One night the people
heard a frightful noise from the Hodja's house. They asked
in the morning:
“What was that noise?”
“Oh, my coat fell downstairs.”
“Can a coat make such a noise?,”
“If you were in it, like me, yes!”
The Hodja had lost one of his hens. He searched it for a while, but it was
nowhere. Then he took a small peace of black cloth and put it around the neck of
another hen. People asked him:
“Hodja, what is this?”
“This hen is mourning for its mother !!!”
AND THE GOD
The Hodja was traveling from a long way away, he got very tired and decided to
rest. Then he prayed:
“Dear God”, he said. “Please send me a donkey !”
A few minutes later, he saw a man riding on a horse and leading a young donkey.
The man came nearer, stopped beside him and shouted:
“You, leprous man! Instead of starving there, come on carry the donkey, it is
Although the Hodja said, that he was also tired, the tyrannical man beat him
with a stick and so the poor Hodja took the donkey on his shoulders.
Then the man on the
horse proceeded on his way. Every time the Hodja slowed down, the man beat him
and after many miserable hours, they reached the town, where the man let the
Hodja go, without thanking him. Then the Hodja fall down on the earth and slept
many hours. When he awakened he murmured
“Oh, God! What happened? Was it that I couldn't explain, or that you couldn't
In his dream some people gave the Hodja nine gold coins, but Hodja wanted
ten.-So he refused them. Suddenly he awoke and saw that his hands were empty. So
he quickly closed his eyes again and said: “It's okay, I'll take the nine
WIFE AND HIS DONKEY
When his wife died, the
Hodja became very sorry, but he mourned for her only a few days.
After a while his donkey died and he was even more sorrowful and mourned for him
People asked him why and he answered:
“When my wife died, they all said, they could find a younger and better one
for me, but when my donkey died, nobody offered the same service.”
One day a man asked the
Hodja to write a letter for him.
“Where will the letter go?” the Hodja asked.
“To Baghdad”, said the man.
“I cannot go to there”, the Hodja told him.
“But you don't have to go. The letter will go there”, said the man and the
“Nobody can read what I write. Therefore I must go there to read it.”
One day the donkey of the Hodja got stolen. The Hodja began to search it. While
searching, he was shouting. The judge who saw that, asked him “Who has stolen
your donkey, and how?”
The Hodja became very angry and said: “If I knew the answer, my donkey
wouldn't have been stolen!”
IS A LIE
One day a friend of the Hodja asked him to count as a witness and said to him:
“If the judge asks you 'did this man give away all the gold coins' you can
tell him that I did.”
They appeared before
the judge and the Hodja gave evidence that the man had indeed given away all the
The judge accepted this and they were dismissed.
Outside the friend said
to the Hodja:
“Hodja Effendi, why did you say 'silver' instead of 'gold'?”
“If it is a lie”, answered the Hodja, “what does it matter, what it is?”
One day, a thief came
to the house of the Hodja and took everything he had except the blanket which
When the Hodja saw the thief carrying all his things away, he put his blanket
over his shoulders and followed him.
When the thief arrived
at his own house, he turned back and saw the Hodja.
“What are you doing here?” he asked.
“What am I doing here,” said the Hodja, “you ask a thing like that? Didn't
we move to this house?”
In a village where the Hodja was giving a speech, he told the people assembled
there about Jesus, how he lived in the heavens. One old woman was very curious
and asked the Hodja, what this Jesus ate in Heaven.
Now the Hodja had been
in the village for almost a month, and no-one had offered him any food, and
because of this he was rather angry. So he replied:
“You, silly woman,
why do you ask what Jesus eats in heaven when you cannot remember to ask what
the poor Hodja Nasraddin eats on the earth!”
OF THE WORLD
During the birth of his children, the Hodja stood holding a lighted candle.
The first child was born, and as they were twins, after a while the second child
was also born. Suddenly the Hodja extinguished the candle. 'Why' asked the
attendant relatives. He replied:
“Because, while there was light, first child was born, and then another. Who
knows how many more there may be!”
When the Hodja was in bed, he heard a thief walking on the roof. He quickly
thought of a trick to catch him.
He turned to his wife
“One day when I lost the key and when you weren't at home, I said a prayer
held on to the moonlight and jumped into the house from the roof.”
Then he said a short
The thief, listening to the Hodja believed to these words, so he said a prayer
held on the moonlight and fall into the house. The Hodja caught him and ordered
his wife to bring a rope.
“No need, Sir”, said the thief lying on the floor “As long as you have
that prayer and I have that brain, I cannot escape.”
HENS, NO ROOSTER
One day when the Hodja went to the baths, his friends wanted to play a joke on
him. They each took an egg with them and came to the baths.
“Hodja Effendi”, said one of them. “Everyone will say
“chuck-chuck-chuck” and lay an egg. The one who cannot do this must invite
all the rest to dinner.”
The Hodja agreed and they began to put the prepared eggs underneath them. Then
it was Hodja's turn. He shouted: “Cock a-doodle-do”
“What is that?” they asked.
“Do not so many hens need a rooster?” he replied.
OF THE TURBAN (old type of hat)
One day a man brought a letter to the Hodja and said:
“Hodja Effendi, please read it to me.”,
The Hodja saw that it was written in a foreign language and said:
“I cannot read that, it isn't written in Turkish.”
The man became angry:
“You are a teacher. You should be ashamed of your turban! You cannot read a
The Hodja put the turban on the head of the man and said:
“If the miracle is on the turban, take it and read the letter by yourself.”
IN THE BOOKS
At the time of Temur no one was allowed to carry a
knife or a gun.
One day the soldiers caught the Hodja with a big knife. The head of the soldiers
“Don't you know, that you are not allowed to carry a knife!”,
“But, I use it to scratch out the mistakes in the books.”
“But why is your knife so big? “
“Because the mistakes are big! “
One day, while the Hodja was walking in a cemetery, he suddenly fell into a
newly dug grave. While he was cleaning the dirt from his clothes he wondered
whether the angels would come or not, so he lay back in the grave. He closed his
eyes and started to dream.
He dreamt that he heard
the sound of donkeys, bells and human beings coming nearer and nearer. He awoke
wondering what on earth was happening and jumped out of the grave.
The owners of the donkeys were very angry, caught hold of the Hodja and asked:
“Who are you?”
The Hodja answered:
“I was in the next world and am returning to see this one.”
“Come on friends, we'll show him what this world is like”, said one of them
and they proceeded to beat the Hodja. Then they collected their belongings and
The Hodja returned to
his house at midnight. His wife asked him:
“Where are you coming from?”
“From the next world”, he replied
“What is there”, she asked.
“Nothing dear, nothing if you don't disturb the donkeys.”
One day two men came to the head judge and one of them said of the other:
“This man had wood on his shoulders and it fell on the ground. He wanted me to
help him and I asked him what he would give me if I did. He said “nothing”,
so I helped him. When I finished the job, I wanted my “nothing” but he
wouldn't give it to me. Now I want my nothing.”
The judge thought and then decided to send them to the shadow judge, meaning the
Hodja. So they came to the Hodja and told him the same story.
“Yes, you are right.
He must give you your “nothing”. But I think he perhaps had it not already
in his hand. Now would you please hold this carpet?”
The man held it.
“What is there?” asked the Hodja.
“Nothing”, the man replied.
“Now take your “nothing” and go away”, he
One day, the Hodja said to his friends: “If I die, bury me in an old grave.”
“Why”, asked his friends. “Because”, he explained, “if the angels
come, I'II tell them that I died years before and have already been questioned
and then they will return the way they came.”
One day, people asked the Hodja;
“Where is your nose?” and he showed them the back of his neck.
They said that he was showing the opposite.
The Hodja answered quickly:
“If you don't know the opposite of something you cannot know the thing
One day, when the Hodja was in a certain village, some people invited him to
dinner. As you know, the Hodja never lets the opportunity of a free meal. So he
accepted and went to the house carrying a bag which was made from thick tissue
During the meal when the Hodja was eating with great appetite, he noticed that
his bag has disappeared. He shouted:
“Who has stolen my bag? If he doesn't return it, I know what I'll do!”
The thief was afraid of the Hodja, so he gave the bag back. Then he asked:
“Hodja Effendi what would you have done, if I hadn't returned it to you?”
“Oh, nothing special”, said the Hodja. “I have a lot of tissue paper at
home. I would just have made a new bag for myself.”
One day, the Hodja borrowed a pan from his neighbor. After he had finished using
it, he took it back to the neighbor with a small pan tucked inside.
When the man saw it, he was most surprised.
“What is that?” he asked.
“Well, said the Hodja, when I borrowed your pan it was pregnant and it brought
a child into the world.”
The man smiled and accepted them.
A few days later the
Hodja borrowed the pan again but this time he did not return it.
The man was rather cross. He went to the Hodja and asked “What about my
“I am very sorry”, said the Hodja, “but it died.”
“Don't make jokes with me”, replied the man, “How can a pan die?”
“If you believe that it brought a child into the world”, said the Hodja,
“why can't you believe that it died?”
One day, the Hodja gave a load to a porter to carry but on the way he lost him.
His search was unsuccessful so he went home.
By great coincidence he
saw the same porter after ten days still carrying his load, but this time the
The people asked him afterwards, “You already found the porter with your load?
why didn't you want to catch him?”
“Let it be”, said the Hodja, “what would I do if he said he wanted money
for carrying the load for ten days.”
OF A SULTAN
One day Sultan Temur asked the Hodja: “How much would I cost, if I were a
The Sultan, thinking that he had a beautiful body, expected a very high sum to
be offered. But the Hodja's answer came without hesitation and it was most
unsatisfactory. “Fifty pounds!”
“But my clothes alone cost that much”, said the Sultan.
The Hodja's answer came quickly and clearly. “I meant your clothes”, he
One day the Hodja claimed that the could do whatever he wanted. The people
wanted him to show his ability. They told him to call the mountain.
“Mr. Mountain”, said the Hodja. “Would you come here for just a minute?”
Of course nothing happened to the mountain. He called again and again, then he
began to walk.
“Hodja Effendi”, said one of the men.
“Where are you going?”
“I”, said the Hodja, “am not a vain person myself, If I call the mountain
and it doesn't come to me, I go to it.”
One day, one of the neighbors came to the Hodja and cried: “Quick Hodja, come
with me, my wife and my sister-in-law are quarrelling”
“What about”, asked the Hodja, “their ages?”, “No” the neighbor
“Then don't worry”, said the Hodja, “go home in peace, I'm sure you will
find that it is all over”.
A nice donkey was given Temur as a present. The people around him told how nice,
how good, how beautiful the donkey was. Suddenly the Hodja, who had enough from
all this stuff said:
“Sultan, this donkey is very clever. It can even learn reading.”
“Hodja, how can a donkey read?”
“Give me the donkey for a month, I'll prove
Temur gave it to him and Hodja went home.
One month later Hodja
came back to the palace. In the middle of the courtyard, there was a table with
a thick book on it. The donkey began to turn the pages with his tongue. After
having finished the book, it began to bray.
“You have seen that the donkey has turned the pages of the book and he read
One of the people said:
“But Hodja, we couldn't understand anything.”
“Of course you couldn't understand, it was donkey language. In order to
understand it, you have to be a donkey.”
This time Temur asked,
how Hodja could teach the donkey reading.
“As soon as we were at home, I put the donkey in to the stable. I gave him no
food for some days. Then I found a thick book and put some hay between the
pages. At the beginning I turned the pages and gave him the hay between the
pages. After a while the donkey began to turn the pages and eat the hay by
itself. Each time when he had finished the book, he began to bray.”
One day the Hodja thought he would like to eat liver. So he went and bought some
from the butcher. When he was happily returning home, he met a friend of his and
told him what he had bought.
“Do you know, how to prepare this liver?” asked his friend, and the Hodja
suddenly remembered that he didn't. Because he was poor, he couldn't eat it very
often. “No” he said.
His friend told him how to prepare it, but the Hodja asked him to write it down.
This he did, and the Hodja took the recipe, put it in his pocket and went on his
As he neared his home a
peregrine falcon swooped down, took the liver, and flew away.
The Hodja called after it helplessly:
“You have got the liver, but you will not enjoy it because I have still the
A FORTY YEAR OLD WINE
day, a neighbor said to the Hodja:
“Have you a wine that is forty years old?”
“Yes I have”, replied the Hodja.
“Can you give me a little”, asked the neighbor.
“If I gave a little to everybody asking for it”, said the Hodja, “It would
not be forty years old!”
BALANCE OF THE WORLD
“Hodja Effendi, why do people go to different directions, when they leave
their houses in the morning?”
The Hodja answered without hesitation:
“If all of them would go to the same direction, this would throw off the
balance of the world!”
One day, when Temur was going hunting he wanted the Hodja to join him. In front
of the palace, where the hunting started, they gave him an old, tired horse.
During the hunting suddenly it began to rain. Everybody put their horses to the
gallop and ran away. But the Hodja couldn't... As the weather was hot he took
off his clothes and put them under him. And so he returned slowly to the palace.
When the rain was over he put on his clothes again.
When he arrived at the palace, his clothes were dry and Temur was most
“We all got wet”, he said. “How is it, that you are still dry?”
“Oh, Sir”, the Hodja replied. “With the help of this horse, I arrived at
the palace without getting wet.”
Another hunting trip Temur wanted the horse which was given to the Hodja before.
By a great coincidence it again began to rain and Temur got wet. When he came
back to the palace he angrily called the Hodja and asked what it meant.
“Oh Sir,”, the Hodja said. “I am very sorry. I forgot to tell you, that
you also had to put your clothes under you and then you would not get wet.”
Once upon a time the Hodja was a judge and one day a man came to him.
“Your cow has killed mine!”, he cried.
The Hodja shouted:
“You silly fellow, how can the cow know that it is a crime to kill another
cow. Case dismissed!”
“Oh sorry”, said the man. “I said it wrong. My cow has killed yours.”
“Then, this is another problem”, said the Hodja. “We'll open the black
book and see what it says.”
BLANKET IS GONE
At midnight the Hodja heard a noise. Two men were struggling outside. The Hodja
got out of his bed with a blanket over him and went to the front of his house.
He asked them why they were fighting. Without answering, one of them took the
blanket that covered the Hodja and they both fled. So the poor Hodja returned to
his bed again.
“What were they fighting about?”, asked his wife.
“About our blanket”, said the Hodja. “Now the blanket is gone, so the
struggle is over.”
One day, people said to the Hodja:
“Your wife walks from house to house, tell her she mustn't walk so much,”.
“Alright”, said the Hodja. “If she comes to our house, I'll tell her.”
CAT AND THE LIVER
After the Hodja got the recipe for liver from his friend, he bought again some
liver and because he liked it very much, he wanted to eat it often.
But everytime when he brought livers he couldn't eat it, because his wife said
that the cat took the liver and fled away.
day the Hodja became angry and said:
“Woman, I brought liver! Where is it?”
“Oh”, said his wife. “The silly cat took it and fled away.”
At the same time the cat
was in the room. The Hodja caught it, brought a steelyard and weighted the cat.
Then he said:
“That is exactly two kilos. And the liver which I brought was also two kilos.
Now tell me: If that is the liver where is my cat, if that is the cat, then I
want my liver.”
CLEVEREST MAN IN THE WORLD
At the time of the Hodja, some clever and educated men were searching for an
intelligent man, who could answer their three questions.
They traveled through the whole world and then came to Akshehir. They asked:
“Who is most intelligent man in this town?”
Of course the people of the town brought the Hodja to the three men and they
began to ask.
question: Where is the central point of the world?”
The Hodja's donkey was with him. So he pointed to his donkey.
“Where the front legs of my donkey are, there is the middle point of the
“How can you prove that?” asked one of the men.
“If you don't believe, you can measure it”, the Hodja said.
Measuring did not seem a good idea to them, so they went on to the next
“How many stars are on the sky?”
The Hodja replied without hesitation:
“As many as the hairs on my donkey's mane.”
The three men laughed.
“If you don't believe it,” said the Hodja. “you can count them.”
The foreigners understood that they couldn't get a correct reply and one of them
“Can you say how many hairs are in your donkey's mane?”
“Oh, yes”, said the Hodja. “There is exactly the same number of hairs as
you have in your beard. Now don't tell me, that you don't believe that because I
can prove it by pulling one hair from your beard and one from the donkey's mane.
When we pull each hair out one after the other, you can see at the end that
there are the same number of hairs.”
three men went back to their country and told everyone that the cleverest man in
the world lived in Akshehir.
COW AND THE DONKEY
The Hodja had a little stable and a nice donkey. He hadn't wanted to buy a cow,
because his donkey would be disturbed and he hadn't much money neither. But his
wife wanted to have a cow and she convinced him at last.
The Hodja couldn't stand against his wife, so he bought a cow and put it in the
stable. But the stable was small and they couldn't stay quiet in it. The Hodja
who got tired of that said:
God, kill this cow and save my donkey”.
A few days later the Hodja entered the stable and saw the dead donkey and the
“Dear God”, he said. “You have been God for so many years but still, you
cannot distinguish a cow from a donkey!”
A man wanted money from the Hodja on credit, but the Hodja said:
“I have no money, but I can give you credit. How much do you want?”
One day the Hodja lost his ring. He searched and searched, but he couldn't find
it. Then he got out the house and began to search the ring on the road.
People passing by asked him:
“Hodja Effendi, what are you doing?”
“I've lost my ring at home, and now I'm searching it.””
“Why don't you search it inside?”
“The house is too dark. I can't see anything, so I'm searching my ring
DAYS OF A MONTH
In Ramadan, a special month for Moslems, the Hodja began it by putting a stone
in a cup, to know which day it was. So, every morning he put a stone into the
cup without knowing that one of his friends put a handful of stones in it, to
play a trick on him.
A few days later a man asked the Hodja: “Hodja Effendi, how many days have
passed since we started Ramadan?”,
The Hodja told him to wait for a minute, ran to his cup, counted the stones,
came back and said:
“Up to today 45 days of Ramadan have passed.”
“But Hodja”, said the man. “There are only 30 days in a month. How is it
“Oh, be satisfied with that”, said the Hodja. “If you had counted the
stones in the cup you would have seen, that it is the hundredandtwentieth day of
The Hodja had nothing to eat in his house. So he went for a walk beside the lake
of Akshehir. Ducks were swimming in the lake. Then he began to drink the water
of the lake.
“Hodja Effendi, what are you doing there?” asked a man.
“I am drinking duck soup”, he replied.
EASY METHOD OF THE BIRTH
In the village a woman was giving birth to her child and as it was a difficult
birth the relatives waited for many hours. So they sent for the Hodja.
He came, listened to their story and went away. He returned in a few moments
with a toy that made a squeaking sound. They asked him why and he said:
“Because the child will hear the “voice” of the toy and will very quickly
come out to play.”