Tales : Nasruddin visits the scholar

It happened once upon a time that Nasruddin was invited to dine at the home of a certain learned scholar. Naturally, he went with an empty stomach, anticipating something substantial on the dinner table, but it seemed the scholar had more of an appetite for conversation.

They talked about one philosophical matter and then another, and on every point the scholar brought forward a series of long, complicated stories about how this race, or that nation, or some other obscure group of nameless hermits regarded the question. His store of tales seemed to be inexhaustible.

After several hours of this kind of talk, and just as the scholar was launching into what promised to be a long account about the ten lost tribes of Israel and the question of free will and destiny, the Mullah cleared his throat politely and leaned forward.

“Your honour,” he said, “tell me – do the people in your stories ever eat?”

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