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Hoja's Wife and Soup (cont.)
Seeing his wife crying without any reason, Nasreddin Hoja asked, "What came over you?"
His wife, drying the tears with her husband, answered, "I remembered my poor mother. She was so fond of this soup. It was she who taught me how to make it."
Nasreddin Hoja knew his mother-in-law and had much respect for her. So he didn't say anything, took a spoonful of the soup and swallowed it. Of course, his eyes also filled with tears.
"What's wrong with you?" his wife asked. "Why are you also crying?"
"I am crying" said Nasreddin Hoja, "because it is you who should have died instead of your unfortunate mother."

Hoja and the Enlightenment

On a hot summer day Nasreddin Hoja was resting under a big walnut tree. He noticed that there were some enormous watermelons growing in the field close by, and then looking up he saw walnuts on the tree. " Oh, my God," he said silently. "Thou has made both of these-the huge watermelons and the tiny walnuts. But aren't those walnuts up there too small for the tree they grow on? A tree whose trunk cannot be encircled by two men stretching out their arms. Those branches spread out like a tent almost fifty yards. Would it not have been better for those big watermelons to grow on the walnut tree and those walnuts on the watermelon plant?"

No sooner had he said these words than a walnut fell and hit him right on his forehead. It caused him to see stars and he gave a cry of pain as he held his head in his hands. A feeling of awe came over him, the fear of God entered his heart and he repented for what he said. "Oh my God!" he cried. " I have sinned. Please forgive me. Never again will I presume to question the wisdom of thy Providence. Thou movest in mysterious ways! Ah, have mercy on me! What would have happened to my head if this tree had watermelons on it and one of them had fallen on my head!"




Hoja in the Hammam

On a visit to a neighboring town where he was not known, Nasreddin Hoja went to a bathhouse. The attendants, seeing that he was poorly dressed, treated him in a casual manner. They did not help him to undress or wash, and they brought him a torn towel and only a scrap of soap. On leaving the bathhouse, Nasreddin Hoja gave a gold piece to each of the attendants, who cursed themselves for having been deceived by his modest attire.

The following week Nasreddin Hoja appeared again at the bathhouse, dressed as before. This time howver, he was treated with great deference. The attendants brought him new towels, and scented soap, and scrubbed, washed and massaged him, their palms tingling with anticipated pleasure of another gold piece. But on leaving the bathhouse, Nasreddin Hoja gave each attendant a copper piaster and, in answer to their surprise protest, he said, "The gold pieces I gave you last week were for the way you treated me today, and the copper piasters I have just given you are for the way you treated me last week."

The Other Face

One day the effendi played a practical joke on the padishah. The padishah took it badly and kicked him out of the palace, shouting, `Get out of here! I don't want ever to see your face again!' (cont.)



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