"Then I myself will pay you," said the Hodja,
"and I will pay for the smell of
your soup with the sound of money."
Money's sound for soup's
beggar was given a piece of bread, but nothing to put on it.
Hoping to get something to go with his bread, he went to a
nearby inn and asked for a handout. The innkeeper turned him
away with nothing, but the beggar sneaked into the kitchen where
he saw a large pot of soup cooking over the fire. He held his
piece of bread over the steaming pot, hoping to thus capture a
bit of flavor from the good-smelling vapor.
Suddenly the innkeeper seized him by the arm and accused him of
took no soup," said the beggar. "I was only smelling the vapor."
"Then you must pay for the smell," answered the innkeeper.
The poor beggar had no money, so the angry innkeeper dragged him
before the qadi.
Now Nasreddin Hodja was at that time serving as qadi, and he
heard the innkeeper's complaint and the beggar's explanation.
"So you demand payment for the smell of your soup?" summarized
the Hodja after the hearing.
"Yes!" insisted the innkeeper.
"Then I myself will pay you," said the Hodja, "and I will pay
for the smell of your soup with the sound of money."
Thus saying, the Hodja drew two coins from his pocket, rang them
together loudly, put them back into his pocket, and sent the
beggar and the innkeeper each on his own way.
1. Did the beggar steal
the innkeeper's soup?
2. Why did the innkeeper
drag the beggar before Nasreddin?
3. How did Nasreddin pay
for the smell of the innkeeper's soup?
4. What can we learn about
Nasreddin from the tale?