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Mulla Nasruddin was sitting one evening at the tobacco shop as usual. He was telling the shopkeeper that he had recently become a vegetarian. The shopkeeper, who had eaten meat all his life, was very annoyed to hear it, and kept trying to find ways to ridicule the Mulla for his decision. The shopkeeper quoted scriptures and described in detail all the most delicious non-vegetarian dishes, but nothing seemed to rattle the Mulla.
“Fine,” said the shopkeeper. “If your thick skull can’t understand religion or poetry, I shall have to resort to philosophy to defeat you. Tell me again why you have stopped eating meat.”
“I don’t care what you do,” Mulla said. “But I just can’t bear to be the cause of the pain, suffering and death of innocent creatures.”
“Well, aren’t vegetables innocent?” asked the shopkeeper. “Think of a poor pumpkin. What has he done wrong? He is probably much more innocent than a goat or a pig!”
“That’s true,” said the Mulla.
“And how do we know whether plants can feel pain or not? For all we know, they suffer a hundred times more than animals do!”
“That’s true too,” said the Mulla.
“Then at last,” said the shopkeeper, feeling very satisfied, “you are ready to give up this nonsense?”
“Oh yes,” said the Mulla. “But first, let’s make a deal. You spend a day watching in the slaughterhouse, and I will spend a day watching at the pumpkin harvest.”
A friend of Mulla Nasruddin’s took his family to the local amusement park. When they got to the merry-go-round, they noticed Mulla Nasruddin riding it again and again. When the ride stopped, the Mulla rushed off dizzily, got a drink of water, and rushed back on.
“Well, Mulla! I never knew you loved the merry-go-round so much,” said his friend.
“Not at all,” said the Mulla. “I hate it and am about to be sick because of it.”
“Then why are you riding it?” his friend asked.
“The man who owns it owes me 80 dinars, and the only way I will ever collect it from him is to take it out in trade.”
Mulla Nasruddin was having a drink at the local bar when he overheard the man next to him talking. “My wife is so touchy,” he said. “Any little thing I do sets her off.”
“You’re lucky,” said the Mulla. “Mine is a self-starter.”
Mulla Nasruddin had finally asked his sweetheart to marry him, and she said yes. The couple was lying in the grass by the river, enjoying a tender embrace.
“I am so happy, my love,” Mulla cooed. “But I wonder what your parents will think. Have you told them that I write poetry?”
“Not yet, darling,” replied the girl. “They know about your drinking and gambling, but I thought I’d better not tell them everything at once.”
Mulla Nasruddin had been standing in the aisle at the stationery store looking at greeting cards for a long time, and a saleswoman offered to help. She picked up a card and opened it.
“Here’s a nice one,” she said. “To the only girl I ever loved.”
“That’s great,” Mulla said. “I’ll take six.”
Mulla Nasruddin sat solemnly at the bedside of his dying father.
“My son,” the old man said, “I have only one regret. I wasted so much of my life chasing after money, but now I can see that wealth does not bring happiness.”
“I agree with that,” Mulla said, “but at least it will let me choose the kind of misery I find the most agreeable.”
Mulla Nasruddin was at his weekly visit to the psychiatrist. “Tell me, Mulla,” said the doctor, “Do you think you suffer from delusions of grandeur?”
“On the contrary,” replied the Mulla. “I’m incredibly humble. I think of myself as being much less grand than I really am.”
A travelling artist had come to town, and was sharing a drink with Mulla Nasruddin at the bar.
“I’m looking for a room to rent,” said the artist, “for about two weeks. But I am here to work—I need a place with peace, quiet and good scenery to paint.”
“I have a spare room near the barn,” said the Mulla. “It has plenty of peace and quiet, but there is not much to see at all. If you look out the front door, it’s all right, because you can see the barn; but out the back door, there’s nothing to see at all, just the meadow, stream, and mountains for miles and miles.”
Mulla Nasruddin was chatting with the barber as he got a haircut. “After all these years,” said the barber, “I never thought to ask you: do you know why you went bald?”
“I definitely know why,” said the Mulla. “It was from worrying so much.”
“About what?” the barber asked.
“About going bald.”
One day, as Mulla Nasruddin was walking down the main road, he came to a crowd gathered around a tall, tall tree. “What’s going on?” he asked.
“A man is stuck,” replied one woman. “He just started climbing, and by the time he realized how much harder it would be to get down than it was to get up, it was too late. Then he couldn’t figure out how to get down without falling, and started calling for help.”
All the villagers were talking, trying to figure out how to help the man. “Stop, stop!” Mulla yelled. “Quiet! I know exactly how to get him down!”
All eyes turned to the Mulla. The people asked him what his plan was. “Just trust me—this works. Quick, someone bring me a long rope!”
One villager fetched a long stretch of rope and handed it to Mulla. He threw one end of it as hard as he could up to the man. After a few tries, the man was able to get hold of it.
“Tie it around your waist!” shouted the Mulla. With some effort, the man did so. When the rope was securely tied, Mulla Nasruddin pulled on the rope, causing the man to fall out of the tree, break his leg and shriek in pain.
Horrified, the villagers turned to Mulla. “What the hell kind of a plan was that?” one of them asked.
“I swear,” said the Mulla, “I have saved a man’s life doing the exact same thing.”
“Are you sure?” questioned the villager.
“Yes,” Mulla replied. “The only thing I’m not quite sure about is whether he was stuck in a tree or in a well.”
Read more Mulla Nasruddin stories: Mulla Nasruddin - 4
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