Chapter 1: The Uncommon Sense of Mullah Nasruddin

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

Reads: 412

NSR3.jpgPoisoned baklava

Once in the madrasa during class, one student’s parent brought the village schoolmaster Halil was brought a pan of baklava. Nasruddin’s mouth watered at the thought of eating the sweet, rich pastry, but Halil put the pan away in the drawer of his desk.

Shortly afterward he was called out on urgent business. Before he left, he gave his students a complicated assignment to finish within the hour. “And I shall expect you to get everything right,” he said, “or there will be trouble.” He glared at them. “Big trouble.”

“One thing more,” Halil said as he made for the door. “I have enemies. Many despicable enemies. I keep being sent poisoned meats and poisoned sweets. Even,” he added fiercely, “poisoned baklava. I have to test everything before I eat it. So be warned. If you hope for a long life, don’t touch anything that has been sent to me. Especially baklava.”

As soon as Halil was gone, Nasruddin went to the desk and took out the pan of baklava.

“Don’t eat that!” Hussein cried out. “They may be poisoned!”

“Don’t be ridiculous. Of course they aren’t poisoned,” Nasruddin grinned, picking up a piece of the delicious sweetmeat. “Halil just wants to keep them for himself.” And he started in on the baklava. “They really are quite delicious,” he said, grinning widely. He ate another one, and another.

When Nasruddin’s friends saw that he didn’t fall to the floor in a writhing heap, they gathered round the desk and gobbled up the baklava. The pan was completely clean in a matter of seconds.

“But what will we tell teacher when he finds it all gone?” Hussein said, wiping the crumbs from his mouth.

Nasruddin just smiled.

A while later, when Halil returned, he went right to his desk and looked in his drawer. He glared at his students.

“Someone,” he said, “has been at my desk.”

There was a long silence.

“Someone has been in my drawer.”

Still more silence.

“And someone has eaten the baklava.”

“I ate it,” confessed Nasruddin.

“It was you who ate it! After what I told you?”


“Perhaps you have some explanation,” said Halil, “for disobeying me and risking your life. If so, I would like to hear it before you die.”

“Well,” said Nasruddin, “the assignment you gave me was far too hard for me to complete. Every problem I’ve started, ended up wrong. I knew you would be very angry and tell my parents, and they would be very disappointed and punish me. I felt so ashamed at my ignorance that I decided my only option was — forgive me, teacher, for I know it is a sin — to end my life. So that’s why I ate all your poisoned baklava. It was the only way I could think of to save myself from shame. But the weird thing is, nothing’s happened yet. I feel perfectly fine. I wonder why that is.”

Halil examined the boy’s innocent expression. “I suspect it is just a slow-acting poison,” he said, “and your imminent death is just delayed — in which case, I ought to take a look at the schoolwork you have done.”


"Poisoned baklava"
A story excerpted from:
The Uncommon Sense of the Immortal Mullah Nasruddin:
Stories, jests, and donkey tales of the beloved Persian folk hero
©2011 by Ron J. Suresha
Lethe Press, 2011
See more excerpted stories at:

Submitted: October 02, 2014

© Copyright 2021 RJSuresha. All rights reserved.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Reddit
  • Pinterest
  • Invite

Add Your Comments:

Facebook Comments

Other Content by RJSuresha