Cow or donkey?
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‽”