Tập truyện cười : One Day The Hodja...


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~ Delicious Stew ~


One day Nasreddin Hodja bought 2 kilograms of meat from the neighbourhood butcher. He brought the meat home and asked his wife to cook a real nice stew for dinner. Thus secured the evening meal, he happily headed off to his field to work.
Hodja's wife did cook the stew but about lunch time a few of her friends and relatives came over for a visit. Having nothing else to serve to her guests, she served the stew. They all ate heartily and finished it all.
Hodja came home after a long day's work and asked his wife if the stew was ready.
`Ahh, ahh! You have no idea what befell the stew.' his wife said, `The cat ate it all.'
Nasreddin Hodja, suspicious, looked around and saw the scrawny little cat in one corner, looking as hungry as himself. Hodja grabbed the cat and weighed him on his pair of scales. The poor thing weighed exactly two kilos.
`Woman,' said the Hodja, `if this is the cat, where is the stew? If this is the stew, then where is the cat?'

~ Bread and Yogurt ~


One day the Hodja had 10 para to buy himself lunch with. He first went into the bakery, handed 5 para over to the baker and asked for a bread. As the baker gave Hodja the bread he asked for his money.
`I just paid you' Hodja said.
`No, you didn't pay me.' the baker insisted, `I didn't see any money.' After a few minutes of debate, not being able to convince the bully baker, Hodja had to give in. He took out his other 5 para and gave it to him.
Left with no money at all, Hodja next entered the grocery store. He asked for a jar of yogurt. When the grocer asked for his money, Hodja claimed that he had just given him a 5 para. The good natured grocer had been a little preoccupied all morning, so he easily believed that he must have indeed taken the money and forgotten it.
Hodja took his provisions and sat under a tree. Before starting to eat his lunch, he raised his head towards the sky and said `Sublime Allah, You know what really happened, You take the 5 para from one and give it to the other.'

~ On the Roof ~

Nasreddin Hodja's old house had a leaking roof. One day the Hodja decided to fix it. He borrowed a ladder and with great difficulty climbed up to the roof. Just as he was setting off to work, he heard a knock on the door. He looked down from the edge of the roof and saw a stranger in front of his door.
`I am up here.' Hodja shouted. When the man looked up, `What is it that you want?' he asked him.
`Please come down,' replied the man, `I have something to say to you.'
Hodja precariously descended down the old ladder. Once on the ground he again asked the man what he wanted.
`Alms,' said the man, `could you spare some alms.'
Hodja thought for a second and then told the man to come up to the roof with him. Hodja in front, the beggar behind him, both running short on breath, climbed up the ladder. Once on the roof top, Hodja turned to the man and said: `I don't have any.'

~ Cauldron ~

Nasreddin Hodja had borrowed a cauldron from his neighbour. When he didn't return it for a long time, the neighbour came knocking on the door.
`Hodja Effendi, if you are finished with the cauldron could I take it back? The wife needs it today.'
`Ah, of course,' Hodja said, `just wait here a minute and I'll fetch it.'
When Hodja came back to the door with the cauldron, the neighbour noticed that there was a small pot in it.
`What is this?'
`Well, neighbour, congratulations, your cauldron gave birth to a baby pot.' said the Hodja.
The neighbour, incredulous, yet delighted, thanked the Hodja, took his cauldron and the new little pot, and went home.
A few weeks after this incident, one day The Hodja came again, asking to borrow the cauldron. The neighbour didn't even hesitate and lent Hodja the cauldron with pleasure. However, once more it was taking the Hodja forever to return it back. The neighbour had no choice but to go asking for it again.
`Hodja Effendi, are you done with the cauldron?'
`Ahh neighbour, ahh' bemoaned The Hodja, `I am afraid your cauldron is dead.'
`Hodja Effendi, that's not possible, a cauldron cannot die!' exclaimed the disbelieving neighbour. But Nasreddin Hodja had his answer ready.
`My dear fellow, you can believe that it can give birth, why can't you believe that it can also die?'

~ Pivotal Point ~

One idle day, the villagers were contemplating philosophical thoughts and deliberating the mysteries of the universe. Since they weren't getting anywhere with their reflections, they decided to solicit the wisdom of Nasreddin Hodja.
`Hodja Effendi,' they said, `you are a learned man, maybe you can shed a light on this puzzle. Where is the centre of the earth?' Nasreddin Hodja didn't skip a beat.
`Right under the left front foot of my donkey.' he said.
`Hodja Effendi,' protested the villagers, `that can't be right!'
`If you don't believe me,' said The Hodja, `measure it for yourself!'

~ Helva Blues ~


One day Nasreddin Hodja felt like eating helva. He would have made some but there was no butter, no sugar and no flour at home. The larder was empty, his stomach was empty and his pockets were empty. He was being tormented with the dream of a huge plate full of helva and he was getting hungrier and hungrier. Finally, he decided to walk down the road to the grocery store.
`Do you have flour?' he asked the grocer.
`I certainly do, Hodja Effendi.'
`Do you have sugar?'
`Yes, I do.'
`Do you have butter?'
`Yes, Hodja Effendi.'
`So then, what's holding you back, my friend? Make yourself a good pot of helva and eat it!'
~ Watermelon vs Walnut ~


One day Nasreddin Hodja was working in his little watermelon patch. When he stopped for a break, he sat under a walnut tree and pondered.
`You Sublime Allah,' he said, `it's your business, but why would you grow huge watermelons on weak branches of a vine, and house little walnuts on a strong and mighty tree?' And as he contemplated such, one walnut fell from the tree right onto his head.
`Great Allah,' he said as he massaged his bruised head, `now I understand why you didn't find the watermelons suitable for the tree. I would have been killed if you had my mind.'
~ Gift Rabbit ~

A few people from another village, mere acquaintances of Nasreddin Hodja, were in Aksehir for some trade business. At the end of the day, they knocked on Hodja's door.
`Hodja Effendi, since we were in town, we thought we should pay you a little visit. And, here is a rabbit as a token of our respect for you.'
Hodja welcomed the guests as is the Turkish tradition and asked them to stay for dinner. Hodja's wife cooked the rabbit and they all made a good meal of it. A few days later, there were people at the door again. Hodja didn't know who they were, so they had to introduce themselves.
`Nasreddin Hodja, we are the relatives of the folks who brought you the rabbit.' they explained. They were passing through Aksehir and they thought they drop by. Nasreddin Hodja and his wife opened their home to them as well. They served soup for dinner.
`It is the broth of the rabbit.' elucidated the Hodja.
Another couple of days passed and there was yet another group of strangers at Hodja's door.
`We come from the neighbour village of the people who brought you the rabbit.' they said. Hodja had no choice but to let them in. When it was dinner time, Hodja brought a large pot full of well water to the table.
`What is this, Hodja Effendi?' inquired the displeased guests.
`It is the broth of the broth of the rabbit.' Hodja snapped.

~ First Sermon ~

On his first day as the village's imam, Nasreddin Hodja was seated on the raised bench, preparing to give his sermon. The congregation was quite anxious to hear what he had to say. But The Hodja didn't really have a sermon ready.
`Do you know what I am about to tell you today?' he asked.
`No, Hodja Effendi, we don't.' they replied.
`If you don't know what I am going to talk about,' the Hodja said, `then I have nothing to tell you.' And with that, he got up and left the mosque, leaving the puzzled people behind him.
The next day, when it was the time of the sermon, Hodja was back on his seat and the congregation curiously waiting.
`Do you know what I am about to tell you today?' Hodja asked again. Having learned from the previous day, the people were not about to say `no' this time.
`Yes, Hodja Effendi,' they all shouted, `we know.'
`Well,' said the Hodja, `if you already know what I am going to tell you, then I don't need to tell it to you!' He got up and left. The people gathered in the mosque were at a loss.
The third day Hodja came and sat down, and asked his question.
`Do you know what I am about to tell you today?' The congregation was not going to let Hodja get away this time without giving a sermon. Some of them replied with `yes, we do' and some of them replied with `no, we don't.'
`In that case,' said the Hodja, `Those who do know should tell the ones who do not know.' and slipped out of the mosque.

~ How much longer? ~

Nasreddin Hodja's fellow villagers were always trying to baffle him with abstract questions.
`How long will people continue to be born and to die?' they asked one day. Nasreddin Hodja was unruffled.
`That's an easy one.' he said, `Until, of course, the heaven and the hell are completely full.'

~ Hammam ~

One day The Hodja went to the hammam. Looking at his poor clothes, the workers at the hammam didn't treat him right and gave him torn towels. In spite of the lousy service, Nasreddin Hodja gave them all fat tips when leaving.
The next time Hodja went to the hammam, the workers provided him with excellent service. They gave him the newest towels and massaged his back. However, this time The Hodja left them only small changes. One of the workers ventured to find out why.
`Hodja Effendi, last time you gave us big tips...' he hinted.
`Oh, yes. Those tips were for today's service,' Hodja replied, `today's tips are for my previous visit.'

© 2001 Lale Eskicioglu

The following rendition is provided by very dear Ted Mihran. He tells the story as his father used to tell him:

The Hodja went to a turkish bath, but since he was dressed poorly, the attendants said, "Why should we heat the water or perfume the towels. This man will not pay us well." So the Hodja got a cold bath and dried himself with worn-out towels. Upon leaving, he gave the attendants a gold coin. They were very surprised and pleased. So the next time they saw him coming, they gave him the best of service. Steaming hot water, perfumed, fluffy towels, etc. Upon leaving this time, he gave them the smallest copper coin. "What is wrong, Hodja," they asked, "Were you not pleased with your bath." The Hodja replied, "This copper coin is to pay you for the bath I got last time. I have already paid for the bath I got today."

~ Parrot ~

One day The Hodja was walking around in the market place. He saw a bright-coloured bird for sale for 12 gold coins. Hodja was amazed. He approached the crowd gathered around the bird and its seller.
`How can a bird be so expensive?' he asked the people watching the bird.
`This is a special bird,' they explained, `it can talk like a human being!' This gave Hodja an idea. He went straight to his home, grabbed his turkey and brought him to the market place. He stood near the man selling the parrot.
`Turkey, for sale, ten gold coins!' he yelled.
`Hodja Effendi, how can a turkey be worth ten gold coins?' the shoppers protested.
`There is a bird there for 12 gold.' insisted the adamant Hodja.
`But Hodja Effendi, that bird can talk like a human being.' the people tried to reason. But Hodja was unbending.
`And this turkey can think like a human being.' he countered.

~ Intermingled ~

The children of the neighbourhood were in the mood for a little mischief. They sat by the stream and put their feet in the water. When Nasreddin Hodja was passing by, they cried for help.
`Hodja, Hodja! Please help us.' They were screaming all at once.
`Our feet are all mixed up, we don't know which is which.'
`We cannot go home if we don't find our feet.'
`Come help us figure out which foot belongs to whom!'
Nasreddin Hodja was not going to be outwitted by children.
`Yes, I understand.' he said amiably, `That happens sometimes. But don't worry, I know a solution.' Then he grabbed a fallen branch and got into the water himself. He started to lash the kids about the legs. Each child that felt the brusque touch of the twig, jumped out of the water with a shriek and ran away.
`A-ha!' The Hodja said, `You see, now you have all found your respective feet!'

~ Doomsday ~

It has been a long time since the peasants of Aksehir had a good feast. Neighbours of Nasreddin Hodja came up with a ploy to make him treat them to a big meal.
`Hodja Effendi,' they said, `tomorrow it is the doomsday. Why don't we all go for a picnic, roast your lamb and have one final great meal?'
`But, my lamb!' Hodja objected. `It is the apple of my eye. I can't kill my lamb.' The neighbours weren't about to give up so easily.
`Hodja Effendi, it is the doomsday. We are all going to die anyway. What's wrong with a final feast?' At the end they convinced Nasreddin Hodja to give up his lamb. They all packed up and headed to the river bank for a joyful picnic. First they put the lamb over the fire to roast. Then they took off their over clothes and got into the river for a good swim. While everyone was splashing in the water, having fun and working up an appetite, Nasreddin Hodja took all the clothes lying on the ground and threw them into the fire. By the time others got out of the water, the lamb was deliciously roasted and all the over clothes were burnt. Hodja's friends were shocked.
`What happened to our clothes?' they questioned the Hodja.
`Ah, the clothes,' Hodja started to explain serenely, `I used them to fortify the fire. Since tomorrow is the doomsday, you won't be needing them any more.'
~ Age ~

They asked Nasreddin Hodja his age.
`Forty.' he replied.
`But Hodja, when we asked you your age ten years ago, you gave the same answer!'
`That's my word, and I stick with it.' Hodja said.

~ Overblown ~

Two Persians were passing through Aksehir. Nasreddin Hodja and other villagers were chatting with them in the village coffee house. One of the Persians was talking endlessly about the splendours and prosperity of Persia.
`In our city Esfahan, The Shah has a palace that is 5000 yards in length and it has 200 rooms.' he was going on and on. The Hodja wanted to reciprocate with his own show-off.
`Our city Bursa has even bigger palaces. And furthermore, there is a new spa built around the thermal springs, it is 6000 yards in length and--'
`I know Bursa very well.' the other Persian interrupted. Upon hearing this, Hodja wanted to cut his tall tale short.
`And it is 50 yards in width.' he completed sheepishly. Hodja's friends noticed the disparity between the proportions.
`Hodja Effendi,' they whispered, `the width doesn't go with the length.'
`Had this man not claimed to know Bursa well,' hodja replied, `I was going to match the width to the length.'
~ Tray of Baklava ~

One day The Hodja and his friends were sitting at the coffee house. A young boy carrying a tray of baklava attracted the attention of one of the men.
`Hodja Effendi, look!' he pointed, `That boy is carrying a tray of baklava.'
`It's none of my business.' Hodja shrugged his shoulders.
`But, Hodja, watch! He is taking it to your house.'
`In that case,' Hodja asserted, `it's none of your business.'

~ Donkey vs Horse ~

One day the hodja was going to the market place on his donkey. A rich acquaintance, riding a horse, caught up with him. He was looking for an opportunity to brag about his horse and belittle Nasreddin Hodja.
`Hodja, Hodja, how is the donkey going?' he asked in a mocking tone.
`The donkey is going on a horse.' the hodja shot back.

~ Candle Light ~

One day The Hodja and his friends made a bet. Hodja was going to stay outside all night long and endure the chilly October cold without a coat or a fire. If Hodja could bear the cold without cheating, then his friends were supposed to treat him to a nice dinner. If Hodja quit before the day light or tried to deceive his friends, then he would be the one to prepare a good meal for all.
A few hours into the night, the weather turned really cold and Nasreddin Hodja started to shiver. When his fingers turned numb he started to contemplate giving up. When he was just about to quit, he saw the faint light of a candle at the window of one of the distant houses. He imagined a warm fire looking at the dim flutters of the candle and forgot his own quandary. The candle light from afar continued to distract him all night and he was thus able to bear the cold and successfully complete his bargain.
The next morning when his friends asked The Hodja how he fared, he told them the story of the feeble candle light he saw at a distance, and how it helped him think of warm places and entertain himself all night long.
`The sight of the candle kept me warm and sane, and that's how I managed to stay out until the day break.' he said. Hodja's friends, not willing to lose a good dinner, were not prepared to accept defeat.
`That's cheating.' they said, `You were kept warm by the heat of that candle. You were not supposed to resort to any help. You lost the bet. We want our dinner.' They argued back and forth, and at the end Nasreddin Hodja had to yield. He invited them all for dinner.
When the guests arrived at Hodja's house, there was no food in sight.
`It's cooking.' Hodja assured them.
They passed the time for a while with small talk but the dinner was still not ready. After a couple of hours, they got really hungry and asked the Hodja why the dinner was taking so long.
`Come,' Hodja said, `I'll show you.' They all went into the kitchen. Above the fireplace there was a large cauldron hanging. But beneath the cauldron, there was no fire, instead, there was one single candle burning.
`What is this, Hodja?' questioned the annoyed guests. `How can a weak little candle light cook the food in a large cauldron?'
`If a weak little candle light can warm me from the window of a far away house, then it can certainly cook the food in a cauldron placed right above it!' Hodja quipped.
~ Easy Money ~

A peasant was chopping timber in the woods. Another peasant was watching him; comfortably seated on a fallen tree trunk. The man cutting the timber was using a heavy axe suitable for the thick timber he was chopping. With both hands, he was lifting his axe above his head, and then inflicting it with great exertion onto the wood. Every time he swung his axe, the peasant watching him was letting out a loud grunt. That way the chopper chopped and the grunter grunted until all the timber was cut. When his job was done, the peasant cutting the timber started to gather the wood pieces into sacks, and load them onto his mule to take home. That was when the other peasant who was watching and providing the audio effects asked for his fee.
`Why should I pay you when you haven't done anything?' said the peasant who was chopping the woods.
`Well,' the other explained, `I grunted for you, didn't I?'
The wood chopper didn't agree that the grunt deserved any money and the discussion grew nasty. The two men decided to take their dispute to the kadi who, at the time, happened to be Nasreddin Hodja. The Hodja listened to both sides, then asked the wood chopper to give him his purse. He took the coins out of the purse and dropped them one at a time on his desk. The coins tinkled and clinked onto the wood desk.
`Did you hear the sound of the coins jingling?' he asked the grunter.
`Yes, Hodja Effendi, I did.' he replied.
`Then you have received your rightful payment.' The Hodja said. `You supplied the sound and you got paid in sound.'

© 2001 Lale Eskicioglu

The story above has many variations. Here is another version:

A poor man was walking around in the market place. He came upon a man selling broiled lamb chops. The smell of the meat roasting on fire was so delicious that the poor hungry man's mouth watered, unfortunately he couldn't afford to buy any. He took out his loaf of bread from his back sack, held it to the smoke coming out of the roasting lamb chops and ate it. As he was about to leave, the vendor asked for money.
`But I didn't eat any of your meat!' the poor man protested.
`That doesn't matter,' said the greedy merchant, `you enjoyed the smoke coming out of them, so you have to pay.'
When the argument grew, the two had to ask Nasreddin Hodja, who was acting as the kadi of Aksehir at the time, to resolve their differences. They told their stories. Nasreddin Hodja got the picture. He dropped a few coins on his wood desk. The coins made clink-clank sounds.
`Did you hear the sound of the money?' he asked the meat seller.
`Yes, Kadi Effendi.'
`If you sell the smoke of the meat, then you get the sound of the money.' The Hodja retorted.

~ Scientific Meeting ~

(I saved my favourite Nasreddin Hodja story for my birthday. Enjoy!)

A foreign scholar and his entourage were passing through Aksehir. The scholar asked to speak with the town's most knowledgeable person. Of course the townsfolk immediately called Nasreddin Hodja. The foreign savant didn't speak Turkish and our Hodja didn't speak any foreign languages, so the two wise men had to communicate with signs, while the others looked on with fascination.
The foreigner, using a stick, drew a large circle on the sand. Nasreddin Hodja took the stick and divided the circle into two. This time the foreigner drew a line perpendicular to the one Hodja drew and the circle was now split into four. He motioned to indicate first the three quarters of the circle, then the remaining quarter. To this, the Hodja made a swirling motion with the stick on the four quarters. Then the foreigner made a bowl shape with two hands side by side, palms up, and wiggled his fingers. Nasreddin Hodja responded by cupping his hands palms down and wiggling his fingers.
When the meeting was over, the members of the foreign scientist's entourage asked him what they have talked about.
`Nasreddin Hodja is really a learned man.' he said. `I told him that the earth was round and he told me that there was equator in the middle of it. I told him that the three quarters of the earth was water and one quarter of it was land. He said that there were undercurrents and winds. I told him that the waters warm up, vaporize and move towards the sky, to that he said that they cool off and come down as rain.'
The people of Aksehir were also curious about how the encounter went. They gathered around the Hodja.
`This stranger has good taste,' the Hodja started to explain. `He said that he wished there was a large tray of baklava. I said that he could only have half of it. He said that the syrup should be made with three parts sugar and one part honey. I agreed, and said that they all had to mix well. Next he suggested that we should cook it on blazing fire. And I added that we should pour crushed nuts on top of it.'

~ Distributing Grapes ~

One day the hodja was walking home with a basket of grapes in his arm. When the neighbourhood children saw the grapes, they asked for some. Hodja gave each one of them a small cluster of grapes. When the children complained that he was giving too little, Hodja had to come up with an excuse to save his basket of grapes from being consumed before he reached home.

`A little, a lot,' he said, `they all taste the same.'

~ Dates ~

One day the Hodja and his wife were eating dates. Hodja's wife noticed that the Hodja was eating the dates with their seeds.
`Hodja Effendi, why are you eating the dates with the seeds?' she asked.
`Because when the grocer sold them to me, he weighed them with the seeds.' was Hodja's explanation.
~ Full House ~

One of Nasreddin Hodja's neighbours asked the Hodja for some advice on how to manage his large family in his tiny little house.
`Hodja Effendi,' he lamented, `our quarters are so small, we can't all fit in. Me and my wife, my mother-in-law, 3 kids... We are cramped up in our puny cottage. You are a wise man, you would know of a solution, please tell me what to do!'
`How many chickens do you have in the barn?' Hodja asked.
`Why, Hodja Effendi, I have 5 chickens and a rooster.'
`Take them all into the house!'
`Mercy!' the poor peasant protested, `Hodja Effendi, the house is small without the chickens.'
`Try it!' Nasreddin Hodja insisted, `You will be grateful to me.'
The neighbour was not convinced but he didn't dare question the wisdom of the Hodja. He took the chickens and the rooster inside the house. The next morning he ran to Hodja's house.
`Hodja Effendi, it is worse now. Me, my wife, my mother-in-law, 3 kids, 5 chickens and a rooster! We can't fit in at all!' he bemoaned. However, Nasreddin Hodja was not moved.
`You have a donkey, don't you?'
`Yes, Hodja Effendi, I have one old donkey.' answered the man.
`Take the donkey in!' said the Hodja. No matter how much the neighbour objected, Nasreddin Hodja maintained that it was for his best and the hopeless man did as he was told. The next morning, he ran back to Hodja's house, this time more despairingly than ever.
`Hodja Effendi! It is not possible. The wife, the mother-in-law, the kids, the chickens, the rooster and the donkey! We had a terrible night. There is no room to breathe.'
`If I remember correctly, you had two lambs, did you not?'
`Oh, no! Hodja Effendi, don't tell me to take the lambs in. There is no room!'
`Don't worry, my friend,' the Hodja assured the desperate man, `You will thank me in the end.' The neighbour, hoping the Hodja knows something that he doesn't, took the two lambs in that night. The next morning he was at Hodja doorstep, wretched.
`Hodja Effendi, what are you doing to us? The house is packed full. My mother-in-law is threatening to kill me, my wife is threatening to leave me. This is not working at all.'
Nasreddin Hodja considered for a moment, then he said:
`Now, take all the live stock out of the house. Chickens, rooster, donkey and lambs; all back to the garden, back to the barn, back to the shed. Take them all out!'
Next morning, the neighbour was once again at Hodja's house.
`Ahh, Hodja Effendi, you are indeed a wise man. You solved my problem. Now, our house is so large, so roomy, so much space for everyone, kids can play, we can sleep, everyone is happy.' he said, `Thank you and may Allah bless you!'
~ Vinegar ~

Word got out that Nasreddin Hodja possessed a jar full of vinegar that was 40 years old. One day a neighbour came knocking on the door.
`Hodja Effendi, is it really true that you have a jar full of 40-year-old vinegar?'
`It is true.' the Hodja replied.
`Could I have a cup full of that vinegar?'
`No.' said Hodja tersely.
`But Hodja Effendi,' the displeased neighbour pursued, `why wouldn't you give me some? I only asked for a cup full.'
`Because,' Hodja explained, `if I were to give a cup full to everyone who asked, my vinegar wouldn't have lasted for 40 years.'

~ Tax Collector ~

One day, the tax collector of Aksehir and surrounding towns fell into the river. Since he didn't know how to swim, he was about to drown. The villagers gathered by the river bank trying to save him.
`Give me your hand, give me your hand.' they were all shouting. But the man was not extending his hand. At that time Nasreddin Hodja happened to be passing by.
`Hodja Effendi,' said the good samaritans, `the tax collector fell into the water. He is going to drown. He is not giving his hand.'
`Let me try.' said the Hodja. `Effendi, effendi,' he yelled to the man bobbing in the water, `take my hand!' To this, the tax collector immediately extended his hand and grabbed Hodja's arm. The Hodja and the people around were now able to pull him off the water.
`You see,' the Hodja clarified, `he is a tax collector, he is more practised in taking than giving.'
~ Debt ~

Nasreddin Hodja owed some money to the grocer. One day the grocer asked for his money.
`How much is it that I owe you?' asked the Hodja.
`31 akce.' said the grocer.
`Does the Mukhtar owe you money too?'
`Yes, Hodja Effendi, he owes 25 akce.'
`Mukhtar Effendi and I are good friends.' Hodja started to expound. `Don't worry, between the two of us, we will pay that 25 akce. Then, what is left of my debt? 6 akce. So then, you pay me that remaining 6 akce and we are even.'
~ Naughty Boy ~

One day the Hodja bought a donkey at the market place. He held his new donkey by its halter and started to walk towards home, pulling the donkey behind. Two rogue teenagers saw the Hodja and his donkey, and decided to play a trick on the Hodja. They were going to steal the donkey and see if they could get away with it.
One of the rascals quietly came up behind the Hodja, loosened the halter, took it out of the donkey's neck and put it around his own neck. The other boy took the donkey back to the market to sell. Hodja, unaware, continued to walk home, pulling the boy instead of the donkey.
When they reached home, Nasreddin Hodja turned around and saw the boy in place of the donkey.
`Who are you?' he questioned the boy.
`Ahh Effendi,' the scoundrel feigned, `you are not going to believe my story. I was a very naughty boy. I misbehaved all the time and made my mama miserable. When she couldn't bear it any more, she put a curse on me and I turned into a donkey. When you thought me good enough to buy, the curse is erased. Thanks to your charity, I became a boy again.'
`I will let you go, but never again torment your mama.' the hodja said, `Be a good boy from now on!'
The next day Nasreddin Hodja was in the market again, looking for a new donkey to buy. He saw the donkey he had bought the day before, the one that had turned into a boy. The Hodja went up to it and whispered in its ear:
`You naughty boy! You disobeyed your mama again, didn't you?'

~ Invited ~

One of the wealthy men of Aksehir had invited Nasreddin Hodja over to his house. On the said day, the Hodja arrived at the rich man's house and knocked on the door. The man's son answered the door and told the Hodja that his father was not at home. However, the Hodja had already seen the host sitting by the window. He was very put out to be invited only to be turned down at the door with a lie.
`Tell your father,' he said to the boy, `next time he is going out, he should not forget his head by the window!'
~ Novice Barber ~

One day the Hodja went to the barber to get a nice, clean shave. His luck, the experienced barber was not in that day, instead there was the young apprentice. Nasreddin Hodja was not reassured by the sight of the razor in the trembling hands of the novice barber. It looked as if the boy was going to cut the Hodja's face or his throat, any minute. As the hodja was saying quiet prayers to get out of the barber shop with his head in tact, a loud bellowing was heard.
`What was that?' asked the Hodja, alarmed.
`The blacksmith is shoeing an ox.' said the boy.
`Oh, thank God!' the Hodja was relieved, `I thought another apprentice barber was shaving a man!'

~ Cow Ruined the Vegetable Garden ~

Nasreddin Hodja was the kadi of the time. One day a neighbour came to confer with him.
`Hodja Effendi, it appears that your cow has entered into our vegetable garden and has caused considerable damage to the vegetables. What does your big black book of law say about that?'
`An animal doesn't have reason.' Nasreddin Hodja dismissed, `The owner cannot be held responsible for his animal's instinctive behaviour. No penalty is required.'
`I spoke wrong, Hodja Effendi,' the neighbour rectified, `I meant to say that our cow has entered into your vegetable garden.'
`Let's see what the law states about that!' And the Hodja reached for his big black book.