Proxy Protector

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

Proxy Protector

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

Mullah Nasruddin was traveling one day with his old friend Hussein. When night fell, they stopped at a crossroads.
Hoping to spend the night alone with his donkey, Nasruddin told Hussein, “It’s been delightful but tonight I am planning to spend the night here under the starry sky. You need not stay with me if you want to travel on. Your town is not too far from here.”
“What are you talking about, Nasruddin‽ It’s still at least a half-day’s walk. I insist on keeping you company, and I assure you that I’d be only too happy to sleep here as well, rather than go home by myself in the dark.”
“Are you sure you’re sure? Have you appointed someone to protect your wife’s virtue in your absence?” Nasruddin asked.
“Yes, Mullah,” said Hussein, “I asked my good friend and neighbor Hamza to guard my wife’s virtue while I’m away.”
“But whom, may I ask,” inquired Nasruddin, “have you appointed to look after the virtue of your good friend and neighbor Hamza?”

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

from Lethe Press

A Lambda Literary Award Finalist

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Sowing camel seeds

by rjs
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Published on: September 8, 2014
A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

Sowing camel seeds

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One day in early spring, while Mullah Nasruddin was ploughing his field, his friends Hamza and Faruk came up to him and asked, “Mullah, what are you planting here?”

“Camel seeds,” he answered. The Mullah then chatted with his friends for a few minutes before they continued on their way.

Late that summer, Nasruddin was walking out to the field when he saw three camels munching on the wheat growing there. He reined them and led the animals back to his stable, then went to the house and told Fatima, “My camel seeds have at last sprouted, seemingly overnight.”

The next day, Musa, the owner of the camels, finally noticed his animals had escaped their pen. Carefully, he followed their tracks to the Mullah’s place. He knocked at the house.

The Mullah answered the door and Musa said, “My camels ran off, and I followed them here. Give them back to me.”

Nasruddin scoffed, “What sort of bullshit is this? Those camels are the crop that I sowed in my own field.”

Musa took Nasruddin to court. When Bekri, the judge, asked the Mullah to speak in his defense, he said, “Your Honor, those animals are the product of camel seeds I planted months ago.”

Bekri asked him, “Do you have any evidence or witnesses?”

“I most certainly do. Let me get them.” Nasruddin left the court and brought Hamza and Faruk back before the judge.

Bekri asked them, “Did you witness the defendant, Nasruddin, planting camel seeds?”

Faruk said, “Yes, it’s true, we saw it. Early in the spring, we stopped by the Mullah’s place and saw him sowing camel seeds in his field.” Hamza confirmed the facts.

There was nothing left for Musa to say, so the judge said, “I rule in favor of Nasruddin. Case dismissed.”

 

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

now in print from Lethe Press!

 

 


An eggplant by any other name

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

An eggplant by any other name

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One day, Hamza brought Mullah Nasruddin a small eggplant, saying, “Mullah, I wonder what this might be. Please tell me.”

He took the eggplant and turned it around and over in his hands, examining the odd purplish thing. After several minutes of this inspection, he said, “Hamza, my friend, I cannot tell you. But let us take it to my son, Ahmet. He will know better than me.”

They took the eggplant to Ahmet and showed it to him. He, too, looked at the thing from every angle before finally declaring, “You ridiculous old farts! What’s so hard about figuring it out? Obviously, this is a baby starling whose eyes have not yet opened.”

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

forthcoming November 2014 from Lethe Press

 

 


As Strong as He Ever Was

by rjs
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Published on: February 18, 2013

As Strong as He Ever Was

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinThere is no difference between my youth and old age!” declared Nasruddin at the teahouse one day. “I’m just as strong as I was twenty years ago.”

“Is that so‽” Hamza replied, always willing to challenge the Mullah on his boasting. “This is a boulder in the city garden that most men couldn’t even budge. If you are indeed as fit as a man of half your age, let’s see you pick it up.”

Hamza led Nasruddin, with the rest of the men trailing behind, to the rock. The Mullah glanced at it casually and said, “That is nothing. I could lift it now just as easily as I could when I was a young man.”

Hamza said, “Have at it, Nasruddin. Let’s see you move it so much as an inch.”

“Fine,” said Nasruddin. He spat on his hands and braced himself to raise the rock.

He heaved, and he huffed, and he hacked, but the rock showed no signs of locating to a new address. After some minutes of this embarrassed exertion, Nasruddin staggered back, sweating and panting, his face flushed.

“Nasruddin, you said you could have hoisted up the rock with the sheer strength of your youth, which has not diminished with the years,” Hamza commented. “Apparently those were empty words!”

“You cannot accuse me of deceptive boasting. Truth is,” Nasruddin admitted, “twenty years ago I couldn’t have lifted that huge rock, either.”

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

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

The vigor and stamina of our youth soon enough fades, but the memory of what strength we actually possessed disappears even faster.

 

I Was Right All Along

by rjs
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Published on: January 6, 2013

I Was Right All Along

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinOne afternoon the Mullah, fiercely brandishing a large metal spoon, chased Fatima out of their house and down the street, screaming at the top of his lungs, “Don’t try to stop me! This is the last straw! Just let me get my hands on you! I’ll show you what’s what —!”

Since nosey neighbors are never far away, some folks heard the screams and rushed out to intercept Nasruddin, trying to stop the fight. The men took Nasruddin into Hamza’s house to calm Nasruddin down, and the women took Fatima to her friend Turan’s to comfort and protect her.

As it so happened, Hamza was hosting a wedding party for his cousin. Nasruddin was seated at the dining table, where many trays of delicious baklava, a sweet pastry with pistachios and honey, were to be served the wedding guests. Naturally since the Mullah was so distraught, they encouraged him to help himself to the baklava on the tray in front of him. Nasruddin ate the baklava, one consoling piece after another, as he complained at length about his wife, saying, “If I had caught that woman — I would’ve turned her around — this indeed was the last straw — how she abuses my tolerance —” He finished one tray and moved on to the next, continuing his rant. “She should be punished like a child — I cannot live like this any longer,” and so on and on he went, gobbling down chunks of baklava.

Hamza said, “We’ve never seen you so upset. What happened?”

“We were discussing something and had different opinions. The disagreement turned into an argument which turned into a row, and we ended up exchanging punches.”

Just then the women brought Fatima and the hosts did everything to calm and reconcile her and Nasruddin. Soon the Mullah and his wife were sitting together, laughing and gorging themselves on the heavenly sweet baklava and enjoying themselves.

Nasruddin said, “My dear Fatima, please remind me to lose my temper more often — then life really would be worth living!”

Hamza brought the newlyweds to introduce them to the Nasruddins and said, “This serves as a fine example of how married couples can learn to get along, no matter what. Now tell us, Nasruddin, what were you and Fatima fighting about that made you so angry?”

“We were arguing about —,” Nasruddin explained between big bites of baklava, “the reason that we had not been invited — to this wedding! She maintained that it was because your servants forgot to write out our names on the invitation list, and I felt certain that you were trying to avoid us because of the last nasty fight we had at one of your relatives’ weddings. Obviously, I was right all along.”

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 is a favorite among Fatima stories. This retelling includes elements from several versions of a domestic dispute that ends well. In some cases Fatima is abused quite openly, in others the action is limited to threats of violence only. Domestic aggression is a recurring theme in Nasruddin tales, which originate from a time when there was far less regard for women in Persian/Turkish culture than there is now.

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!

I Believe You Are Right

by rjs
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Published on: June 21, 2011

I Believe You Are Right

Nasruddin and Fatima happened to be in the market when they spotted their neighbor Faik, the potter, bargaining loudly with Hamza, the miller. When Faik saw Nasruddin, he called to him, “Nasruddin, you are the local magistrate. Please — you must settle our dispute.”

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

Nasruddin and Fatima tried to duck around the corner, but it was too late to refuse. Faik said, “I will tell you my side first,” and so Nasruddin listened to him give his sales spiel about the excellent quality of his wares and why the price was quite reasonable — in fact, he was offering it at a considerable discount.

Nasruddin stroked his white beard thoughtfully, raised his right finger, and replied, “I believe you are right!”

Hamza then countered the vendor’s argument, pointing out the many flaws in the merchandise and citing lower prices at another stall elsewhere in the bazaar.

Nasruddin raised his left finger and said to his neighbor, “I believe you are right!”

Fatima interjected, “Nasruddin, don’t be ridiculous. They can’t possibly both be right!”

Nasruddin looked at his wife, raised both of his fingers, and said, “I believe you are right!”

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

Your Daily Nasruddin

When there seem to be only two sides to an argument, look closely: a third position may easily take shape before your very eyes. They say that between any two Israelis you will find three opinions; perhaps that is what this story illustrates. Or perhaps it is just advising that it is may be safest to agree with everyone, someone will eventually disagree with your decision to do so.

Selling the Ladder

by rjs
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Published on: February 6, 2011

Selling the Ladder

Nasruddin wanted some of the delicious apricots hanging from the tree in his neighbor Hamza’s backyard, so he put his ladder on the adjoining wall, climbed up, pulled the ladder over, and was almost to the ground on the other side when Hamza came right up behind him and said, “Just what exactly do you think you’re doing in my garden?”

“I was hoping, my friend,” Nasruddin said, “to interest you in this fine ladder that I have available to sell.”

“You young fool,” snarled Hamza. “You mean to say that you were going to sell me a ladder in my own backyard?”

Nasruddin defended himself, saying, “It’s my ladder, and I can sell it wherever I choose.”
“No, Nasruddin, I’m not buying it,” said Hamza.

“You overlook the obvious, effendi, which is that I’ve just demonstrated that the ladder works perfectly. Truth is, one may sell a ladder of this high caliber absolutely anywhere,” said Nasruddin, as he stepped back on to the ladder. “However, since I can tell you’re not the sort of buyer who is interested in acquiring only the finest model of ladder available, I’ll just take my wares elsewhere.”

Your Daily Nasruddin

This telling is combined from several versions that each contain differing responses to Hamza’s confrontation with young Nasruddin and his ladder.
There are several other jokes mentioning Nasruddin’s irresistible desire for apricots (“The rarest birdsong“), as well as numerous stories about interactions with the neighbors.
The story depicts the youthful foolish Nasruddin as a thief — if not a scoundrel — or at the very least a rascal. Of course he has no business in his neighbor’s yard. But whatever he’s selling, the buyer ain’t buying it.
So why did Hamza build a rock wall between his and Nasruddin’s properties to begin with? To keep out apricot thieves without ladders.
Just as foolish as mounting his neighbor’s wall in the first place, Nasruddin’s quick thinking helps him make a graceful, albeit apricotless, exit. (In one variation, however, the boy has already stuffed his pockets before leaving.)
This escape/excuse is the “back up slowly smiling” maneuver, an essential move for any dumb crook who wants to live to steal another day.

An Unexpected Gust

by rjs
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Published on: January 17, 2011

An Unexpected Gust

As a boy, Nasruddin climbed his neighbor Hamza’s fence and started loading a large sack with everything from the vegetable garden that he could uproot.

Hamza found the boy digging around in his garden with the sack nearly full of melons and pumpkins.

“Nasruddin, what are you doing in my garden?”

“Strange that you should ask,” the boy replied. “I was just wondering that myself.”

“Well, boy, what is your explanation?”

“As best as I can tell from the available evidence, it would seem that I was blown into your yard by a strong sudden gust.”

“And what are my vegetables doing in your sack?” asked Hamza.

“The wind, obviously,” answered Nasruddin, “blew your veggies into my bag.”

“And why were you carrying the sack full of fruits and vegetables back toward your house?”

“I decided to hold on to them for the extra weight, to keep from being carried away by another unexpected gust of air.”

Your Daily Nasruddin

This version of “how your vegetables ended up in my bag” incorporates several good joke lines from several sources.

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