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
"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
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
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
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!'