Winter 2015


illustration of Mulla Nasrudin

Mulla Nasrudin is a famous character in Farsi literature who was so smart and clever, but others thought he was crazy.

Mulla and the Candle

Mulla lived in a village. There was a mountain near the village that usually got cold at night.  Mulla’s friends bet him if he stayed one night on that mountain, they would give him a gift, otherwise he must invite them for dinner.  Mulla accepted and spent a night on the mountain.

Next day Mulla asked his friends to fulfill their duty and give him his gift. His friends asked if he made a fire on the mountain.  Mulla said that he had no fire, but that he saw the light of a candle inside a house 2 kilometers away from him. His friends told him that he had lost the bet because that light warmed him, and now he had to invite them for dinner.

On the invitation day, all of Mulla’s friends came to his house. After a couple hours he did not bring dinner and his friends asked why. Mulla said that the water would not boil. When his friends came to the kitchen they saw a big pot which was hanging two meters above a candle. They were shocked and said “how can a candle warm such a big pot?” and Mulla answered “just like the candle warmed me from 2 kilometers away last night.” 

Mulla and the Silver Coin

Mulla begged in a neighborhood and people who lived in that area laughed at him because they gave him a choice between a gold or a silver coin, and he always chose the silver one. Soon people from other neighborhoods knew about him and came to show 2 gold and silver coins and he still chose the silver and they laughed. One day a kind man saw Mulla and asked “Why don’t you choose the gold one? It is more valuable plus nobody would laugh at you”. Mulla smiled and said “if I choose the gold one nobody will think I am stupid and they won’t give as much money as I get this way.”