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

~

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

~

 

 


Beyond the obvious

by rjs
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Published on: December 3, 2012

Beyond the obvious

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinOnce young Nasruddin was sitting by the side of the lake when he saw a flock of ducks swimming in the water. He was quite hungry so he thought he’d try to catch one of the birds. As he tiptoed to the edge of the water, though, the ducks honked and flew away.

For a moment Nasruddin stood in frustration, then, thinking quickly, took a loaf of bread out of his pocket, broke it up into small pieces, then dipped the pieces of bread into the lake, and ate them.

Hussein was passing by and saw Nasruddin squatting at the water’s edge. “Say, Nasruddin,” he called out, “what are you doing?”

“What I am doing . . . should be . . . perfectly obvious,” Nasruddin replied, between bites. “I am eating . . . duck soup.”

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

 

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

What is plainly apparent to one person may not be so obvious to another. It’s a matter of perception and perspective.

 

Prepare for the Unexpected

by rjs
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Published on: February 12, 2012

Prepare for the Unexpected

The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah NasruddinOne day, young Nasruddin’s buddies decided they would try to nab his pointy slippers. They waited around a tall cypress tree until Nasruddin walked along, then two of the boys, Hussein and Faruk, started to pretend they were having a loud argument.

“Nobody could climb that tree. It’s way too tall. No way!” yelled Hussein.

“Of course somebody could climb it,” argued Faruk. “Nasruddin, please tell this dunce that this tree is not too tall for someone to climb.”

“I doubt that anyone could climb this tree,” said Hussein, “certainly not even Nasruddin.”

“Of course he can climb it!” retorted Faruk. “He can do nearly anything! Couldn’t you climb it, Nasruddin? I bet if anyone could get up to the top of the tree, it is you.”

Nasruddin bowed slightly and replied modestly, “I can climb it, no doubt.”

“Let’s see you do it, then,” said Faruk.

“I’ll hold your slippers for you while you go up,” said Hussein, perhaps a little too eagerly.

“Well, all right then.” Nasruddin stood back and assessed the tree, and the group of boys, and then the tree again. He rolled up his sleeves, took off his slippers and tucked them into his belt, then spit into his palms as he prepared to scale the tree.

“Wait, wait, Nasruddin!” said Faruk. “You won’t need your shoes in a tree.”

“Yes, leave them here on the ground with us for safekeeping,” chimed in Hussein.

With a gasp and a grunt, Nasruddin heaved himself upward. “You never know — there might be a road at the top of this tree.” he called out as he climbed, “Be prepared, I always say.”

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 outwits the local boys.

Who knows what might possibly exist at the top of the tree? You certainly won’t know unless you start climbing and keep going until you get there.

There are several other Nasruddin stories in which the Mullah finds himself in a tree, the most popular tale sometimes referred to as Cutting the branch he was sitting on, which ends up after a funeral procession at the graveyard.

Another Nasruddin story that involves climbing a tree was omitted from TUSOTIMN because it portrayed cruelty to a bear. I’ll include it in “Naughty Nasruddin.”

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!

Poisoned Baklava

by rjs
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Published on: December 1, 2011

Poisoned Baklava

One day in the madrasa as the village schoolmaster Halil was starting class, one student’s parent brought Halil a pan of baklava. Everyone’s mouth watered at the sight of all the sweet, rich pastry, but Halil put the pan away in the drawer of his desk.

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

Shortly afterward he was called out on urgent business. Before he left, he gave his students a complicated assignment to finish within the hour. “And I shall expect you to get everything right,” he said, “or there will be trouble.” He glared at them. “Big trouble.”

“One thing more,” Halil said as he made for the door. “I have enemies. Many despicable enemies. I keep being sent poisoned meats and poisoned sweets. Even,” he added fiercely, “poisoned baklava. I have to test everything before I eat it. So be warned. If you hope for a long life, don’t touch anything that has been sent to me. Especially baklava.”

As soon as Halil was gone, Nasruddin went to the desk and took out the pan of baklava.

“Don’t eat that!” Hussein cried out. “They may be poisoned!”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Of course they aren’t poisoned,” Nasruddin grinned, picking up a piece of the delicious sweetmeat. “Halil just wants to keep them for himself.” And he started in on the baklava. “They really are quite delicious,” he said, grinning widely. He ate another one, and another.

When Nasruddin’s friends saw that he didn’t fall to the floor in a writhing heap, they gathered round the desk and gobbled up the baklava. The pan was completely clean in a matter of seconds.

“But what will we tell teacher when he finds it all gone?” Hussein said, wiping the crumbs from his mouth.

Nasruddin just smiled.

A while later, when Halil returned, he went right to his desk and looked in his drawer. He glared at his students.

“Someone,” he said, “has been at my desk.”

There was a long silence.

“Someone has been in my drawer.”

Still more silence.

“And someone has eaten the baklava.”

“I ate it,” confessed Nasruddin.

“It was you who ate it! After what I told you?”

“Yes.”

“Perhaps you have some explanation,” said Halil, “for disobeying me and risking your life. If so, I would like to hear it before you die.”

“Well,” said Nasruddin, “the assignment you gave me was far too hard for me to complete. Every problem I’ve started, ended up wrong. I knew you would be very angry and tell my parents, and they would be very disappointed and punish me. I felt so ashamed at my ignorance that I decided my only option was — forgive me, teacher, for I know it is a sin — to end my life. So that’s why I ate all your poisoned baklava. It was the only way I could think of to save myself from shame. But the weird thing is, nothing’s happened yet. I feel perfectly fine. I wonder why that is.”

Halil examined the boy’s innocent expression. “I suspect it is just a slow-acting poison,” he said, “and your imminent death is just delayed — in which case, I ought to take a look at the schoolwork you have done.”

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

 

Your Daily Nasruddin

In this famous story, young Nasruddin cannot resist his urge to eat his teacher’s baklava, so he bravely tastes the poisoned sweetmeat — seeming reckless and dangerous to his gullible classmates.

Of course the baklava isn’t poisoned. The whole class saw the parents offering the pan to the teacher. And heard Halil lie about it as if they hadn’t all already seen this, simply to scare the class from eating any.

But Nasruddin steps forward as the class leader and shows his friends there is nothing to fear. In fact, the truth is so sweet.

Some versions close the story with Nasruddin asking Halil why he hasn’t died from poisoning, but several have Halil foiling the boy’s victory by demanding his class assignment. Which ending makes the best sense to you?

Drying Flour on the Clothesline

by rjs
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Published on: June 20, 2011

Drying Flour on the Clothesline

Hussein was not easily discouraged from trying to borrow Nasruddin’s rope. He asked, “So tell me, how long will your clothesline stay in use like that?”

“Offhand, I don’t know,” said Nasruddin, “but Fatima might be able to tell us.”

“Well, then, why don’t you go and ask her, Nasruddin?” persisted Hussein.

“Okay. Stay right there. Let me check,” said Nasruddin, and he slipped inside the house. Ten minutes later Hussein knocked on the door. Nasruddin cracked open the door, emerged, and shut the door behind him. He walked slowly up to Hussein, and said quietly, “I’m sorry, but it turns out the clothesline is no longer in use lying on the floor. Fatima has now decided that she needed to use it.”

“Oh, what does she suddenly need to use the clothesline for?”

“She said . . . she needs the rope . . . to dry . . . some flour that got wet.”

“That’s impossible, Nasruddin! How in the world can you lay wet flour on a clothesline to dry it?”

“It’s really not all that difficult — especially if you don’t want to lend the clothesline.”

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

Your Daily Nasruddin

Necessity is the mother of invention, perhaps, but need certainly determines the use or un-use of Nasruddin’s clothesline. This story continues from another clothesline joke.

That’s Its Job

by rjs
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Published on: June 16, 2011

That’s Its Job

Once, Nasruddin’s friend and neighbor, Hussein, came by and asked to borrow a clothesline.

Nasruddin said, “I’m sorry, the clothesline is in use.”

Hussein pointed inside the house and said, “But Nasruddin, I can see the clothesline, right there on the floor.”

“That’s quite astute of you to notice that the rope is just lying there.”

“Well — if you aren’t using the clothesline right now, I would like to borrow it, please.”

“But the clothesline is in use just this moment,” said Nasruddin.

Hussein’s voice rose, “What do you mean, the clothesline is being used? The rope is not stretched out in the air hanging between two poles as a clothesline should be. It is coiled up on the ground, doing absolutely nothing.”

“I’m afraid that you misunderstand,” replied Nasruddin. “Its actual use is just that: lying there.”

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 the dark, a clothesline can appear to be a snake.

This joke with Hussein borrowing Nasruddin’s clothesline continues here.

Cannot Hide the Truth

by rjs
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Published on: January 28, 2011

Cannot Hide the Truth

Once young Nasruddin approached Ahmet and some of his friends with his pockets stuffed and said, “Whoever can guess what I have in my pockets, I’ll give all the peaches.”

“Peaches,” the kids chimed out in unison.

“Goodness,” said Nasruddin as he handed out the peaches, “how did you guess? It’s impossible to hide anything from you guys.”

Your Daily Nasruddin

Can you guess the secret thing that I’m about to tell you about the secret thing?

If you can guess that it’s a secret thing, then I’ll give you something secret.

The truth is “as plain as a fruit in one’s hand.”

The truth is always revealed.

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