By INAL


Objectivity

 

A neighbor came to Nasrudin for an interpretation on a point of law.

‘My cow was gored by your bull. Do I get any compensation?’

‘Certainly not. How can a man be held responsible for what an animal does?’

‘Just a moment,’ said the crafty villager. ‘I am afraid I got the question back to front. What actually happened was that my bull gored your cow.’

‘Ah,’ said the Mulla, ‘ this is more involved. I shall have to look up the book of precedents, for there may be other factors involved which are relevant and which could alter the case.’

 

Dry in the rain

 

A man invited Nasrudin to go hunting with him, but mounted him on a horse which was too slow. The Mulla said nothing. Soon the hunt outpaced him and was out of sight. It began to rain heavily, and there was no shelter. All members of the hunt got soaked through. Nasrudin, however, as soon as the rain started, took off all his clothes and folded them. Then he sat down on the pile. As soon as the rain stopped, he dressed himself and went back to his host’s house for lunch. Nobody could work out why he was dry. With all the speed of their horses they had not been able to reach shelter on that plain.

‘It was the horse you gave me,’ said Nasrudin.

The next day he was given a fast horse and his host took the slow one. Rain fell again. The horse was so slow that the host got wetter than ever, riding at a snail’s pace to his house. Nasrudin carried out the same procedure as before.

 

When he got back to the house he was dry.

‘It is all your fault!’ shouted his host. ‘You made me ride this terrible horse.’

‘Perhaps,’ said Nasrudin, ‘you did not contribute anything of your own to the problem of keeping dry?’

  

Behind the obvious

 

Every Friday morning, Nasrudin arrived in a market town with an excellent donkey, which he sold.

The price which he asked was always very small; far below the value of the animal.

One day a rich donkey-merchant approached him.

‘I cannot understand how you do it, Nasrudin. I sell donkeys at the lowest possible price. My servants force farmers to give me fodder free. My slaves look after my donkeys without wages. And yet I cannot match your prices.’

‘Quite simple,’ said Nasrudin. “You steal fodder and labour. I merely steal donkeys.’

  

What is real evidence?

 

A neighbor called on Nasrudin.

‘Mulla, I want to borrow your donkey.’

‘I am sorry,’ said the Mulla, ‘but I have already lent it out.’

As soon as he had spoken, the donkey brayed. The sound came from Nasrudin’s stable.

‘But Mulla, I can hear the donkey, in there!’

As he shut the door in the man’s face, Nasrudin said, with dignity: ‘A man who believes the word of a donkey in preference to my word does not deserve to be lent anything.’

  

Nobody complains…

 

Hamza, the homespun philosopher who peddled truisms in the teahouse, was droning on: ‘How strange is humanity! To think that man is never satisfied When it is winter, its too cold for him. In summer, he complains of the heat!’

The others present nodded their heads sagely, for they believed that by doing so they partook of the essence of this wisdom.

Nasrudin looked up from his abstraction. ‘Have you not noticed nobody ever complains about the spring?’

  

The Roles of Man

 

‘Brother,’ said Mulla Nasrudin to a neighbor, ‘I am collecting to pay the debt of a poor man who cannot meet his obligations.’

‘Very laudable,’ said the other, and gave him a coin. ‘Who is this person?’

‘Me,’ said Nasrudin, as he hurried away.

A few weeks later he was at the door again.

‘I suppose you are calling about a debt,’ said the now-cynical neighbor.

‘I am.’

I suppose someone can’t pay a debt, and you want a contribution?’

‘That is so.’

‘I suppose it is you who owe the money?’

‘Not this time.’

‘Well, I am glad to hear it. Take this contribution.’

Nasrudin pocketed the money.

‘Just one thing, Mulla. What prompts your humanitarian sentiments in this particular case?’

‘Ah, you see… I am the creditor!’

 

When you face things alone

 

‘You may have lost your donkey, Mulla, but you don’t have to grieve over it more than you did about the loss of your first wife.’

‘Ah, but if you remember, when I lost my wife, all you villagers said: “We’ll find you someone else.” So far, nobody has offered to replace my donkey.’

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