The Smuggler – Short Story

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Hodja Naseeruddin riding his donkey was a common and popular sight. Everyone was used to seeing the Hodja travel on a donkey from place to place and would greet him affectionately as he passed them by.

At one time the Hodja often went from Persia to Greece. When he set off from Persia he always had two panniers of straw with him.

The guards at the border got suspicious after some time as they saw him go into Greece so frequently. So they started searching the panniers carefully for forbidden goods. Though the guards were convinced that the Hodja was carrying something he should not, they never found anything on him.

“What are you carrying, Hodja?” The guards would ask.
“Why don’t you search me if you are suspicious?” Naseeruddin would answer.

After many years, Hodja Naseeruddin, who was now living in great luxury in Turkey, met one of the customs guards who had searched him so carefully earlier.

“Tell me, Hodja, now that you’re out of the jurisdiction of Greece and Persia, living in such luxury what was it that you were smuggling when we could never catch you?”

“Donkeys!” was the answer. “Did you ever see me returning from Greece? No, you wouldn’t have. I was not riding a donkey then!” he added with a chuckle.

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