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Before it’s Late
It was a long dry season. Most wells were dry. So, Nasreddin asked his son to take some drinking water from a natural fountain. He handed a jar to his on. After that, he hit his son’s face and said, “Be careful, don’t break the jar!” The boy cried and left.
One of his neighbours knew the event. He felt a pity on the boy. He approached Nasreddin and said, “Nasreedin, your son is a nice boy. Why do you hit him!
“In order not to break the jar,” Nasreddin answered.
“You’re not wise, Nasreddin. The jar is not broken, but you have hit your son.”
“You’re wrong,” Nasreddin answered, “If hit him after he breaks the jar, as most people do, it would be very late. And it is no use to do something late.”
Nasreddin felt that he was already old. He thought that he would die soon. So, asked for someone to make a grave for him. He promised to pay the man a certain amount of money when the work was finished.
During the work, Nasreddin protested many things about the grave. But, at last the man finished the grave making. He asked for the money Nasreddin had promised him.
Nasreddin said, “You cannot ask for the money now.”
“Why! You said that you would pay me as soon as I finish the grave.” Asked the man.
“The grave is not complete yet,” said Nasreddin.
“What else should I do to complete it. I’ve done everything,” said the man angrily.
“It’s not complete yet because the corpse is not there yet,” answered Nasreddin.
One day, when Nasreddin was still young, his mother would have something to do outside. Before leaving, she said to Nasreddin to watch the door carefully. Don’t let anyone in. there have been many thieves recently.”
Nasreddin, therefore, sat by the door. An hour later, his uncle came. “Where is your mother!” he asked.
She is out”, Nasreddin answered.
My family will be here altogether this evening. Go and tell your mother not to be away this evening.”
As his uncle left, Nasreddin started thinking, “Mother told me to watch the door. Uncle asked me to find her and tell her that he would be here with the whole family.”
Having thought over and over, he finally made a decision. He pulled the door up, carried up, carried it, and went to meet his mother.
One night Nasreddin dreamt something very beautiful. When he was sitting alone by the street, someone approached him. The man looked very kind and rich. He gave a gold coin to Nasreddin. He gave one more and more until there were coins. Then he stopped giving more coins.
Nasreddin knew that there was one more coin left in the man’s hand. He said, “Please, give me the other coin so that I have ten coins.”
The man shook his head again. Nasreddin wanted to hit the man. As he swung his hand, he woke up. He opened his hands. Of curse, there was eyes and cried, “All right, all right! You don’t have to give me more coins. Nine is enough. Now give them back to me!”
One night a thief was breaking into Nasreddin’s house. Coincidentally Nasreddin saw it. Then he hid in a big box in the corner of the room quickly.
The thief started searching for money pr jewellery in the house. He opened the cupboards, drawers, and wardrobe but he could not find anything. He was almost desperate and wanted to go out through the window. When he walked to the window he saw a big box in the corner of Nasreddin’s bedroom near the window. He was glad because he thought that there was jewellery or much money inside.
The box was tightly locked from inside. Yet, he could open the door hardly. He was very surprised to find Nasreddin inside the box. The thief was angry and said, “Hey, what are you doing here?”
“I hide from you,” said Nasreddin.
“I’m a shamed because I don’t have anything that you can take. That’s the reason why I hide here,” answered Nasreddin.
Someday Nasreddin’s country had a census. Two of the persons in charge came to Nasreddin’s house.
“How old are you, Nasreddin?” asked he.
“Forty,” answered Nasreddin.
“Don’t be ridiculous, Nasreddin. Several years ago you said that you’re forty. And now you said that you’re still forty,” his friend said.
“You’re right. I always try to be consistent with what I have said,” he answered.
The man was a little annoyed. He said in amore serious tone, “Try to remember now. How old are you?”
“Yes, I remember now. I’m three years older than my brother.” Nasreddin answered.
The man asked, “How do you know?”
Nasreddin answered, “A year ago, my brother said to my friend that he was two years younger than me. It was last year. It means I am now one more year older than him. So, I’m there years older than him now. My God, I’m afraid I’ll become his grandfather soon.”
One of Nasreddin’s neighbours was a merchant. He traded to many foreign countries. He was considered the smartest man in the neighborhood because of his experience. When he went home from his journey he always had some new stories his neighbours had never heard before.
One day he told his neighbours a new story. “You know, I have just visited a new country that I have never imagined before. It’s really a strange country.”
“What’s so strange?” asked one of them. Nasreddin was sitting beside the man who just asked the question.
“The country was very rich. The people were bright skinned and quite smart,” explained the merchant.
“All right. And what’s so strange?” asked the other person impatiently.
“There the weather was very hot so that nobody wore any clothes.”
Quickly Nasreddin asked, “So, if they wore no clothes, how did you differentiate between the men and the women!”
Nasreddin has been sitting at the corner of crossroad for the whole day. The people passing by the crossroad were curious about what he was doing. One of them asked, “Nasreddin, why are you sitting here all day long?”
Relaxedly he answered, “One day, there will be an accident here. If there is an accident, there will be so many people here that I cannot se the accident before the people come here. So, I would be able to see the accident.”
The people laughed at him.
“Where are you going?” asked Nasreddin.
One of them said, “We’re going to play music. Come on, let’s play together.”
Nasreddin refused their offer because he couldn’t play music. But he was ashamed to admit that he couldn’t play any musical instrument. He thought that he should take a music course.
So, the next day he went to the best music teacher in town.
“Sir, I want to learn music here. Ho much is the fee?” Nasreddin asked the music teacher.
“The teacher said, “My students pay me twenty thousands rupiahs for the first month and fifteen thousands for the second month and the rest.”
Nasreddin said, “All right. I’ll learning music here from the second month.”
Once Nasreddin was elected a judge in his village. He faced a very puzzling case. In the trial the victim stated that the suspect had bitten his right ear. But the suspect argued that the victim had bitted his own ear.
Nasreddin said, “This is really a confusing case. The two explanation are contradictory. And there is no witness. Okay, the law trial is in recess for 30 minutes.”
After that, Nasreddin left the court and went to an empty room next door. There he tested the suspect’s and victim’s argument by biting his own ears. Whenever he tried, he fell down, therefore, his head was swollen all over. He smiled as he had found the answer to the case.
He started the trial again. “Let me see the victim’s head.” Said he.
The victim stepped up and Nasreddin examined the victim’s head. After examining the head for a while, Nasreddin said, “The victim is right. The logic is as follows. If his head was swollen, it would show that he bit his own ear, and the suspect would win the court. But the fact is his head is not swollen. It means that his ear had been bitten by the suspect.”
The king and Nasreddin were very good friends. The king almost always asked him to join when the king went hunting. That day he asked Nasreddin to join him to go hunting for bears in the forest nearby.
Even though Nasreddin had joined the king to hunt many times, but actually he was afraid of wild animals, especially bears. So, before he joined the king, he had come to his friends and asked for their advice about hunting bears.
When Nasreddin went home, he met one of the friends coincidentally. His friend was smiling and asked, “How was the hunting, Nasreddin?”
“That’s very amusing hunting,” Nasreddin answered cheerfully.
“How many bears did you got?” his friend asked further.
“I even didn’t see any,” he answered.
His friend asked, “Why do you say it’s amusing?”
“Well, if you were in my shoes, you would have been very happy not to see any bear. You know, I’m scared of bears,” Nasreddin explained.
Nasreddin was very poor. He didn’t have any money to buy even some fruits. He knew that his neighbour had a rich garden of fruit trees. But the garden was surrounded by a high concrete fence.
Nasreddin climbed the fence and jumped into the garden. He climbed up the most fruitful tree. He picked some fruits and put them into his bag. Suddenly someone said, “Hi, Sir. What are you doing up there? This is my garden, don’t you know?”
Nasreddin was afraid and ashamed. He answered, “A big cyclone swept me here, Sir. I don’t know what to do.”
The man was smiling and said, “I’m so sorry to hear that. But why do you pick my fruits?”
“When the cyclone swept me into this garden, I lost my balance and tried to hold something. And I could only reach the fruits,” Nasreddin answered.
“Really?” the man said, “Then why are they in your bag?”
Nasreddin answered, “Well, that’s what I’m thinking about now. Why are they in my bag!”
One of Nasreddin’s close friends was a merchant. He often travel led away from his town. One day, he visited Nasreddin to say goodbye before he had a long trip. When he saw Nasreddin’s beautiful gold ring with a precious stone in it, he wanted to own it.
“Nasreddin!” said he. It is really hard to be apart from you. I am always restless because you are my only close friend in this world. So, please give me your ring. When ever I see your ring, when I am away, I will always remember you and feel close to you.”
The ring was the most valuable possession of Nasreddin. He would not give it to anyone else.
“I am so touched to hear it, my friends.” Nasreddin said, “Just like you, I can hardly be separated from you for a long time. So, please have a pity on me. Let me ring be on my finger. Whenever I see the ring during your trip, I will always remember my friend who have tried to have it but I did not allow him. Then I will always feel close to you, too, although you are away.”
One night Nasreddin came home very late. Whereas his wife was waiting for him restlessly. When he came his wife got angry.
She said, “I have been cooking for you all afternoon but you come home very late. Now the food is table. We cannot eat anything.”
She hit her husband’s chest several because she was very annoyed. Then she pushed him backward. Unfortunately he fell and rolled down the stairs. It made a loud noise.
The couple was quarreling after that. His closest neighbour heard the noise and came to their house. He knocked at the house strongly.
“What’s wrong with you. It’s late at night already and you keep making noises,” said the neighbour.
“My coat falls along the stairs,” answered Nasreddin.
It’s only a coat and you shouted as if you hurt yourself,” said the neighbour.
Nasreddin answered quickly, “Of course, I shouted loudly because I was inside the coat.”
There were several soldiers who just came back from a battle. Some of them went to a food stall and told the others about his bravery and manliness in the war. Nasreddin was one of the listeners.
One of the soldiers said, “I swung my sword left and right, many enemies fell down and died at once.”
The listeners clapped their hands. The soldier looked very proud.
“Your story reminds me of something!” Nasreddin shouted.
“What’s that?” asked one of the listeners.
Nasreddin said, “In the last war I fought, I swung my sword toward my enemy’s legs. He was also dead at once.”
Then the applause came to him. Suddenly one of soldiers asked, “Why didn’t you just behead him? It’s much greater for a warrior.”
“That’s impossible,” Nasreddin answered quickly.
“Why?” asked the other.
“My comrade had done it before I did,” answered Nasreddin.
Nasreddin was chatting with his friends. He asked his friends, “Which is more important, the sun or the moon?”
“Both are important. None is more important than the other,” his friends answered almost spontaneously.
“No, I think in general the moon is more important than the sun,” said Nasreddin.
“Is it? Why?” one of his friends asked.
Nasreddin answered seriously, “Night is dark. So, people need light very much. Fortunately, there is a moon. It gives people don’t need any light. So, they don’t need the sun.”
All of his friends laughed together.
But Nasreddin soon said further, “Night is dark. Maybe it is a problem for you. But, for me it is not. Since I can see in the dark, for me night and day are just the same. So, both the moon and the sun are not important to me.”
One of his friends asked, “If it is true, Nasreddin, why I sometimes saw you walking with a light at night?”
“Oh, that’s only to prevent somebody from hitting me.”
One day Nasreddin went down town. It was very hot. He wanted to take a bath. So, he went a public bathroom.
At that time he wore shabby dress. The man in charge of the bathroom did not care him so much that the man just gave him a small piece of soap and an old dirty towel. Then he took a bath in that public bathroom.
After taking a bath, Nasreddin gave the man two gold coins happily. He did not show any disappointment on his face for the poor service. The guard was very surprised and thought Nasreddin should have given him much more money if his service was better.
A week later Nasreddin came back to the same public bathroom. He wanted to take a bath there. The guard welcomed him warmly with a nice smile. He was treated like a king. He was given the best towel and fragrant soap. The guard also gave him a massage. After taking a bath, Nasreddin gave the guard two coins with the cheapest value.
The guard stared at him confusedly.
Nasreddin said, “The money is for the former service. And the gold coins last week were for your service now.”
Nasreddin was not very rich. But sometimes his wife asked him for something beyond his reach. That day, for example, she asked him to buy her a gold ring. Of course, Nasreddin could not buy it for her. His wife got angry.
In the evening, she made soup. She intentionally put so many chilies that the soup was too hot to eat. Fo course, she did not tell her husband about it.
But a moment later, when the time for dinner came, she herself forgot about it and took a spoon of soup and sipped before Nasreddin took any. Of course, she felt too hot and tears came down her cheeks. She tried to hide it from her husband and said nothing.
“Why are you crying?” asked Nasreddin, seeing his wife in tears.
“My mother used to make such soup for me. So whenever I make it, I always remembers her, then I cry,” answered his wife.
Nasreddin, without any suspicion, took a spoon and sipped it. He, of course, feel to hot, too, and his tears fell down from his eyes. His wife asked him, “Why are you also crying?”
He answered, “I am also very sad. When your mother died, why didn’t you follow her at once?”
Nasreddin got married again after his wife died one year before. About three months after the wedding party, his wife gave a birth to a baby son.
His wife was very happy. “Look, Nasreddin, we have a healthy baby son, now. He will make you proud later,” said his wife.
Nasreddin smiled and did not say any word. The next day he went to the market and bought several things, such as, paper, pencils, pens, erasers, and even toys. After getting all the things, he went home quickly.
At home he put all the things beside the baby and said, “Those are you, my baby.”
His wife was surprised to see that. She said, “What are you doing, my dear husband?” You are all right, aren’t you? It take several years before a baby can read or write.”
He answered, “You’re wrong honey. Our baby is not an ordinary baby. It is an extraordinary baby.”
“How do you know?” his wife asked.
“That’s obvious. It was born three months after we got married, not nine months. So, I think we will grow up fast and be able to read and write well in few months.”
When Nasreddin was still a young boy, he was very naughty. He always disobeyed what his father asked him to do. Very often, he did something contradictory to his father’s order. Therefore, if his father ordered him to do something, he preferred giving contradictory order rather than straight forward one. If he, for example, wanted his son to come into the house, he would say, “Get out, son,”
One day, the father and son were walking home from the market. They brought a donkey with them. They put some sacks of flour on its house. When was a river about 2 kilometers before their house. When they were crossing the river, one of the flour sacks down from the back of the donkey.
The father said, “Nasreddin, the sack is sliding down. Push it down firmly.”
The father, of course, hoped that Nasreddin would lift the sack instead of pushing it. But that time Nasreddin even did the order as it was said. He pushed the sack so that he drowned it into the river. Soon it disappeared into the water.
Seeing that, the father got angry. He said, “You’re a fool, Nasreddin!”
Nasreddin answered, “Sorry, Dad. I obeyed your order now just to show how foolish your orders are.”
Nasreddin was a poor man. He lived in shabby house. Whenever it rained, the roof was always leaking. So, he always had to climb a ladeer to fix i. since was very difficult and dangerous, he had to do it carefully.
It was a sunny morning when Nasreddin was repairing the roof. An old man was walking in the street. He saw Nasreddin on the roof and waved his hand to ask Nasreddin to come down.
“There must be something important for me,” thought Nasreddin. So he climbed down the ladder. He almost slipped many times that he might fall down. As he reached the ground, the old man said, “I really poor man, Nasreddin. Please give me some money. I really need it.”
Nasreddin got very angry. But he repressed his anger and said, “Go up the roof!”
He helped the old man get on the ladder. As the old man was already on the roof, Nasreddin, standing on the ladder, said, “I am also poor. I have no money either.”
The old man asked, “Will you give me some money after this?”
“No, I have said I am a poor man also. If you don’t want to help me fix roof, just climb yourself. I’m sorry, I cannot help you either,” said Nasreddin.
One day Nasreddin wanted to go out town but his donkey was ill very weak. So, he decided to borrow his friend’s horse. He was an officer an his horse was very tall and big,
The sun was shining brightly. Nasreddin rode the horse to go to the market. On the way the horse was frightened by a vehicle that overtook him in a high speed. It was galloping and jumping high before running very quickly.
The horse was so tall and big that Nasreddin got difficulties in controlling it. When Nasreddin wanted to ride it toward his house, it even ran quickly to the opposite direction. Nasreddin was very scared because he could not stop it. That time the horse was running toward rice fields.
Nasreddin’s neighbour was ploughing his rice field. Because he felt very tired, he took a rest. Suddenly he saw Nasreddin riding a horse very quickly from a distance. He thought that Nasreddin brought important news for him. Therefore, he went to the streey to wait for Nasreddin.
When Nasreddin arrived there, to him he asked, “What’s the news?”
“No news for you” said Nasreddin.
“Why are you so in a hurry! Where are you going?”
“Don’t ask me, ask the foolish horse,” answered
Nasreddin. His left hand holding the neck of the horse firmly.
One day Nasreddin went downtown. When he walked in front of a shop, he saw nice trousers inside. He walked into the shop. There he examined many trousers. He chose the best, and took them with him. He said to the shopkeeper nearby, “I’ll take them.”
Then he walked to the other room of the boutique. There he saw many coats. He examined them. He thought that he was very interested in on of them. So he took one.
He went to the cashier. He gave the trousers back and said, “I take this coat.” Then he walked out.
The cashier shouted to call him back. Nasreddin went back and said. “What’s the matter?”
“Excuse me, Sir. You haven’t paid the coat yet,” said the cashier.
“I think I have given you trousers. How much are the trousers?” asked Nasreddin.
“They’re ten thousands rupiahs.”
“Okay, how much is this coat?”
“It’s also ten thousands, Sir.”
Nasreddin smiled. He said further, “That’s why I give you the trousers to buy this coat.”
“But Sir, you haven’t paid the trousers either.”
“Of course, I haven’t because I don’t buy them, “said Nasreddin.