Nasruddin teaches the wise men

Here's a Nasruddin story from a Bulgarian source:

Nasruddin Hodja was a shepherd at one point. One day a couple of wise men were passing by. They asked him for something to eat. The Hodja poured them a bowl of sheep yogurt, then gave each a spoon two meters long. 

"Hodja, thank you for the yogurt, but how do you expect us to eat it?"

"I thought you were the wise men! You feed each other, of course."

This is a variant of the story of the difference between heaven and hell, or the allegory of the long spoons. A man died and went to hell. He was ushered in to the dining hall, where the table was piled high with delicious food. The people around the table looked miserable, as they had long chopsticks  splinted to their arms and couldn't get a bite of the food. Then he went to heaven, where there was also a table piled high with delicious food. Once again, the people had long chopsticks splinted to their arms, but they were happy, as they were feeding each other. 

By the way, I love sheep yogurt when it isn't too, well, sheepy. I think it might be when the ram is in with the ewes that it gets a gamy flavor. When I lived in Sofia in 1983-84, I would go to a little hole-in-the-wall shop where they served sheep yogurt in season and biurek, a delicious pastry. The line was usually out the door when they had sheep yogurt for sale. 

Nasruddin and the lost ring

Here's an old favorite from Turkey. I think I heard it first in Bulgaria as a joke. Was it the same joke-telling session where I heard about the inebriated fellow who was trying to spear an slippery olive on his fork? He chased it all around the plate and finally gave up. His friend picked up the fork and decisively stabbed the olive. The first man muttered, "Hmmph. I tired it out."

Nasruddin Hodja and the lost ring

One evening, a man noticed Nasruddin Hodja searching the ground under a street lamp. 

"Hodja, what are you looking for?"

"A ring, my son, I lost a ring." 

The man stopped to help the Hodja look. After several minutes, he said, "Hodja, are you sure you lost it here?"

"Here? I didn't lose it here. I lost it over by the house."

"Why are you looking here, then?"

"The light under this street lamp is much better than by the house." 

The ring in this picture was a present from a family friend who had lived in Turkey. It's a puzzle ring, formed by four linked rings that only fit together one way.