One winter day the Hodja's friends decided to make fun of him. When they were all sitting together, they came out with a proposition:
"Hodja Effendi, we are willing to bet that despite all your boasts, you cannot sit out all night with no clothes on. If you accept the bet and win, you shall have a feast at our expense. If you lose the bet, we shall have one at yours. You must understand, however, that you shall not be allowed to use any fire or outside warmth."
The Hodja accepted the bet and passed the following night naked and shivering out in the cold. None of his friends had bothered to watch him all through the night, however. The next day, when he told them that he had won the bet, they said:
"Now tell us the truth, Hodja Effendi - while you were sitting out there, was there no fire nearby at all?"
The Hodja admitted that he had had a candle burning all night because he hated to sit in the dark. Upon this confession, his friends retorted:
"You have lost the bet, Hodja Effendi, for you warmed yourself at the burning candle."
The next day his friends arrived at the Hodja's house for the feast they claimed to have won. Time for dinner arrived, and yet no sign of food could be seen. The Hodja kept going in and out of the room every now and then. Finally, dinner time had well passed, but still food was not mentioned.
On one of these occasions, when the Hodja had left the room again, they secretly followed him out to see what was going on.
They were very much surprised by what they saw: the Hodja had hung a huge pot onto a tree, and underneath had lit a candle.
"Hodja Effendi!" they exclaimed, "How do you expect to cook anything in that huge pot, with just one candle burning under it? It will take years!"
"You were all agreed that while I was sitting naked in the cold, one candle should be enough to keep me warm," answered the Hodja, smiling. "I don't see why it shouldn't be enough to cook with."