Mulla Nasrudin Folktales

1. Are You Asleep?

Nasrudin was lying on his couch with his eyes closed. His brother-in-law went up to him and asked, “Are you asleep?” “Why do you ask?” Nasrudin replied. “I was wondering if you could loan me three hundred dollars,” said the other. “Well,” answered Nasrudin, “let’s go back to you your first question – ‘Am I asleep.’ The answer is yes, I am – so leave me alone!”

2. A Great Home?

Nasrudin was inspecting a house he wanted to buy. The home’s next-door neighbour noticed, walked over, and began telling him how great of a house it was.

When he finished talking, Nasrudin remarked, “Well, what you’re saying might be true, but there is one drawback to living here that you neglected to tell me about.”

“What’s that?”

“A nosey neighbour!”

3. The Missed Appointment

A philosopher made an appointment with Nasrudin to have a scholarly discussion. When the day came, the philosopher dropped by Nasrudin’s house as planned. However, Nasrudin wasn’t home. The philosopher angrily took his pencil out of his pocket, wrote “Asshole” on Nasrudin’s door, and then left.

Nasrudin finally came home later and saw this. He quickly realised that he had missed his appointment, and he darted off to the philosopher’s house.

“Forgive my error,” Nasrudin told the philosopher when he got there. “I totally forgot about our appointment today. But when I got home and saw that you had written your name on my door, I came here as fast as I could.”

4. Sack of Vegetables

Nasrudin snuck into someone’s garden and began putting vegetables in his bag. The owner saw him and shouted, “What are you doing in my garden?”

“The wind blew me here,” Nasrudin confidently responded.

“Well then,” said the other. “Can explain how those vegetables were pulled out from my garden?”

“Oh, that’s simple,” Nasrudin explained. “I had to grab them to stop myself from being thrown any further by the wind.”

“Well,” the man continued, “then tell me this – how did the vegetables get in your sack?”

“You know what,” Nasrudin said, “I was just standing here and wondering that same thing myself!”

5. Man is Stuck in Tree

One day, a local man climbed up a rather tall tree.

Shortly after that, however, as he tried to make his way back down, he soon discovered that the trip down might not be as easy as the trip up. In fact, try as he might, he just could not figure out a way to get down the tree without putting his body at high risk of falling to the ground.

He asked a few passers-by for help, but no one knew what to do.

A few local people gathered near him and tried to help, but he remained stuck.

Then Nasrudin walked by and devised a plan. He threw a rope up to the man and said, “Tie this around your waist.”

The people nearby wondered about what Nasrudin was doing. They asked him his plan, but he calmly replied, “Just trust me – this works.”

When the man had the rope tied around his waist, Nasrudin pulled on the rope. Upon his doing this, the man fell from the tree and hurt himself. The bystanders, horrified to see this happen, remarked, “What kind of a plan was that?”

“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “I once saved someone’s life doing the exact same thing.”

“Are you sure,” one man asked.

“Yes,” Nasrudin replied. “The only thing I’m not sure about is whether I saved him from a well or from a tree.”

6. Nasrudin Almost Falls into a Lake

One day, Nasrudin slipped and nearly fell into a lake, but was caught by a friend walking next to him.

From then on, every time Nasrudin encountered the friend, the latter was sure to bring up the incident and make a big deal about it.

After months passed and Nasrudin could take no more of this, he led the friend to the same lake, and, with clothes and shoes still on, deliberately jumped right into the water! As he lay in the water, he remarked to the friend, “Now I’m as wet as I would have been if you didn’t save me that day…so for goodness sake, please stop reminding me about it!”

7. Man Searches for Joy

One day, Nasrudin began talking to a man from another town. The man lamented, “I am rich, but I am also sad and miserable. I have taken my money and gone travelling in search of joy-but alas, I have yet to find it.”

As the man continued speaking, Nasrudin grabbed the man’s bag and ran off with it. The man chased him, and Nasrudin soon ran out of the man’s sight. He hid behind a tree and put the bag in the open road for the man to see.

When the man caught up, he located the bag, and his facial expression immediately turned from distress to joy. As the man danced in celebration of finding his bag, Nasrudin thought to himself, “That’s one way to bring joy to a sad man.”

8. Meal or Preaching?

The local religious leader invited Nasrudin over for dinner one night.

Nasrudin, not having eaten much that day, was famished when he got there, and eager to eat as soon as possible.

After two hours, however, the religious leader had yet to offer Nasrudin any food and instead spoke nonstop about a variety of spiritual topics.

As Nasrudin grew more annoyed with each passing minute, he finally interrupted the man and said, “May I ask you something?”

“What?” the religious leader answered, eager to hear some religious question that would prompt him to continue talking.

“I was just wondering,” Nasrudin said, “did any of the people in your stories ever eat?”

9. Did You Enjoy the Stew?

Nasrudin was invited to the royal palace for dinner one night. During the meal, the King asked Nasrudin if he enjoyed the stew.

“Yes,” replied Nasrudin, “it was fantastic.”

“Really?” said the King. “I thought it was pretty bad.”

“Yes,” said Nasrudin, “you’re right – it was quite awful.”

“Wait a minute,” remarked the King. “You just said it was fantastic a few seconds ago.”

“That’s correct,” explained Nasrudin, “but I live in and serve the town of the King, not the stew.

10. The Crowded Home

Nasrudin was talking to his neighbour one day, and the neighbour lamented, “I’m really having trouble fitting my family in our small house. It’s me, my wife, my three kids, and my mother-in-law-all sharing the same cottage. Mulla Nasrudin, you are a wise man. Do you have any advice for me?”

“Yes,” replied Nasrudin. “Do you have any chickens in your yard?

“I have ten,” the man replied.

“Put them in the house,” said Nasrudin.

“But Mulla,” the man remarked, “our house is already cramped as it is.”

“Just try it,” replied Nasrudin.

The man, desperate to find a solution to his spacing woes, followed Nasrudin’s advice and paid him another visit the next day.

“Mulla,” he said, “things are even worse now. With the chickens in the house, we are even more pressed for space.”

“Now take that donkey of yours,” replied Nasrudin, “and bring it in the house.”

The man lamented and objected, but Nasrudin convinced him to do it.

The next day, the man, now looking more distressed than ever, came up to Nasrudin and said, “Now my home is even more crowded! Between my family, the chickens, and that donkey of mine, there is barely any room to move.”

“Well then,” said Nasrudin, “do you have any other animals in your yard?”

“Yes,” the man replied, “we have a goat.”

“OK,” said the other. “Take the goat in your house too.”

The man once again raised a fuss and seemed anything but eager to follow Nasrudin’s advice, but Nasrudin once again convinced him to put yet another animal in the house.

The next day, the man, now full of _ and _, came up to Nasrudin and exclaimed, “My family is really upset now. Everyone is at my throat complaining about the lack of space. Your plan is making us miserable.”

“OK,” Nasrudin replied, “now take all of the animals back outside.”

So the man followed his advice, and the next day, he dropped by Nasrudin and remarked, “Mulla – your plan has worked like a charm. With all the animals out, my house is so spacious that none of us can help but be pleased and uncomplaining.

11. The Meeting

Nasrudin went to a wealthy man’s home one day for a business appointment. As he walked towards the front door, he looked through a side window and saw the man eating soup.

Nasrudin continued to the front and knocked on the door.

The man’s son opened it.

“Hi,” said Nasrudin. “I am here to see your father.

“Well,” other replied, “my father went out and won’t be back for many hours.”

“OK,” said Nasrudin, “but tell your father that the next time he leaves the house, he should remember not to leave his head near his home’s window!”

12. Pricing the Conqueror

One day, the town’s new conqueror asked Nasrudin, “If I were a slave, how much would I cost?”

“Five hundred dollars,” Nasrudin responded.

“What!” the conqueror shouted in great anger. “Just the clothes I’m wearing right now are worth five hundred dollars!”

“Yes,” replied Nasrudin, “I factored the clothes into my price.”

13. Nasrudin Eats Dates

A man noticed Nasrudin eating dates with their seeds.

“Why are you eating the seeds,” the man asked.

“Because,” explained Nasrudin, “the merchant who sold them to me included the weight of the seeds.”

14. Across the River

Nasrudin was standing near a river. A man on the other side shouted to him, “Hey! How can I get across the river?”

“You are across!” Nasrudin shouted back.

15. Three Times Two

While Nasrudin was staying in another town, a local man asked him what three times two was.

“Four,” Nasrudin replied.

“You are wrong,” the man said. “The answer is six.”

“Actually,” explained Nasrudin, “I am not wrong. We use a different type of math where I am from.”

16. Nasrudin Gets Engaged

Nasrudin, having just got engaged to a new woman in town, went to his fiancée’s home to meet his future mother-in-law.

“Tell me,” she said, “are you sure that this is the first time you are getting married?”

“Yes,” Nasrudin replied, “I swear on my four kids that I have never been married before.”

17. Nasrudin Offers Friend Strawberries

Nasrudin had a friend over at his house.

“Have some of these strawberries,” Nasrudin said.

“Thank you,” replied the friend, “but I have already eaten five of them.”

“I usually don’t count,” Nasrudin replied, “but you actually ate ten.”

18. Wrestling Dreams

One day, Nasrudin went to the local doctor and told him, “Every night for the past month and a half, I have dreamt a dream in which I have wrestling matches with donkeys.”

The doctor gave Nasrudin a herb and said, “Eat this, and your dreams will go away.”

“Can I start taking them tomorrow?” Nasrudin asked.

“Why?” the doctor inquired.

“Because I’m scheduled to wrestle in the championship match tonight,” Nasrudin replied.

19. The Thief

One night, a thief broke into Nasrudin’s house and began putting items in a sack. Nasrudin then joined him and added a few things.

The thief was so bewildered that he turned to Nasrudin and asked, “What in the world are you doing?”

“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “I thought we were moving, so I began helping you pack.”

20. The Guest

Nasrudin heard a knock at his door one night. He opened the door, and the man standing there said, “Mullah, can you help a brother out and provide me with some shelter for the night. I am God’s nephew.”

“Oh, is that so?” asked Nasrudin.

“It surely is,” the man replied.

“Well then,” remarked Nasrudin, “for an exalted guest such as yourself, I must offer only the most exalted place to spend the night.”

Nasrudin stepped outside and closed his door, and then turned to the man and said, “Follow me.”

The man curiously followed Nasrudin.

Hundreds of meters later, they reached the local Mosque.

Nasrudin turned to the man and said, “And what better place could I offer you to stay the night than here at your own uncle’s house!”

21. The Pot

Nasrudin borrowed a pot from his friend. The next day, he gave the friend back the pot, plus another smaller pot.

The friend looked at the small pot, and said, “What’s that?”

“Your pot gave birth while I had it,” said Nasrudin, “so I am giving you its child.”

The friend, happy to receive the bonus, did not ask another question.

A week later, Nasrudin once again borrowed the original pot from the friend. After a week passed, the friend asked Nasrudin to return it.

“I can’t,” said Nasrudin.

“Why not?” the friend asked.

“Well,” Nasrudin answered, “I hate to be the bearer of bad news…but your pot has died.”

“What?” the friend asked with scepticism. “A pot can’t die!”

“Well, you believed it gave birth,” said Nasrudin, “so is why is it that you can’t believe it died?

22. The Hole

Nasrudin was digging outside, and his neighbour asked him, “What are you working on?”

“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “There’s a lot of excess dirt on the road, so I’m digging a hole to bury it in.”

“But what are you going to do with the dirt that you ‘re digging out of this new hole?” said the neighbour.

“Hey,” Nasrudin replied, “I can’t attend to every single detail.”

23. The Strength Test

Nasrudin and some others were in the town square one day, and the topic of conversation turned to how they changed since they were younger. Some of them talked about how they were wiser, and some talked about how they were weaker. Nasrudin stood up and said, “Not only am I wiser than I used to be, but I’m also as strong as I was in my youth.”

“Are you sure?” One of them asked.

“Yes. I’ve tested it,” Nasrudin replied.

“How did you test it?” they asked.

“Well, there is this big rock outside my house. I couldn’t lift it when I was young, and I still can’t lift it now.”

24. Nasrudin’s Discovery

Nasrudin was hanging a painting in his room. As he hammered the nail, he accidentally hit too hard and made a big hole in his wall. He looked through it and saw goats on the other side, but did not realise that he was looking into his neighbour’s yard.

Nasrudin immediately ran to his wife and exclaimed, “Wife! You are not going to believe this! Guess what!”

“What?” she replied.

“I was hanging a painting in my room, and…you’re not going to believe this!” Nasrudin exclaimed.

“What!” his wife asked curiously.

“My hammer went through the wall, and…this is really incredible,” Nasrudin said.

“What?” his wife replied, now totally full of anticipation.

“I accidentally discovered another universe right in my room – a universe of goats!”.

25. Nasrudin’s Cherry Logic

Nasrudin loaded a barrel of cherries on his donkey and went off to the bazaar to sell them. On his way, a group of about a dozen children noticed him and were elated to see all the cherries he was carrying. They began dancing and singing in anticipation of eating cherries.

“Mulla,” they said, “please give us some.”

Now, Nasrudin was in a dilemma. On the one hand, he adored children and did not want to disappoint them; but on the other hand, he loved profits and did not want to sacrifice them either.

After thinking the matter over, he took six cherries out of the barrel and gave them to the children.

“Can we have more?” the children asked.

“Listen,” Nasrudin replied, “these cherries all taste the same. What difference does it make if each of you eats half a cherry, or each of you eats fifty?”

26. Nasrudin’s Vinegar Principle

Friend: “Nasrudin, I heard that you have a barrel of thirty-year-old vinegar. Is it true?”

Nasrudin: “Yes.”

Friend: “Can I have some?”

Nasrudin: “No.”

Friend: “Why not?”

Nasrudin: “Well, it’s just the principal of the matter.”

Friend: “What do you mean? What principle?”

Nasrudin: “The principle that if I had given some vinegar to everyone who asked me for some, I would not have any thirty-year-old vinegar.”

27. The Lost Ring

A man noticed Nasrudin intently inspecting the ground outside his door.

“Mulla,” he said, “what are you looking for?”

“I’m looking for a ring I dropped,” Nasrudin replied.

“Oh,” the man replied as he also began searching. “Well, where exactly were you standing when you dropped it?”

“In my bedroom,” Nasrudin replied, “not more than a foot in front of my bed.”

“Your bedroom?!” the man asked. “Then why are you searching for it out here near your doorway.

“Because,” Nasrudin explained, “there is much more light out here.”

28. Nasrudin the Proud Parent

Nasrudin and a friend were watching Nasrudin’s children.

The friend asked Nasrudin’s young son, “What is a dilettante?”

The son replied, “That is a herb used for seasoning.”

A delighted Nasrudin turned to his friend and said, “Did you hear that? What a fine boy I have. Just like his father. He made up an answer all by himself!”

29. Early Bird Gets the Worm?

Friend: “Nasrudin, you should get up early in the mornings.”

Nasrudin: “Why?”

“Well, as they say, ‘the early bird gets the worm.'”

“Well, I still don’t know if getting up early has any merit to me. After all, I am not hunting for worms.”

“I thought you might say that. But listen to this. A few days ago, I woke up at sunrise and went for a walk, and on my way, I came across a gold ring lying right on the ground!”

“Well, how do you know it wasn’t lost the night before that?

“I’m sure it wasn’t. I was on the same road the night before and did not see it.”

“Well, then, that shows that it isn’t always so great to get up early.”

“Why is that?”

“Because the person who lost that gold must have gotten up earlier than you did!”

30. The Stranger’s Request

One day, Nasrudin was repairing his roof and was interrupted by a stranger knocking on his door.

“What do you want?” Nasrudin shouted down to him from the roof.

“Come down so I can tell you,” the stranger replied.

Nasrudin angrily climbed down the ladder.

“Well!” Nasrudin snapped at the stranger, “What’s so important?”

“Can you spare some money for this poor old man?” asked the stranger.

Nasrudin started climbing up the ladder. He turned to the old man and, “Follow me up to the roof.”

The latter did, and when they both reached the roof, Nasrudin turned to him again and said, “No, you can’t have any money. Now get off my roof!”

31. What in the World Were You Smuggling?

Nasrudin, the smuggler, was leading a donkey that had bundles of straw on its back. An experienced border inspector spotted Nasrudin coming to his border.

“Halt,” the inspector said. “What is your business here?”

“I am an honest smuggler!” replied Nasrudin.

“Oh, really?” said the inspector. “Well, let me search those straw bundles. If I find something in them, you are required to pay a border fee!”

“Do as you wish,” Nasrudin replied, “but you will not find anything in those bundles.”

The inspector intensively searched and took apart the bundles, but could not find a single thing in them. He turned to Nasrudin and said, “I suppose you have managed to get one by me today. You may pass the border.”

Nasrudin crossed the border with his donkey while the annoyed inspector looked on. And then the very next day, Nasrudin once again came to the border with a straw-carrying donkey. The inspector saw Nasrudin coming and thought, “I’ll get him for sure this time.”

He rechecked the bundles of straw, and then searched through the Nasrudin’s clothing, and even went through the donkey’s harness. But once again he came up empty handed and had to let Nasrudin pass.

This same pattern continued every day for several years, and every day Nasrudin wore more and more extravagant clothing and jewellery that indicated he was getting wealthier. Eventually, the inspector retired from his longtime job, but even in retirement he still wondered about the man with the straw-carrying donkey.

“I should have checked that donkey’s mouth more extensively,” he thought to himself. “Or maybe he hid something in the donkey’s rectum.”

Then one day he spotted Nasrudin’s face in a crowd. “Hey,” the inspector said, “I know you! You are that man who came to my border every day for all those years with a donkey carrying a straw. Please, sir, I must talk to you.”

Nasrudin came towards him, and the inspector continued talking. “My friend, I always wondered what you were smuggling past my border every day. Just between you and me, you must tell me. I must know. What in the world were you smuggling for all those years? I must know!”

Nasrudin simply replied, “donkeys.”

32. The Mayor’s Poems

The village mayor wrote a poem and read it to Nasrudin.

“Did you like the poem?” he asked.

“No, not really,” Nasrudin replied, “it wasn’t very good.”

The mayor was enraged, and he sentenced Nasrudin to three days in jail. The next week, the mayor called Nasrudin in his office to read him another poem he had written. When the mayor finished reading, he turned to Nasrudin and asked, “Well, what do you think of this one?”

Nasrudin did not say anything and immediately began walking away. The mayor inquired, “Just where do you think you’re going?’

“To jail!” Nasrudin replied.

33. Location

A man noticed Nasrudin digging a hole, and asked him about it.

The reply was, “I buried something in this field last month, and I’ve been trying to find it all morning.”

“Well,” said the other, “did you have some kind of marking system for it.”

Nasrudin said, “Of course I did! When I was burying it, there was a cloud directly over it that cast a shadow – but now I can’t find that cloud, either!”

34. Larger Steak

A travelling scholar treated Nasrudin to a meal at a local restaurant.

The scholar ordered two lamb steaks – and several minutes later, after the waiter brought back a platter containing one medium sized steak and one larger one, Nasrudin immediately took the larger steak and put in on his plate.

The scholar looked at him with total disbelief. “What you did violates virtually every moral, ethical, etiquette, and religious principle there is,” the scholar began explaining. He continued with a long lecture.

When he finally finished talking, Nasrudin asked, “Well, may I ask what you would have done if you were in my situation?”

“Yes,” the scholar replied. “I would have taken the smaller steak for myself.”

Nasrudin placed the smaller steak on the scholar’s plate and said, “OK, fine – here you go!”

35. Avoiding Criticism

Nasrudin and his son were travelling with their donkey. Nasrudin preferred to walk while his son rode the donkey. But then they passed a group of bystanders, and one scoffed, “Look – that selfish boy is riding on a donkey while his poor old father is forced to walk alongside. That is so disrespectful. What a horrible and spoiled child!”

Nasrudin and his son felt embarrassed, so they switched spots – this time Nasrudin rode the donkey while his son walked. Soon they passed another group of people. “Oh, that’s detestable!” one of them exclaimed. “That poor young boy has to walk while his abusive father rides the donkey! That horrible man should be ashamed of himself for the way he’s treating his son. What a heartless parent!”

Nasrudin was upset to hear this. He wanted to avoid anybody else’s scorn, so he decided to have both himself and his son ride the donkey at the same time. As they both rode, they passed another group of people. “That man and his son are so cruel,” one bystander said. “Just look at how they are forcing that poor donkey to bear the weight if two people. They should be put in jail for their despicable act. What scoundrels!”

Nasrudin heard this and told his son, “I guess the only way we can avoid the derisive comments of others is to both walk.”

“I suppose you are right,” the son replied.

So they got off the donkey and continued on foot. But as they passed another group of people, they heard them laughing. “Ha, ha, ha,” the group jeered. “Look at those two fools. They are so stupid that both of them are walking under this scorching hot sun and neither of them is riding the donkey! What morons!”

36. A Good Time to Eat

Man: “Nasrudin, when is a good time to eat?”

Nasrudin: “Well, for the rich, anytime, and for the poor, anytime they find food.”

37. Tiger Powder

Nasrudin was busy sprinkling crumbs on the ground around his house. A neighbour saw him and asked, “Nasrudin, what are you doing?”

“I want to keep tigers away,” he replied.

‘But there aren’t any tigers within a fifty-kilometre radius from here,” the neighbour retorted.

“Yes,” said Nasrudin, “thanks to my powder.”

38. The Negotiator

Nasrudin dreamt that a man was giving him nine coins, but that he demanded ten. Suddenly, Nasrudin woke up, and looked at his hands and saw that they had no coins in them. He closed his eyes, opened his hand, and said, “OK – you win. I’ll settle for nine.”

39. Hospitable Nasrudin

One day, Nasrudin was boasting to a group of others about how tremendously hospitable he was. One of them, eager to make Nasrudin make due on his claim, said, “Well then, will you take us all to your home and treat us to a meal?”

Nasrudin agreed and led the group towards his house. Upon arriving there, he told them, “Wait out here so I can let my wife know what’s going on.”

He went in and told her – , but she replied by saying, “We don’t have any food. You must turn them away.”

“I surely cannot do that!” Nasrudin replied with great alarm. “My reputation for hospitality is at stake here!”

“Fine,” his wife said, “go hide upstairs, and if they start calling for you, I’ll tell them you’re not here.”

So Nasrudin did as she said, and left his guests waiting outside.

After some time had passed, they grew impatient and began pounding on the door and calling for their host.

“Nasrudin! Nasrudin!” they shouted.

Nasrudin’s wife opened the door and told them, “Nasrudin isn’t here.”

“That doesn’t make any sense,” one of them replied. “After all, we saw him go in, and we’ve been waiting here watching this door this whole time.”

As Nasrudin listened to this from upstairs, he couldn’t help but open his window and retort, “You don’t know what you are talking about. I could have gone out the back door!”

40. The Turban is Mine

Nasrudin’s old friend Eynolla came to visit him one day from a far away village.

“I want to introduce you to a few people,” Nasrudin told Eynolla.

“OK,” replied Eynolla, “but please lend me a turban, for I am not properly dressed.”

So Nasrudin lent him the turban, and they went and visited one of Nasrudin’s friends. “This is my friend Eynolla,” Nasrudin said, “but the turban he’s wearing is mine.”

Deeply annoyed by the remark, Eynolla waited until they left the friend’s house, and then said to Nasrudin, “Why did you comment about turban I am wearing being yours?! Don’t do that during our next visit.”

So they made their next visit, and this time Nasrudin said, “This is my friend Eynolla – and the turban he’s wearing is his, not mine.

As they left, Eynolla once again expressed his annoyance, exclaiming, “Why did you go to such lengths to say that the turban was mine and not yours. Don’t do it on our next visit.”

So as they made the next visit, Nasrudin said, “This is my friend Eynolla…and I have nothing to say about whether the turban he is wearing is his or mine.”

41. Cow-on-Cow Homicide

A neighbour ran into Judge Nasrudin’s room and asked, “If one man’s cow kills another’s, is the owner of the first cow responsible?”

“It depends,” Nasrudin cautiously answered.

“Well,” said the man, “your cow has killed mine!”

“Oh,” answered Nasrudin. “Well, everyone knows that a cow can’t think like a human. So obviously, a cow isn’t responsible-and; therefore, its owner isn’t responsible either.”

“Excuse me, Judge,” the man interrupted, “I made a mistake. What I meant to say is that my cow has killed yours!”

Judge Nasrudin sat in contemplation for a few moments. “Now that I think about it more carefully,” he announced, “this case is much more complex than I initially thought.”

He turned to his assistant and said, “Please bring me that big blue book of laws on the shelf behind you…”

42. You’re Right

Judge Nasrudin was listening to a case. After hearing the plaintiff present his side, Nasrudin remarked, “You’re right.”

Then, after the defendant had presented his case, Nasrudin again remarked, “Yes, you’re right.”

Nasrudin’s wife had been listening to the case, and remarked, “that doesn’t make any sense – how can both the defendant and plaintiff be right?”

“You know what?” Nasrudin responded. “You’re right, too!”

43. A Bird Saved My Life

Nasrudin was walking through the desert and spotted a foreign holy man. Nasrudin went and introduced himself, and the holy man said, “I am a mystic devoted to the appreciation of all life forms – especially birds.”

“Oh, wonderful,” Nasrudin replied. “I am a Mulla, and I would like to stay with you for a while so we can share teachings. And guess what – a bird saved my life once!”

Delighted to hear this, the mystic agreed to share company with Nasrudin. As they shared their teachings, the mystic constantly asked to hear about how a bird saved Nasrudin’s life – but each time Nasrudin refused to tell the story.

One day, after the mystic pleaded and pleaded to hear the story, Nasrudin finally agreed.

“OK, here is how the bird saved my life,” Nasrudin began explaining while the mystic intently listened. “One day about six years ago, I had not eaten for a long time and was about to starve to death. Then I caught a bird and ate it.”

44. The Donkey Experiment

Nasrudin began gradually reducing the amount of food he fed to his donkey each day, hoping to get it accustomed to less and less food. By day thirty, however, the much-emaciated donkey dropped dead.

“Darn it,” Nasrudin lamented. “I was just a few days away from getting this donkey used to living on no food at all!”

45. My Foot Hurts

An illiterate man asked Nasrudin to write a letter for him.

Nasrudin, however, refused, saying, “Unfortunately, I can’t do it right now – my foot hurts too much.”

“Your foot?” the man said. “What does that have to do with writing a letter?”

“Well,” explained Nasrudin, “since nobody besides me can read my handwriting, I have to go wherever the letter goes so that I can read it to the recipient.”

46. Guess What I Have in My Pocket?

Nasrudin’s friend had an egg in his pocket. He went up to Nasrudin and said, “If you can guess what I have in my pocket, I’ll treat you to breakfast. I’ll give you three clues.”

“OK,” Nasrudin replied, “give me the clues.”

The friend said, “It’s yellow in the middle. The rest of it is white. And it’s shaped like an egg.”

Nasrudin replied, “Is it some kind of cookie?”

47. The Neighbor’s Garden

Nasrudin spotted some ripe oranges in his neighbour’s garden and wanted to steal one.

He took his ladder up to the dividing wall, climbed to the top of it, and pulled the ladder over.

As he began climbing down to his neighbour’s side, he suddenly heard the voice of his neighbour exclaiming, “What are you doing here!”

Nasrudin calmly replied, ” I’m selling ladders.”

The neighbour countered, “Does this look like the place for selling ladders?”

“Well now,” Nasrudin said, “do you think that there’s only one place to sell ladders?”

48. Warriors Boast

Several of the town’s warriors were boasting about a recent battle. One of them exclaimed, “In the midst of the battle, several knives had daggered me in my legs and arms, but I continued fighting and took out five of their men!”

“Well,” another warrior chimed in, “I had an axe go right into my leg, and several blades in my arms, yet I still continued fighting, and was able to overcome an ambush of over a dozen men. In fact, I ended up killing them all!”

“That’s really not that impressive,” replied Nasrudin. “Back in the day when I was in battle, a ten-foot-tall warrior sliced my head right off, but I picked it up, put it back on my shoulders, and kept on fighting as if nothing had happened!”

49. The Sun Versus the Moon

Man: “Nasrudin, what is more valuable to us – the sun or the moon?”

Nasrudin: “Well, the sun is out during the daytime when there is light. The moon, on the other hand, provides light during the night when it’s dark. Thus, the moon is obviously much more valuable.”

50. What’s the Word For Baby Cow?

Nasrudin was visiting another town, and a man asked him, “What’s the word for ‘baby cow’ in your village?”

Nasrudin couldn’t remember the word, so he replied, “Where I’m from, we don’t call a baby cow anything. We just wait until it grows up, and then we call it a cow!”

51. Laughing Turns to Crying

A man showed a compass to Nasrudin and asked him what it was. Nasrudin immediately began laughing. But just seconds later, he started crying.

The man noticed his bizarre behaviour, and asked, “What was that? Why did you start laughing a few seconds ago, and then all of a sudden start crying?”

“At first,” Nasrudin responded, “”I laughed at you because you didn’t know what that object was; but then I realised that I didn’t know what it was either, so I cried.”

52. My Bag is Lost

One day, Nasrudin entered a village and viciously declared, “My bag is lost – and if you people don’t find it, you’ll find out what happened the last time my bag got lost!”

The villagers, quite terrified, frantically began searching for the bag. Minutes later, a man found it and presented it to Nasrudin.

Out of curiosity, one of the searchers asked Nasrudin, “I was just wondering, what would you have done if we didn’t find the bag?”

Nasrudin responded, “I would have bought a new bag!”

53. A Liter of Milk

Nasrudin brought a small container to the milkman and said, “Give me one litre of cow’s milk.”

The milkman looked at Nasrudin’s container and said, “A litre of cow’s milk won’t fit into your container.”

“OK – give me one litre of goat’s milk.”

54. The Bill

A visiting Emperor was in Restaurateur Nasrudin’s town and ate a meal of sheep meat in his restaurant. When the Emperor finished the meal, he asked Nasrudin how much to pay.

“Fifty dollars,” Nasrudin confidently responded.

Surprised to hear such a high figure, the Emperor said, “Wow, that is very expensive. Are sheep rare in this part of town?”

“No, not really,” Nasrudin replied. “What’s really rare around here is visits of Emperors!”

55. Nasrudin Visits the Cemetery

Nasrudin was seated near a grave at the cemetery, grieving and lamenting, “Oh, why, why did he have to leave me so soon!”

A man noticed Nasrudin crying and wanted to comfort him. He said, “Is this your son’s grave that you are crying over?”

Nasrudin replied, “No; this is the grave of my wife’s first husband. He is the one who died, and left me the woman who has made my life so miserable!”

56. The Right Language

A man was caught in a river current and hanging on to some rocks to avoid being carried away.

Nasrudin and a friend noticed him, and the friend went up to him, extended his arm, and said, “Give me your hand so I can help you out.”

The man, however, did not cooperate.

Nasrudin then asked the man what he did for a living.

“I collect taxes,” the other replied.

“Then take my hand,” Nasrudin said, upon which the man finally cooperated.

Nasrudin then turned to his friend and remarked, “Tax collectors speak the language of taking, not the language of giving.”

57. Nasrudin Loses His Memory

Nasrudin: “Doctor, I can’t seem to remember things.”

Doctor: “When did that begin?”

Nasrudin: “When did that begin?”


Doctor: Is your memory getting any better?”

Nasrudin: Yes-now I can usually manage to remember that I have forgotten something!”

58. Nasrudin’s ID

As Nasrudin entered a foreign town, a border guard stopped him and said, “You must have some way of identifying yourself before we can let you in.”

Nasrudin took out a pocket mirror, looked into it, and remarked, “Yes-that is Nasrudin.”

59. Nasrudin’s Vacation

Nasrudin was working for Nike but did not show up to his job for a week.

When he came back, his boss asked him, “Where were you during the last week?”

Nasrudin replied, “Oh, I was just doing as I was instructed.”

“What?” the boss replied.

“Well,” Nasrudin explained, “I was going to ask you for a vacation last week, but then I remembered that our company motto was Just Do It.”

“So?” the boss remarked.

“So I just did it.”

60. Reverse Burgleration

One night, Nasrudin’s wife woke Nasrudin up and said, “Husband, there are burglars in the house.”

“Are you certain?” Nasrudin replied.

“Yes,” she replied. “They left bundles of other people’s stolen possessions outside our door, and they are in our house right now taking our stuff.”

“OK, I will handle this,” Nasrudin said, as he got out of bed and began climbing out the window.

“Are you going to go contact the police?” his wife asked.

“No,” Nasrudin said. “While the robbers are in our house stealing our junk, I am going to steal the bundles they left outside.”

61. Meal Reverse Trickeration

Nasrudin and a few of his buddies went to one of their friend’s homes one night for a dinner of chicken and rice.

As they ate, the friend, wanting to play a little joke at Nasrudin’s expense, snuck the chicken bones from his meal into Nasrudin’s plate. Then, when everyone finished eating, he remarked, “Nasrudin, you’re a real pig! Look at all the bones in your plate-you must have eaten enough for two people!”

“If I am an overeater,” Nasrudin quickly responded, “then what about you? Not only have you been eating like a starved man this entire time, but you’ve also apparently eaten every bone in your plate as well!”

62. Camel or Man?

Friend: “Nasrudin, which is wiser: camel or man?”

Nasrudin: “Camel.”


“Because a camel carries loads but does not ask for more, whereas man, even if he is overwhelmed by responsibility, often chooses to add more.”

63. What Color is my Beard?

One day, a barber was trimming the mayor’s beard at the village palace.

After he finished up, he remarked, “Your beard is starting to turn grey.”

The mayor, enraged to hear this, ordered that the barber is put in jail for one year.

He then turned to a court attendant and asked, “Do you see any grey in my beard?”

“Almost none at all,” the man replied.

“What do you mean ‘almost’!” the mayor yelled. “Guards, take this man to jail and keep him there for two years!”

He then turned to another attendant and asked the same question.

“Sir, your beard is exquisite, and is completely black,” the man replied.

“You liar!” the mayor shouted. “Guards-give this man ten lashes on the back, and put him in jail for three years.”

Finally, he turned to Nasrudin and said, “Mulla, what colour is my beard?”

“Your Excellency,” Nasrudin replied, “I am colour blind, and cannot answer that question.”

64. Tool Repairman

Nasrudin took his tools to a repair shop one day. When he went to pick them up the following day, the repairman said, “Unfortunately, they were stolen.”

The next day he told his friend about this, and the friend said, “I bet the repairman stole your tools. Go back there and demand that he return them.”

“I cannot do that,” Nasrudin said. “I am avoiding him.”

“Why?” the friend asked.

“Because I still owe him money for my tool repairs,” replied Nasrudin.

65. The Mayor’s Request

One day, the King called over Nasrudin and said to him, “Mulla, you claim to have mystical powers. Use your powers to catch fish for the starving people in our town.”

“Your Highness,” replied Nasrudin, “you’ve got me confused. I said I have powers. I never said I was a fisherman.”

66. Three Months

Three months after Nasrudin married his new wife, she gave birth to a baby girl.

“Now, I’m no expert or anything,” said Nasrudin, “and please don’t take this the wrong way-but tell me this: Doesn’t it take nine months for a woman to go from child conception to childbirth?”

“You men are all alike,” she replied, “so ignorant of womanly matters. Tell me something: how long have I been married to you?”

“Three months,” replied Nasrudin.

“And how long have you been married to me?” she asked.

“Three months,” replied Nasrudin.

“And how long have I been pregnant?” she inquired.

“Three months,” replied Nasrudin.

“So,” she explained, “three plus three plus three equals nine. Are you satisfied now?”

“Yes,” replied Nasrudin, “please forgive me for bringing up the matter.”

67. Nasrudin Steals Wheat

Nasrudin was at the local mill along with many others. As they waited for their turn, Nasrudin scooped wheat from other people’s sacks into his own.

The miller noticed this and confronted Nasrudin.

“What are you doing?” he said.

“Don’t mind me,” replied Nasrudin, “I am just a half-wit. I do whatever comes to my head.”

“Well then,” the miller replied, “Then why hasn’t it come to your head to put your wheat into other people sacks.”

“Hey, I said I was a half-wit,” replied Nasrudin. “I never said I was a complete idiot.”

68. Nasrudin the Liar and Exaggerator

Mayor: “Nasrudin. You are known to be a liar and exaggerator. Tell me a lie without thinking, and I will reward you with fifty dollars.”

Nasrudin: “Fifty dollars? You just promised me a hundred dollars!”

69. The Umbrella

As Nasrudin and a friend walked, it suddenly began raining hard.

The friend noticed that Nasrudin was carrying an umbrella, and said, “Open your umbrella to prevent us from getting soaked.”

“No,” said Nasrudin, “that won’t do us much good. This umbrella is full of holes.”

“So then why did you bring it?” the friend curiously asked.

“Well,” explained Nasrudin, “I didn’t really think it would rain today.”

70. News Delivery

“Nasrudin,” said the mayor, ” Mrs Rahman’s husband died today. Go tell her, but try to break the news gently. She is a very frail lady.”

Nasrudin went to her house and knocked on the door.

A frail lady answered.

“Does Miss Rahman the widow live here?” asked Nasrudin.

“My name is Rahman, and I do live here,” the lady replied. “But I am not a widow.”

“Well,” Nasrudin replied, “I’m willing to bet a hundred dollars that you are!”

71. Your Cat is Dead

Nasrudin had a cousin who went to live far away and left some of his possessions with Nasrudin.

One day, the cousin’s cat died, and Nasrudin sent him a message that bluntly said: “Your cat is dead.”

The cousin, very upset, sent a message back that said, “Where I live, we give people bad news more tactfully. Instead of just telling me flat out that my cat was dead, you should have let me know me little by little. You should have started off by saying, first told me, ‘Your cat is acting strange,’ then later said, ‘your cat is jumping all over the place,’ then still later told me, ‘Your cat is missing,’ and then finally broken the news and said, ‘Your cat is dead.’

A month later, Nasrudin’s cousin received a new letter from Nasrudin, which said: “Your mother is acting strangely.”

72. Did You Hear the News?

Some of Nasrudin’s acquaintances wanted to get Nasrudin to kill his biggest goat and invite them for a meal.

One day they told him, “Did you hear the news?”

“No, what is it?” Nasrudin replied.

“The world is coming to an end tomorrow!” the friend said.

Upon hearing this, Nasrudin invited all of them to dinner that night to eat the goat. They came to his house and ate it – but upon finishing it, they discovered that Nasrudin had taken all of their coats and used them to kindle his fire.

They began protesting with anger, but Nasrudin interrupted them and remarked, “Don’t you remember that the world is coming to an end tomorrow? What difference does it make if you have your coats or not?”

73. Nasrudin Dies

Nasrudin was very old and lying on his bed, about to die at any moment. He said to his wife, “Why are you dressed in black and looking so sorrowful? Go put on your finest clothes, fix up your hair, and smile!”

“Nasrudin,” she tearfully responded, “how can you ask me to do such a thing? You are ill, and I am dressed like this out of respect for you.”

“Yes,” Nasrudin said, “and that’s why I made my request. The Angel of Death will be here soon, and if he sees you all dressed up and beautiful, maybe he’ll leave me and take you instead.”

And after giving a little laugh, Nasrudin died.