100+ Favourite Tales of Nasreddin Hoca — now in print!

100+ Favourite Tales of Nasreddin Hoca:

Treasured, oft-told stories of the famous funny folk hero

Collected and retold by Ron J. Suresha

Published by Bear Bones Books.

~Now available from Barnes & Noble!

Get the softcover edition here.

Get the digital edition here.

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Nasreddin Hoca, the eight-centuries-old “wise fool” character originating from Turkey and the Levant, is the subject of thousands of funny, wise tales, jokes, and anecdotes told across the Middle and Far East, and retold today around the world.
Extensively researched and carefully chosen from beloved authentic sources by an award-winning author, these pithy stories and folk tales are certain to bring readers a smile, nod, or chuckle of self-recognition on every page.
More than one hundred of Nasreddin Hoca’s most endearing, enduring stories, gathered and retold here by an award-winning author, will amuse, illuminate, and captivate readers of all ages with Hoca’s ageless, unique humour and universal humanity.


From the Introduction to 100+ Favourite Tales of Nasreddin Hoca

Eight hundred years ago, somewhere in the Levant between Europe and Asia, the famous old wise fool Nasreddin Hoca was but a silly young boy, with hardly more common sense than a piece of paper.

Instead of staying still and paying attention in school, Nasreddin played the fool, constantly distracting his pals with antics, jokes, and stories.
Once, when young Nasreddin was acting particularly troublesome in class, his irate teacher cursed him: “From now on, whatever you do or say, people shall only laugh and laugh at you.”
And so, even today, people everywhere are still laughing at Nasreddin Hoca, one of the world’s funniest and most beloved folk characters.


A yogurt lake

One fine morning, Nasreddin went to Lake Akşehir with a bowlful of cultured yogurt and a long wooden spoon. He squatted at the water’s edge and began ladling yogurt into the lake.
His pal Hussein saw him and asked, “What are you trying to do there, Nasreddin.”
He continued carefully spooning yogurt and replied, “I’m adding starter to the lake in order to turn it into yogurt.”
Hussein asked, “You can do that with milk, stupid, but not with water. Are you serious? Do you really believe you can turn the lake into yogurt?”
“I know I can’t. I know it won’t,” said Nasreddin. “But just imagine — what if I could, and what if it did?”

Get the softcover edition or the digital edition, now at BN.com.

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




A stupid beard

A Mullah Nasruddin story

A Stupid Beard

Mullah Nasruddin
Mullah Nasruddin

One day the imam told Nasruddin, “Anyone who wears a beard longer than his fist is stupid.”

When the Mullah returned home, he checked himself in the mirror and realized that his beard was quite a bit longer than his fist. He took a lit candle and was intending to burn off only an inch or so of the offending hairs — just the part that was hanging below his fist.

Whoosh! In a flash, the beard went up in flames and he could not put it out before he singed his entire face. Now Nasruddin’s face looked like the underside of a plucked and roasted chicken.

The next day, Nasruddin went to see the imam and said, “What you told me yesterday was completely correct. A man with a long beard possesses short wisdom.”

“Idiot! I meant you should use a pair of scissors or a razor. Why in Allah’s name did you burn off your beard?”

“Well, I didn’t have either of those things, but I had some fire on hand. I admit that I lost my beard and burned my chin from ear to ear, but at least now I am free of being stupid.”

Excerpted from the forthcoming Extraordinary Adventures of Mullah Nasruddin, by Ron J. Suresha


If beards could think, they probably would decide not to set themselves on fire.

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