions Nasruddin seems to act quite carefree and nonchalant about the matter.

Of course Nasruddin would have never considered the consequences if Fatima put him on a similar diet and rationed his food.

 

The contrary child becomes a man

by rjs
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Published on: December 6, 2011

The contrary child becomes a man

Nasruddin was contrary as a child, and his parents would always have to use reverse psychology on him to get the lad to do anything right. Meaning that if they told him to go right, he went left. If they wanted him to go forward, they would tell him to turn around and go backward. In this way, his parents managed to get Nasruddin to accomplish his chores without too much fuss.

On his fourteenth birthday, young Nasruddin was accompanying his father as they negotiated a donkey-load of flour back home across the river, when they came to a bridge too small for the donkey to cross.

“By no means lead the ass across the river,” instructed Yousef. “I’m going to walk over the footbridge.” This was a tried-and-true trick to get the boy wet while staying dry.

Sure enough, as his father hoped, Nasruddin took the donkey across the stream near the bridge. Midway across, Nasruddin’s father noticed that the sack of flour was weighted too far on the right of the donkey’s back, and would get wet unless rebalanced promptly.

Nasruddin’s father called out, “Nasruddin, heave up the load on the left.” The boy thought for a moment, then opposite to his usual reaction, he did exactly as he was told, raising the sack on the left, which caused it to slip off the ass and into the rushing water.

“You ridiculous fool, Nasruddin,” his father shouted in utter exasperation, “I have never known you to do as you’re told. Why suddenly did you comply with my directions, which was clearly the opposite of what I meant‽”

Nasruddin replied, “Father, today I turned fourteen and have now in the eyes of society become a rational adult. I just now realized while midstream that I have become a man, and instead of my constant contrariness as an immature child, I decided to obey your specific instructions, in reverse to every contrary way I have done things up to now.”

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

 

 

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

Nasruddin’s contrariness as a youngster is a motif behind several stories and jokes. “Contrariness” is in this case another descriptor for “foolishness.” I love the idea of using the modern concept of “reverse psychology” to portray the dynamic in this interaction between Yousef and his contrary child.

It also particularly amusing that Nasruddin got the notion to change his contrary ways abruptly, halfway across the stream and suddenly decided, since he was now an adult, that he should stop his foolish ways.

“Don’t swap horses in the middle of the stream” is a saying that, although much more recent than this Mullah story (it is often attributed to Abraham Lincoln), might just as well apply. If in the middle of your life, you want to change your ways, at least wait until you  get out of the water.

Brothers of the donkey

by rjs
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Published on: November 20, 2011

Brothers of the donkey

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinOne day, Nasruddin’s donkey died, and the entire town was sad. Everyone respected and loved the little grey animal that had carried their Mullah for so many years.

It is true that a donkey’s life is not as long as that as a human. If the donkey had been human, Nasruddin’s neighbors would have moaned and groaned just as if a close relative had passed. Instead, they came quietly with small gifts of sweetmeats and whispered, “We are so very sorry for your loss.” As night fell and the Nasruddins were getting ready for bed, they felt comforted to know they had such good friends.

Some of Nasruddin’s students, however, were always looking to make grief for the Mullah, even in his hour of muted sorrow. “Mullah always treated his donkey as if he was one of the family,” said Mehmet, the gang leader.

“Let’s play a trick on the Mullah by pretending we are mourners at the wake for the donkey.” The boys quickly agreed.

They proceeded through the dark village streets toward the Mullah’s house, moaning and sighing and beating their breasts as though they were professional mourners who had been paid many dinars to grieve the death of a great man.

As they marched, sounding woeful and inconsolable, they made a dirge of the donkey’s name, howling it in time to their marching.

From the shadows of doorways along the street, other men and boys emerged following the noise to find out what it was all about.

The hooligans’ howls reached a crescendo when they knocked at the Mullah’s street gate, then they softened their wails to low moans as they expected the response.

“Open the gate, please,” they heard the Mullah call to one of his friends. The boys moaned louder as the door creaked open.

“Bring a light, Fatima,” they heard the Mullah call to his wife.

“Who in the world can it be?” they heard Fatima ask her husband.

They groaned and wailed the name of the dead donkey.

Then the loud voice of the Mullah carried easily across the walls to the boys in the street and to the men who were watching them. “It must be . . . our dead donkey’s family, who have come to mourn in sorrow.”

The boys tittered and giggled. The men coughed.

“Yes, it must be the brothers of the donkey!” Nasruddin continued. “Who else but an ass’s brother would come at this late hour to mourn her?”

As the boys sneaked off into the darkness, they heard laughing voices repeating, “The brothers of the donkey! The brothers of the donkey!”

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

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

Here Nasruddin is willing to play along with the kids’ game — pretending to be brothers of the dead donkey who have come to mourn their loss — as long as it at their expense for a joke. The Mullah always gets the last laugh and, as we all well know, he who laughs last laughs best.

Donkey, Obey Your Mother

by rjs
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Published on: October 11, 2011

Donkey, Obey Your Mother

Once, Karakacan, Nasruddin’s little grey donkey, was old and stubborn and needed to go into retirement, so the Mullah went to market and found one that seemed young and mild-mannered, with sturdy legs and good teeth, and bought him. Nasruddin tied up the new donkey to the saddlebag of his old donkey, and away they went.

Unknown to Nasruddin, a thief and his son were following him, planning to steal the young donkey. They kept themselves hidden behind and, before long, as they hoped, Nasruddin nodded off and began snoring as the donkeys traveled down the road.

Quickly the boy removed the new donkey’s halter and tied it around himself without disturbing Nasruddin’s siesta, as his father led the donkey back to market, where it would surely gather an excellent price.

When the three arrived back at the stable, Nasruddin awoke, rubbed his eyes, and realized that something was amiss. Seeing the boy tethered to his donkey, Nasruddin demanded to know where his other donkey was. The boy pleaded for mercy on his soul, exclaiming, “I used to be your donkey, Mullah. You see, I was a stubborn and impudent little boy who constantly disobeyed his mother, and one day, my mother became so disgusted with my misbehavior that she asked Allah to punish me by turning me into the donkey that I must surely be. Suddenly I had four legs and long ears, and a donkey I’d have stayed forever until you, a honest and kind man, bought me and the curse was lifted, Allah be praised. Now that my punishment is over and I’m a human again, please allow me to return to my mother.”

The Mullah scratched his long white beard doubtfully, but he removed the boy’s halter, cautioning him, “Allah be praised that you have been transformed back to a boy. You must promise me to behave yourself this time and to obey your mother’s wishes.” The boy thanked Nasruddin profusely and praised him as a great man of virtue, and off he ran to go home. Realizing that he still needed a new donkey, Nasruddin headed back to marketplace. There, much to his surprise, he discovered the mild-mannered donkey waiting to be brought up again to the auction block.

Nasruddin confronted the little donkey, grabbed its tether, and scolded it in a severe tone, “You little fool! I told you never to disobey your mother again!”

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 great donkey story that is fun to tell and act out. Nasruddin certainly has a unique relationship with his donkeys. In this story his donkey is stolen as if it was taken from under his very own ass, so to speak.

In several other Nasruddin stories, donkeys and boys are characterized as equivalent. At the end, of course, the Mullah speaks to the donkey as if it were a stupid, stubborn boy.

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