Tales : The Mullah investigates the facts

It happened once upon a time that Mullah Nasruddin was given a position as a judge. When the governor gave him the job, he said, “Mullah, don’t believe everything people tell you! If you want to be a good judge, you have to question everything. Investigate!”

One day a policeman brought before Nasruddin two men, both of them battered and bruised.

Nasruddin observed their condition and their torn clothing carefully, and said, “You have been fighting. Don’t try to deny it.”

“Your honour is right,” the men replied. “We have been fighting.”

“You see,” said the Mullah, “you cannot fool me. Fighting is a crime. You must both pay a fine.”

“But your honour,” said one man, “He started it. He bit my ear!”

“Show me,” Nasruddin commanded. The man showed his ear to the Mullah, who stared at it solemnly.

“I see teeth marks,” Nasruddin said to the other man, “and the ear is bleeding. Biting an ear is a grave offence.”

The other man said, “Mullah, I am innocent! I did not bite this man.”

“Then what happened to his ear?” asked Nasruddin.

“Obviously, he bit it himself.”

The Mullah thought for a moment, and then said to the policeman, “Court is adjourned. Bring them back in the afternoon.”

When the two men had left, Nasruddin began to twist and turn his head one way and the other. Finally. he spun so quickly that he lost his balance, fell over and hit his head.

In the afternoon, the two men returned to court and found the Mullah with a bandage around his head. “As a competent judge should, I have investigated the facts, and here is my judgment,” said Nasruddin. “I have determined that although it is dangerous to attempt it, it is impossible to bite one’s own ear. You, biter, pay this man a gold piece, and don’t do it again.”

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