The King’s wise men were summoned to Court to cross examine Nasrudin. This was a very grave case. The Mullah had admitted going around the country exclaiming “The Court’s “wise men” are ignorant, indecisive and confused.” He was charged with undermining state security under new legislation designed to protect the state against foreigners planning terror.
Speak first, said the King to Nasrudin “Bring me pens and paper,” said the Mullah The pens and paper were brought. Give them to each of the first seven wise men. They were handed out. “Have them each separately write an answer to this question: “What is bread?” This was done.
The papers were given to the King who read them out loud. The first said, “Bread is a food.” The second said, “Bread is flour and water.” The third said, “Bread is a gift from God.” The fourth said “Bread is baked dough” The fifth said, “That depends on what you mean by “bread”.” The sixth said, “Bread is a nutritious substance.” The seventh said “No-one really knows.”
“Once they are able to decide what bread is,” said the Mullah, “then they can decide on other things, for example whether I am right or I am wrong. Can you entrust serious matters of judgement to men such as these? Is it not strange that they cannot agree on something that we eat every day, yet they are unanimous that I am a terrorist?”
The price of geese was rising sharply in advance of the festive season. Sensing that now was a good time to sell his bird, Nasrudin brought his goose to market. One prospect fancied the fat goose, but the bird hissed at the stranger and frightened him off. A second man attempted to weigh the big bird, but it bit him. A third who had witnessed all this remarked, “Your goose has a foul disposition.” Nasrudin replied, “Now you know why I am selling it.”
A very familiar looking man was caught in a swollen river, grasping a rock and about to be carried away by the strong current. Spotting the man’s plight, a passerby ran to him and shouted, “Give me your hand! I will pull you out!” Though the man in peril clearly heard the passerby, he did not react. He did nothing.
Witnessing this, Nasrudin ran to the man in the river and asked, “What is your job?” “I am the Chancellor of the Exchequer!” shouted the man.
“Then take my hand!” exclaimed Nasrudin. The man stretched out his hand, Nasrudin grasped it and and pulled him to safety.
Nasrudin turned to the passerby who was watching, and said, “Chancellors only understand the word take, not the word give.”
Nasrudin was in his garden planting an apple tree when his wife yelled for him rush in. It was his mortage lender on the phone. When he reached the phone, he apologized to the caller, explaining why he was a little winded. “I am very happy that you are planting an orchard,” said the caller. “Your trees will bear fruit which you can sell to help pay off your mortage which is in arrears.”
“Planting fruit trees is my family tradition,” replied Nasrudin. “When my great grandfather got to be my age, he too planted an apple tree and told my grandfather to harvest the crop after he died. When the apples were ready to send to the market, my father picked and sold them. That money was used to repay my great grandfather’s debts. So you see, I am now planting apple trees so my unborn son can care for these trees and tell his son to pay my mortgage.”
Nasrudin was missing from work for three weeks. When he came back, he was promptly summoned to the boss, a supporter of the newly elected President. “Nasrudin, where have you been for three weeks?” asked the boss. “You can’t just leave like that without asking for leave.”
“I was only following your orders, sir,” replied Nasrudin.
“I went to see you to ask for a vacation, and you weren’t in your office, but I did see the new sign behind your desk, “Yes We Can” so I knew I could.”