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Nasreddin Hodja and His Tiger Powder

Updated on July 6, 2011
A 17th Century miniature of Nasreddin, currently in the Topkapi Palace Museum Library.
A 17th Century miniature of Nasreddin, currently in the Topkapi Palace Museum Library.

How to Ward Off Tigers

Once upon a time in Akara, Turkey lived a Sufi man named Nasreddin Hodja. Nasreddin Hodja was a man known for his strange, even wild sense of humor. So famous was this quirk in his personality that stories about Nasreddin are spoken of throughout much of the Middle East -and parts of India, even today. The following is one such tale.

One bright morning a neighbor of Nasreddin Hodja's spied the man sprinkling a blue powder all about his yard.

"Nasreddin, what are you doing?" asked the neighbor.

"This dust," said Nasreddin, holding up the container to show him, "Repels tigers."

"But Nasreddin, there are no tigers for many hundreds of miles around."

Without missing a beat, the wily old Sufi replied with a wink and a smile, "Works pretty well, doesn't it?"

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