HODJA THE RAIN-MAKER
One day the Hodja had gone to a village where it hadn't rained for a long time. The Hodja had been very well known in the vicinity as a learned man, with practically limitless powers. Hearing of his arrival, nearly all the villagers turned out to greet him. Surrounding him, they said:
"You have been sent to us by providence, Hodja Effendi! It's been months since we had even a drop of rain. Our streams are dry, our wells are only mud-holes. If we don't have rain pretty soon, we are all lost, as well as our fields and livestock. For God's sake, Hodja Effendi, pray that we may have some rain!"
It was not an easy matter for the Hodja to decide. He couldn't very well refuse to befriend these unfortunate people. But if he failed to make rain fall, he was bound to be considered a disreputable fake and lose his prestige at one stroke. He made up his mind.
Fetch me a basin and a pail of water at once!" he ordered.
The basin was easily supplied. But the pail took some time to fill, because no single family had that much water. Collectively they were just able to fill up the pail.
As soon as everything was ready, the Hodja first poured the water into the basin and then, taking his shirt off, started to wash it. The village people couldn't believe their eyes.
"God Almighty! What are you doing, Hodja Effendi!" someone exclaimed. "That water you are wasting is made up of cupfuls we had kept strictly for our children, to keep them alive!"
"Now, please stop interfering!" the Hodja remonstrated. "I know what I am doing."
He finished washing his shirt in all seriousness, and as soon as he had hung it up to dry, the showers came!
"I knew they would!" said the Hodja with a sigh of relief. "Experience has taught me all I have to do is hang up my single shirt to dry and all the taps in heaven are turned loose, without fail!"