One day the Hodja borrowed his neighbor's mule. He didn't like the looks of the beast but, his business being urgent, he had no alternative.

No sooner had he mounted it than he knew it had been a mistake to borrow i and then a graver one to ride it. He would have dismounted if he could, but the mule would take no orders from anybody, let alone a rider like the Hodja.

The mule had taken the bit between its teeth and was heading for the fields beyond the town. At least, the Hodja thought, there will be no brats around to see me parting company with the beast.

But no such luck! It was just as he was passing by a couple of boys that he was thrown off. The boys stood there staring at him. If they had laughed, he would have understood. but the staring was worse than being laughed at. Of course, he was unaware that he presented a sight so funny that it was past the point of laughter.

"Why are you staring like that?" he admonished the boys. "I was going to get off that mule anyway ..."

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