Lord, leave me alone

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

Lord, leave me alone

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

Nasruddin’s mother, Leyla, thought her young son was basically a lost cause. She didn’t know what to do with him, so as a last resort she hired him as an errand boy to an innkeeper. The innkeeper instructed him, “Okay kid, go to the shore and wash out this old wineskin. But do it properly; otherwise, you will be punished!” So Nasruddin took the wineskin to the sea.

And there he washed the wineskin, for all his worth, and continued cleaning it out through the long morning. By the time the sun shone directly above, he wondered, How do I know if it is washed well enough? Who is nearby whose opinion I can ask about this?

There wasn’t a single person on the beach, but offshore there was anchored a fishing ship, with several of its crew on deck. Nasruddin waved the wineskin as a distress signal, and shouted, “Ahoy! Can you help me? Lord, can you bring me there?”

The ship was preparing to pull up anchor and head out to sea when the captain of the ship noticed the boy yelling to him.

“There, on the bank, is a child calling in distress,” the captain said. “We must rescue him! You, sailor, row with a sloop to the shore and fetch the boy.”

Finally, when Nasruddin was brought before him, the Captain asked, “What is the matter, boy?”

“Please tell me, kind sir,” Nasruddin enquired, “in your opinion, is this wineskin well washed?”

Although the captain was just one man, he had the strength of ten men. He put the boy over his knee and spanked him until he was nearly senseless. Weeping in pain, Nasruddin cried out, “What was I supposed to say?”

“You should have instead said: ‘Lord, let them go!’ Now we must regain the time back that we have lost because of you.”

They took Nasruddin back and dumped him in the shallow water, whereupon he threw the wineskin over his shoulder and left the shore. As he made his way across the fields, he chanted his new mantra: “Lord, let them go! Lord, let them run!”

He came upon a hungry hunter who was about to shoot at two rabbits. Nasruddin shouted, “Lord, let them run! Lord, let them go!” The rabbits naturally jumped up and scampered away.

The hunter shouted, “Oh, you bastard! I just missed getting them! You screwed up my hunt!” And he smacked him on the head.

Nasruddin asked, “What should I have said?”

“Obviously, what you should be praying is: ‘Lord, let them be killed!’ or “Lord, let them both die!’ ”

With the wineskin over his shoulder, Nasruddin headed onward, repeating, “Lord, let them be killed. Lord, let them both die.”

And whom did the boy next meet on the road? Two big bearish men in the midst of a heated dispute that had come to blows. Nasruddin fearfully spoke, “Lord, let them kill themselves.”

When the two adversaries heard this, they stopped fighting each other and turned upon him, saying, “You puny punk! Want to stir up some trouble for yourself?” And in cordial harmony they started smacking him around.

When Nasruddin could speak, he cried out, “Please stop — that is not what I meant! But what should I have said?”

“What should you say? You should say: ‘Lord, let them separate!’ ”

“Well, Lord, let them separate! Lord, let them part!” muttered Nasruddin to himself, as he left the men.

Before long Nasruddin passed by a church where a bride and groom who had just been married emerged. As soon as the bride heard the boy intoning the words, “Lord, let them separate!” she made her new husband defend their sacred marriage. The man took off his belt and beat Nasruddin with it as he screamed, “You miserable devil! You want me to be separated from my wife‽”

Nasruddin, who could no longer defend himself, fell to the ground like a dead man. When the bride had raised him again and he opened his eyes, she asked, “Why in the world would you have the lack of sense to say something like that to a new bride and groom?”

Nasruddin replied, “I have no idea why I say anything at all. So tell me, please: what words should I have said?”

“You ought to have said: ‘Lord, let them laugh forever’!”

Nasruddin doll from the Tokcapi Palace Museum inspects P.N. Boratov’s collection of his stories.

Nasruddin retrieved his wineskin and went off again, saying the phrase over and again to himself, hoping that he wouldn’t fail again. Then he passed by a house where they were holding a wake for a dead man, with relatives mourning, standing around holding candles. When the dead man’s relatives heard Nasruddin say, “‘Lord, let them laugh forever,” they attacked him. And he received in full what yet he lacked in abuse.

After they finished with him, Nasruddin realized that it was better to keep his mouth shut — though he could barely move his split, bloody lips to speak anyway — and return to the inn.

When the innkeeper saw the boy come in the evening, having sent him early in the morning to wash the wineskin, he demanded, “Tell me, you worthless shithead, where were you all this time?”

But Nasruddin could not utter a single word in his defense. So the innkeeper punished the boy with one more spanking and then sent him home.

 

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

a Lambda Literary Award Finalist

now in print from Lethe Press

~

Big fish, little fish

A Mullah Nasruddin / Nasreddin Hoca story

 

Big fish, little fish

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One day, young Nasruddin’s mother, Leyla, was cooking and speaking to her husband, Yousef, as the child watched them unseen through a hidden crack in the door.

Leyla said, “Listen, my husband, I have prepared both a large fish and a small fish. We will hide the big fish under the wooden bench and serve the little one on the table to eat.”

Yousef understood. “So, when the boy then has eaten and gone to bed, we will take out the big fish and eat it all ourselves.”

A few minutes later, Yousef called Nasruddin in the other room, “Come on, boy, let’s eat dinner. We have nice small fish to share.”

He entered the room and sat down with his parents. When Leyla put the little fish on the table, Nasruddin grabbed it and held it to his ear.

Yousef shouted, “Hey, put that down, you little stinker! Why are you doing that?”

Nasruddin said, “Sorry father, but I have to ask the little fish for some very important information.”

“And what is this important matter about which you must ask the fish?”

“I want to ask him the name of the big fish.”

“What in the world are you talking about, boy?”

“I mean, the big fish in the Bible that swallowed Jonah,” answered the boy innocently.

Since it was a biblical question, they indulged his silliness. Yousef said, “Ask your query quickly!”

Nasruddin whispered a short question to the little fish, then held it to his ear, listening intently. After a moment, the boy replaced the little fish on the table platter and stared at it, arms crossed, with a petulant frown.

“Since you’ve already shared your question with us,” Leyla said, “why don’t you tell us the answer the fish gave you?”

The boy said, “Well, the fish replied that he himself did not know. But under the wooden bench, he informed me, there is a fish that is bigger, older, and wiser than him, and he said that I should ask his friend that question!”

 

Excerpted from

Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin
by Ron J. Suresha

now in print from Lethe Press

~

Minding the door

by rjs
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: December 5, 2011

Minding the door

Once when Nasruddin was too young to attend school, but Leyla, his mother, had to go to the well, she pulled his ear and told him, “Mind you, do not leave the door for even a moment. Keep your eye on it.” Then she left, gossiping with her friends Turan and Setare, along the way to the well. Once they got going, they could keep chatting at the well with the other village women for most of a day.

Nasruddin and his donkey
Nasruddin riding his donkey

Nasruddin sat in a chair staring intently at the front entrance, for the first hour. He paced around the house keeping an anxious eye on the front door always for the second hour. Finally in the third hour, Nasruddin’s uncle, Mesut, came by and told Nasruddin to tell his mother that he and his wife and their new baby were coming that night to join them for dinner.

After Mesut left, Nasruddin found himself in a tricky situation. The boy was restless and thought he should find out what was keeping his mother so long or at least give her the message. However, he remembered his mother had admonished him to not leave the door, and he wasn’t about to suffer his mother’s wrath for disobedience. Before another minute passed, Nasruddin devised a solution.

Nasruddin’s mother was standing at the well, still gossiping with her friends, when one of the women pointed behind her and said, “Leyla — isn’t that your boy, coming down the road, there?”

Nasruddin’s mother was beside herself when she saw her son dragging something behind him, which she couldn’t make out clearly. “Nasruddin, you simpleton! I told you to attend the door while I was out!”

As Nasruddin trudged forward, they could all see that he had lashed the front door to his back. He called out, “No need to worry, Mother. I brought the door with me, so we can both keep an eye on it!”

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 more famous of the young Nasruddin stories. In devising a solution to his conflict — mind the door, or go tell his mother a message — Nasruddin is clever by half.

Stones Are Included

by rjs
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: September 24, 2011

Stones Are Included

Once, young Nasruddin bought a small bag of dates at the market and returned home to eat them. His mother noticed that he was pocketing each pit very carefully and asked, “Why are you eating the stones with the dates?”

Nasruddin said, “You think I am about to throw them into the street? Not I!”

“Why don’t you throw away the pits, like everyone else does?” she asked.

“When I bought them,” he replied, “I asked the grocer if the price for the dates included the pits, and he said that it was all included. ‘The fruits come with the stones,” he told me, “no extra charge.” So I may keep them to eat later, or throw them away, as I please.”

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

Reflections and Projections

by rjs
Comments: Comments Off
Published on: June 3, 2011

Reflections and Projections

(The Thief Hiding in the Water Jug)

Once, as a young child, Nasruddin happened to gaze into a large jar full of water, and saw his reflection. He cried: “Mother! There is a young boy hiding in the water pitcher — he must be a thief!”

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

His mother, Leyla, looked into it likewise, saw her reflection, and shrieked as she recoiled in horror, “Yes, by God, it is true! And with him is an ugly old woman!”

Nasruddin toppled the water jug onto the floor, where it broke and water gushed forth. His mother, trying to save the jar and the boy at the same time, slipped in the water and fell.

She cried out, “Aiii! The thief grabbed me!”

And the boy shouted out to his neighbors: “Help! Come all you people! We are beset by thieves!”

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, one of the oldest extant Nasruddin tales, illustrates how easily illusion spreads like a virus from one defective mind to another. Young Nasruddin misperceives his own reflection, seeing instead of himself the image of a young hooligan.

Demonstrating that the addled and confused never fall far from the tree, Nasruddin’s mother affirms her son’s illusion and projects her own poor self-image onto her reflection in the water. Hilarious chaos ensues.

In a family of idiots, one foolish turn deserves another.

page 1 of 1
Welcome , today is Friday, September 22, 2017