Tamerlane's price - II
One day, Tamerlane and Hodja together take a trip
To a hamam where they start washing as soon as they strip.
While bathing, out of the clear blue, demands His Highness:
- If I were a serf for sale, how much would you bid?
Of course, Hodja knows no cowardice nor shyness:
First he pretends to ponder, then, with customary slyness:
- If you ask me he says, I would bid a hundred quid.
Tamerlane is : You must be insane!
- Out towel here alone is worth at least a hundred.
Hodja shakes with guffaws that he cannot restrain;
Then he bows and blandly says to Tamerlane:
- In fact, it was the towel for which I made my bid.
Written by Orhan Veli Kanik, translated by Talat Sait Halman (1982