Nobody giggled now when he said funny things. Instead, people worried that he might have hidden something important into his strange words, and that it might escape their understanding so that they could lose out on some life-saving advice.
His house by the old well, the house of "Nasr Ed din our beloved Hoca" looked lonely on the hillside, surrounded by aged fig trees still heavy with fruit. But the house was rarely lonesome. Day in, day out, flocks of people came to seek the advice of the old jester of the kings. They knew he never lied, even when nobody would believe him. What Hodja said, came about somehow. It always did.
Yes, the Mullah was growing old. In the evenings, as he was going to the well, it happened more and more often that the bucket slipped out of his hand, the water spilled and lo, when there was no more water in the pail, there was no more moon in the water. Only his mind kept shining in the dark, as Allah had mercy on him.
One morning some folks from Akşehir came to ask:
"Pray Hoca, is tomorrow the right day to marry Selim and Aisha?"
Nasrudin rose tall, leaned on his staff, looked somewhere far away and said, with a clear, sad voice:
"There will be no tomorrow."
The visitors left silent and frightened. Bad news spread like husk in the wind:
"Nasr Ed din knows what he says. Tomorrow is the End of the World. Give up doing whatever you wanted to do. Prepare for the Last Day."
|Moon over water by P. Klinger Flickr|
A puzzled crowd made its way to the door of the Hodja. How could he say what he said? They never got to the house though.
On the way, they discovered Nasrudin by the well, the bucket at his feet. He had died, the night before.