Eat, Coat, Eat
The Hodja was invited to a banquet.
Not wanting to be pretentious, wise old saying she wore his
everyday clothes, only to discover that everyone ignored
him, including the host. So he went
back home and put on his fanciest coat, and then returned to the
banquet. Now he was greeted cordially by everyone and invited to
sit down and eat and drink. When the soup was served to him he
dunked the sleeve of his coat into the bowl and said, "Eat, coat,
The startled host asked the Hodja
to explain his strange behaviour "When I arrived here wearing my
other clothes," explained the Hodja, "no one offered me anything
to eat or drink. But when I returned wearing this fine coat, I
was imediately offered the best of everything, so I can only
assume that it was the coat and not myself who was invited to
Playing the Saz:
At a gathering in the coffee house,
they asked Nasreddin Hodja if he knew how to play the saz. Our
Hodja, never one to disappoint his friends, said that he did. So,
they gave him a saz and asked him to play. Nasreddin Hodja took
the saz, placed it on his lap, then picked one string and started
to play that string. He was not moving his fingers up and down,
left or right; he was constantly plucking the same string, at the
`Hodja Effendi, what kind of music
is this?' protested the patrons of the coffee house.
`The real saz players move their
fingers about, play different strings. You held on to one string
and you are not letting it go!'
'They are moving their fingers
about because they are all looking for this very spot,' was the
Hodja.s explanation, `I found it in my first attempt, why should
I let it go?'
Nasreddin Hodja was in Konya for
some business. He had to stay overnight, so he found a cheap old
inn. At night, as the Hodja was trying to sleep, a heavy rain
storm started. The old inn was shaking and creaking all
The noise of the storm mixed with
the noise of the squeaking wood and trembling windows was so loud
that the Hodja was afraid that the worn-out dwelling was going to
tumble down, or else the roof was going to cave in. He brought
his concerns to the attention of the innkeeper.
The innkeeper was an impish man. He
immediately came up with a reassurance that he thought the Hodja
could not challenge.
"Hodja Effendi, no need to worry.
The house is chanting the ninety-nine names of Allah. All this
praying and praising makes it tremble with devotion." "That.s
exactly what I am worried about." the Hodja said, "It is so
devoutly praying that pretty soon it will want to go down on the
ground and prostrate!"
Restoring The Moon
One night the Hodja looked into his
well and saw there the reflection wise old sayings of the full
"Oh no!" he exclaimed. "The moon
has fallen from the sky and into my well!" He ran into his house
and returned with a hook attached to a rope. He then threw the
hook into the water and commenced to pull it up again, but it
became stuck on the side of the well.
Frantically the Hodja tugged and
pulled with all his might. The hook suddenly came loose, and the
Hodja fell over backwards, landing flat on his back. Scarcely
able to move, he looked up into the sky and saw the full moon
"I may have injured myself in doing
so," he said with satisfaction, "but at least I got the moon back
into the sky where it belongs."
The Pita Bread
The chief of police of Aksehir was
a corrupt man who had made a fortune by receiving bribes. One day
Timur asked him to bring his books in for xamination. Nasreddin
Hodja was present at this interview as well. When Timur saw the
improbable amount of possessions listed in the chief's accounts,
he got very upset. He ripped each page of the accounts and made
the chief of police eat them. Nasreddin Hodja watched in
Next, Timur asked the Hodja to
collect the taxes of Aksehir and present them to him accompanied
by a good list of how much is collected from whom. Nasreddin
Hodja took this task very seriously, collected the taxes and kept
accurate accounts. Then he asked his wife to bake a large pita
bread. When the pita was ready, the Hodja wrote his numbers on it
and presented it to Timur along with the collected money.
'Hodja, what is this?' asked Timur,
`Why are your numbers on a pita bread?' `Great Timur, I did so
just in case you would make me eat my accounts too.'
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
"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
"You have a donkey, don't
"Yes, Hodja Effendi, I have one old
donkey." answered the man.
"Take the donkey in!" said the
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,
"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
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
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
`Do you know what I am about to
tell you today?' he asked.
`No, Hodja Effendi, we don't,' they
`If you don't know what I am going
to talk about,' the Hodja said, `then I have nothing to tell
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
`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.