The Turkish Jester by Nasreddin Hoca


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Page 2

One day the Cogia walking along the plain met a heifer, and forthwith
laying thievish hands upon it, led it straight to his house, where he
slaughtered it and stripped off the skin. The proprietor soon appeared
before the Cogia's house, making a loud cry and lamentation. 'Who would
have thought,' said the Cogia to his people and his wife, 'that my
flaying the heifer would have made that fellow's face look so black?'

One day the Cogia Nasr Eddin Efendi passing along the bazaar, an
individual coming up to him said, 'Pray, Cogia, what is the moon to-day?
Is it at three or four?' 'I don't know,' said the Cogia. 'I neither buy
nor sell the moon.'

One day the Cogia taking a ladder on his shoulder, placed it against a
garden wall, and mounting, got over, taking the ladder with him. The
gardener seeing him said, 'Who are you? and what do you want here?' 'I
am come to sell this ladder,' said the Cogia without hesitation. 'Is
this a place for selling a ladder?' said the gardener. 'O you foolish
man,' said the Cogia, 'cannot a ladder be sold anywhere?'

Nasr Eddin Efendi one day taking hold of some fowls one by one, tied some
strips of an apron round their throats, and then let them go. The
learned men having assembled round the Cogia, said, 'What was the matter
with these fowls?' Said the Cogia, 'They merely went into mourning for
their slaughtered mothers.'

One day a bull mounted a young cow of the Cogia's. The Cogia seeing what
he was about, took a staff in his hand and ran towards him. The bull
fled towards the car of a Turcoman, to which seven other oxen were
attached. The Cogia keeping the ox in view, ran after him, and with the
staff in his hand struck the ox several blows. 'Halloa, man!' said the
Turcoman. {p:259} 'What do you want with my ox?' 'Don't you interfere,
you foolish dog,' said the Cogia. 'He knows full well what he has done.'

One day the Cogia made his last will. 'When I die,' said he, 'place me
in an old tomb.' When the people about him said, 'Why do you make this
request?' the Cogia said, 'When the inquiring angels come and ask me
questions, I can say, "I am deaf. Do you not see that I as well as my
tomb am old?"'

One day Cogia Efendi, putting on very short habiliments, went to the
mosque to say his prayers. Whilst performing the rakoua the man who was
behind him perceiving the Cogia's --- seized hold of them and squeezed
them, whereupon the Cogia, seizing hold of those of the man who was
before him, squeezed them too; the man, turning round and perceiving that
it was Cogia Efendi himself, said, 'Halloa, what are you about?' 'You
must ask the man behind me,' said the Cogia.

One day the boys of Belgrade took the Cogia along with them into the
bath. They had secretly brought in their pouches a number of eggs. One
and all going into the bathing-house, took off their clothes and went in,
and then, sitting down on the bench, they all said to one another, 'Come,
let us lay eggs: whosoever does not lay an egg shall pay the expenses of
the bath'; {p:260} after which they began to make a great noise, cackling
like hens, and flinging the eggs which they had brought on the stone
bench. Cogia Efendi, seeing what they were about, suddenly began to make
a great noise and crow like a cock. 'What are you about, Cogia Efendi?'
said the boys. 'Why,' said he, 'is not a cock necessary where there are
so many hens?'

One day the Cogia, putting on black clothes, went out. The people,
looking at him, said, 'Cogia Efendi, for whose death are you in
mourning?' The Cogia answered, 'My son's father is dead, and I wear
mourning for him.'

One day Cogia, returning from the harvest field, felt very thirsty.
Looking around, he saw that they watered a tree by means of a pipe from a
fountain. The Cogia exclaimed, 'I must drink,' and pulled at the spout,
and as he did so the water, spouting forth with violence, wetted the
mouth and head of the Cogia, who, in a great rage, said, 'They watered
this wretched tree in order that one fool might wet another.'

One day the Cogia, taking some water melons with him, went to the
mountain in order to cut wood. Feeling thirsty, he cut one of the
melons, and, putting it to his mouth, cast it away, saying that it was
tasteless. He then cut up another, and, to be short, he cut them all up,
and, having {p:261} eaten a little of each, made water over what
remained. He then fell to work at cutting wood. After some time the
Cogia again became thirsty, and finding no water, he went to the bits of
the melons which he had cut up, and saying, 'This is sprinkled, and this
is sprinkled,' ate them all.

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Books | Photos | Paul Mutton | Fri 28th Feb 2020, 12:18