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

~

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

~

Cow or donkey?

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

Cow or donkey?

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One day, Fatima wanted milk for their children, so she nagged her husband, Mullah Nasruddin, to get a cow so they might have a steady source on hand.

“My dear,” countered Nasruddin, “I would gladly obtain for us a cow, but there is simply no room in the stable for one. It’s just large enough for my little donkey, Karakacan, and I want her to be comfortable.”

The donkey’s comfort, or lack thereof, hardly seemed rationale enough to avoid getting a cow, so Fatima pressed her husband with her request until finally he relented. He threw his leg over Karakacan’s back and rode to market and, after considerable deliberation and bargaining, he chose a healthy-looking bovine and led her home.

Nasruddin was still sure that his donkey would suffer greatly, so he took the time on his way home with the cow to acquaint Allah with his predicament. He knelt on his prayer rug and, after bowing his head, he turned up his hands in appeal to the Almighty.

“Oh Allah,” Mullah prayed, “Thou know that I love my little grey donkey, and that she won’t be at ease with a cow in the same stable. Dear Allah, if it be Thy will, please take the life of my cow, that my beloved little gray donkey, Karakacan, will be at peace.” Having left the matter in God’s hands, Nasruddin returned home, stabled and fed both animals, and went about the rest of his affairs.

The next morning, Mullah scurried out to the stable to see how his donkey managed overnight. To his shock, he found Karakacan had fallen down dead. “Ai vai,” he wailed, heartbroken at the loss of his longtime friend.

Fatima, hearing his cries, ran to the window and called out, “Mullah, what is the matter?”

“It is nothing,” Nasruddin muttered, then added under his breath bitterly, “nothing but my dear little donkey.”

After Fatima closed the window, Nasruddin fell to his knees once again in supplication to God. “Oh Allah, Thou art all-knowing and all-powerful. But can Thou not tell the basic difference between a cow and a donkey‽”

 

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

now in print from Lethe Press

~

 

 


The greater fool

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

The Greater Fool

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

Once while Mullah Nasruddin was traveling on donkeyback through Foolland, he passed two local folks trudging along on foot. Nasruddin greeted them, saying simply, “Good morning.”

As the Mullah kept moving on, the first fool stopped and remarked, “I’m wondering . . . why did that fellow speak to me, and not to you?”

The other retorted, “You self-centered moron, it was me he was addressing, not you.”

It hardly took a minute before the two were pushing and shoving each other. They were about to come to blows when one held up his hand and said, “I know — let’s ask him!” So they ran after the Mullah, who was trying to ease out of the skirmish and down the road with his donkey and life intact.

“Wait, Mullah! You must settle our dispute: which one of us were you saying ‘Good morning’ to?”

Nasruddin urged his little grey donkey to keep moving, and he replied to the men, “I said ‘Good morning’ to the greater of the two fools.”

“Well, obviously, that’s me,” declared the first fellow.

“Nonsense, of course he meant me, not you!” asserted the second.

“It’s obvious that I’m greater than you in every way.”

And so the two fools continued swearing and exchanging slaps in the middle of the road, raising a small cloud of dust that became smaller and smaller as Karakacan carried Mullah Nasruddin further away toward home, until he could hear or see them no more.

 

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

forthcoming November 2014 from Lethe Press

 

 


Unique gold-leaf illustration of the Mullah and his donkey

by rjs
Categories: Mullah Nasruddin art
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Published on: May 8, 2013

Unique gold-leaf illustration of the Mullah and his donkey

Original framed art found in Istanbul gift shop

Nasruddin and his hairy ass

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!

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.

 

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.

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