Thief with a Good Heart

One night a group of bandits broke into Nasreddin Hodja’s house.

`Give us all your money, all your valuables!’ they said.

`Do I look like a rich man? I don’t have any money!’ the Hodja defied the bandits. The outlaws were very displeased, both with the Hodja, for not cooperating, and with themselves, for picking such a poor house. However, they had to spend the night at the Hodja’s house and while they were there, why not take the opportunity to punish this man who claims not to have any money.

`You are going to stand on one leg, all night long.’ they ordered the Hodja. The thieves all went to sleep leaving one guard to watch over the Hodja. A few hours later the guard was tired, he woke up one of his friends and he took over the watch. The second guard took pity on the Hodja who was standing on one leg in the corner.

`You are tired standing on that one leg,’ he said, `you may switch to the other leg now.’ This change of legs gave the Hodja immediate relief. He was grateful to his custodian for allowing this.

`You seem like a better person than your friends.’ he said, `My money is in the garden, buried under the apple tree. You go get it, but don’t give any of it to them.’

Thief with a Good Heart – Mullah Nasruddin – Short Stories