C. F. F

Center of Folktales and Folklore


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Would you like to hear a story?

In this section I intend to bring from time to time living performances of folktales.

The secret of storytelling

Long time ago I told Noa Baum a story of Hodja Nasrudin. Here you can hear her version to the story, a version that she recorded for a peace radio station.

Noa Baum is a talented storyteller that was born in Israel and lives today in the USA. I recommend you have a look at her site: http://www.noabaum.com/


Here is my version to the story:

The Secret of Storytelling

One day I visited my old friend, Hodja Nasrudin.

Tell me Mullah, I said, What is the secret of storytelling and why it is so important?

Well", He said, "It is too complicated, but let me tell you a story..."

One of my good friends was on his way home. It was evening and quite dark. There was no one around him. All of a sudden he saw a group of people come towards him.

   Bandits! Murderers! - This was the first thought that passed through his mind, What Im going to do?

   He looked right, he looked left, he saw a wall. He climbed the wall and found himself in a cemetery. So he crawled into an empty grave and waited shivering for what ever would come.

   Now, these people were honest men who passed there by chance. They saw him and they wanted to know what was going on, so they also climbed the wall, and found him lying there in the open grave.

Dear friend, what are you doing here?

    My friend understood his mistake. He kept silent for a long moment, then he said: Look, the fact that someone asks a question it does not mean that there is an answer, but anyhow I am here because of you, and you are here because of me...
And this is the real meaning of storytelling this direct connection that is created between you and me: I am here because of you, and you are here because of me.


A version of this story is found in Idries Shah's book "The Exploits of the Incomparable Mulla Nasrudin", Jonathan Cape Ltd, London 1966.

Here is his version:


Why we are here

     Walking one evening along a deserted road, Mulla Nasrudin saw a troop
of horseman coming towards him.

     His imagination started to work; he saw himself captured and sold as a
slave, or impressed unto the army.

Nasrudin bolted, climed a wall into a graveyard, and lay down in an
open tomb.

Puzzled at his strange behaviour, the men honest travellers followed him.

They found him stretched out, tense and quivering.

"What are you doing in that grave? We saw you run away. Can we help
     "Just because you can ask a question does not mean that there is a
straightforward answer to it," said the Mulla, who now realized what had
happened. "It all depends upon your viewpoint. If you must know, however:
I am here because of you, and you are here because of me."