Selected stories of muslim folk hero Nasreddin Hodja

The Ring

The Mullah (Nasreddin) had lost his ring in the living room. He searched for it for a while, but failing to find it, he went out to the the yard and began to look there. His wife, who saw what he was doing, asked:

“Mullah, you lost your ring in the room, why are you looking for it in the yard?”

Mullah stroked his beard and said:

“The room is too dark and I can’t see very well. I came out to the courtyard to look for my ring because it’s much lighter out here”.

The Donkey

A neighbour came to the gate of Hodja Nasreddin’s yard. The Hodja went to meet him outside.

“Would you mind, Hodja,” the neighbour asked, “can you lend me your donkey today? I have some goods to transport to the next town.”

The Hodja did not feel inclined to lend out the animal to that particular man, however. So, not to seem rude, he answered:

“I’m sorry, but I’ve already lent him to somebody else.”

All of a sudden the donkey could be heard braying loudly behind the wall of the yard.

“But Hodja,” the neighbour exclaimed. “I can hear it behind that wall!”

“Whom do you believe,” the Hodja replied indignantly, “the donkey or your Hodja?”

The Sermon

Once Nasreddin was invited to deliver a sermon. When he got on the pulpit, he asked, ”Do you know what I am going to say?” The audience replied that they did not, so he announced, ”Well, I have no desire to speak to people who don’t even know what I will be talking about!” and left.

The people felt embarrassed and called him back again the next day. This time, when he asked the same question, the people replied yes. So Nasreddin said, ”Well, since you already know what I am going to say, I won’t waste any more of your time!” and left.

Now the people were really perplexed. They decided to try one more time and once again invited the Mullah to speak the following week. Once again he asked the same question – ”Do you know what I am going to say?” By now the people were prepared, and so half of them answered “yes” while the other half replied “no”. So Nasreddin said “Well then, let the half who know what I am going to say tell it to the half who don’t.” and left.

The Grapes

Some children saw Nasreddin coming from the vineyard with two baskets full of grapes loaded on his donkey. They gathered around him and asked him to give them a taste.

Nasreddin picked up a bunch of grapes and gave each child a grape.

“You have so much, but you gave us so little,” the children whined.

“There is no difference whether you have a basketful or a small piece. They all taste the same,” Nasreddin answered, and continued on his way.

The Walnuts

“Children, I will give you all the walnuts in this bag. But tell me first — how do you want me to divide them: God’s way, or mortal’s way?” “God’s way,” the four boys chimed together as one. Mullah opened the bag and gave two handfuls of walnuts to the first boy, one handful to the next boy, just two walnuts to the third boy, and none at all to the last! All the children were baffled, but the fourth boy pouted and complained, “What sort of distribution is this?” “This is God’s way of distributing gifts among his children. Some will get lots, some will get a fair amount, and nothing at all to others. Now, had you asked me to divide the nuts by the usual mortal’s way, I would have handed out an equal amount to everybody.”