When the Hodja was going out with his students, he sat on the donkey facing the tail. They asked him why and he explained:
“As a teacher I must
be in front of you. But if I face the front, I cannot see what you are doing behind
me. Therefore, if I sit on the donkey this way, I can see you all quite easily.”
One day a man said to the Hodja that he saw a man bringing a roasted
“It doesn't interest me”, said the Hodja.
“But it was going to your house”, said the man.
“Then it doesn't interest you”, replied the Hodja.
SEARCHING FOR THE HODJA
One day, a man came to Akshehir and wanted to see the Hodja, who was famous as a great joker.
He saw a man leaning on a wall and asked him if he knew where the Hodja was.
This man said that he was busy at the moment leaning against the wall so that it would not fall down, but if the man would do his job he would go and look for the Hodja and call him.
The man said “O.K.” and leaned against the wall. He waited and waited but the other man did not return.
He told some people passing by, of the situation. When he described the man the people began to laugh and said to him:
“Didn't you believe that the Hodja was a joker? That was the Hodja to whom you spoke.”
When the Hodja had no job he went to the head-judge and asked for a job. The head-judge said that all places at the court were full and there was no place for the Hodja.
“Let me be the shadow judge”, said the Hodja.
You can send the interesting law suits to me.”
The head-judge liked this idea. So the Hodja began to his job, having a good office to work in.
day the Hodja came to his office, put the papers in front of him, waited until
the evening, and went home. He did nothing during this time.
One day a man came to the head-judge and said of another:
“This man was cutting that beat on the wood I said 'hink' and this made him stronger. Now I want my money.”
The head-judge thought and thought, suddenly he remembered that there was the shadow judge for such lawsuits and sent the men to him and he listened from behind the door.
The Hodja listened to the man, took the piece of wood and turned to the wood cutter.
“Give me the money you got for this wood cutting.” He took it, then let it fall on the wood and said: “You wood cutter, take your money and go! And you, the 'hink' sayer, take your voice and go!”
When the Hodja was in another village, he got very hungry. He was walking through the market when he smelled food from a restaurant. He saw the owner standing at the door. He asked:
“Does all this food belong to you?”
“Yes,” said the man.
“ Really? “ asked the Hodja.
“You silly man,” said the Hodja. “Why do you stand here, instead of eating it all?”
STRANGE JOB OF THE GOD
The Hodja collected over many years 1000 coins and one day a
thief came and stole the money. The Hodja was very sorry and prayed every night.
After many days, a man came and gave 1000 coins to the Hodja. The Hodja asked:
“What is this?”
The man explained:
“I am a sailor and the ship I was
on was in perie. The waves lashed the ship and we were all very frightened. So
I said: 'If I return safely on land, I will give 1000 coins to the Hodja' and
here they are.”
When the Hodja heard this he said:
“Dear God? what a strange job you have. Where did my money go and from where does it return! What is the use of this?”
TAKING A BATH
A man asked the Hodja,
“Hodja Effendi, to which side must I turn when bathing in the sea?”
The Hodja answered;
“To the side where your clothes are.”
TIT FOR TAT
When the Hodja was repairing the roof a man called him from below.
“What do you want” said the Hodja.
“Come down for just a minute”, he said. “I'll tell you something!”
The Hodja got down and the man said: “Can you lend me some money?”
“Come”, said the Hodja, “for just a minute up above.”
The man came with him onto the roof and the Hodja said:
“I have no money!”
One day the Hodja wanted to eat peaches and he saw a garden full of peach trees. So he climbed up the tree and began to eat them, one after the other.
But the Hodja was an unlucky man. While he was eating with great appetite, the owner of the garden came. The Hodja hid behind the branches, but the man heard something moving and shouted:
“Who is there?”
The Hodja was afraid and sang like a nightingale. The man shouted:
“You, come down, a nightingale doesn't sing like that!”
“What didn't you like?”, shouted the Hodja. “Can an inexperienced nightingale sing better than this?”
OF THE ROOSTER
One day the Hodja purchased some hens and a rooster and on the way to Akshehir he released the rooster to lead the hens home. But of course, when the Hodja freed them, they all fled. But he caught the rooster, gave it a beating and cried:
“You silly bird, you know when it is morning because you are crow, why don't you know the way to Akshehir?”
WHAT DOES THE
One day the Hodja saw a garden and entered. There he saw many kinds of fruits and began to put them in his bag. At this moment the owner of the garden arrived and cried:
“What are you doing there?”
“You know the storm we had yesterday”, said the Hodja. “It blew me here.”
“And who broke off this fruit?”
“I wanted to hold on to the branches and they fell down.”
“And who put this fruit in the bag?”
“I was just thinking of that”, said the Hodja. “Come on, we'll think together!”
WHAT TEMUR DOES NOT
In the time of Temur, he was very strict and everyone committing a crime was beaten.
One day the Hodja was with him. Temur was shouting.
“Beat this man 700 times!“, “This one 1000 times!”, “This one 1200 times!”, “This one 1500 times!”
Then the Hodja spoke: “Dear Temur, do you know everything?”,
“Of course”, shouted Temur angrily.
“No”, said the Hodja. “Here is something which you don't know. It is the meaning of the number 1500 or the taste of the stick.”
WHERE THE COFFIN GOES
One day one of the men of Akshehir died. His wife was crying.
“Oh, my husband! Where have you gone? There is no light, there is no food, there is nothing!”
When the Hodja heard this, he ran home and said to his wife.
“My wife! Open the door! The coffin is coming to our house!”
WHERE TO GO
The people asked the Hodja,
“Dear Hodja, tell us, where should we go in a funeral procession, in front, at the back, or at the side?”
The Hodja answered, “It doesn't matter where you go, as long as you don't go in the coffin.”
DO YOU BELIEVE?
One day, a friend of the Hodja came to him and asked if he could borrow his donkey for two hours to go to the town. The Hodja, not really wanting to lend his donkey, thought for a while and then said:
“Dear friend, I would like to help you but I have lent my donkey to another friend”
The man was turning to leave when he heard the donkey, who was in the stable, bray. The braying became louder and louder. Then the man turned to the Hodja with great anger and shouted:
“You, Hodja, you have cheated me!”
The Hodja, in turn, was very angry and shouted back: “You silly man, haven't you any sense, whom do you believe, me or the donkey”.
WILL YOU OR WON'T YOU
One day, the Hodja became very angry with Sultan Temur, a strict ruler, who had arrived in Akshehir with his powerful army. He went to him and asked in an angry and threatening way:
“Tell me, Temur, will you take your army and go away from Akshehir or not?”
The Sultan was astonished and wanted to know what he meant.
“No comment”, said the Hodja. “Tell me, will you take your army and go away from Akshehir or not; If not, I know what to do!”
Now the Sultan became very angry and said: “If I don't, what will you do then?”
The Hodja replied: “What will I do? I'll take the people of the town and we'll go away!”
When the Hodja was going somewhere, he got on his donkey with his back facing to front.
“Hodja Effendi”, the people said. “You are sitting on your donkey the wrong way round”.
“No”, he said. “It's just that the donkey is standing the wrong way round.”
One day, the Hodja went to another village. Nobody offered him something to eat, instead they asked him:
"Hodja, why do people yawn?”
“There are two reasons: One of them is tiredness, the other is hunger.”
After yawning for a while he finished up his words:
“I'm not tired!”
YOUTH OF THE HODJA
One day the Hodja wanted to get on his horse but he couldn't reach his aim.
“Oh, what a shame”, he said aloud. “That I am not young as I was in the old days.”
Then he said in a whisper which was heard only by himself:
“I know how you were in your youth!”
Nasreddin Hodja International Cartoon Contest, 1996 Eray Ozbek - Turkey