Sharing the fishes
Once a renowned philospher and moralist was travelling through Nasreddin Hodja's town, Aksehir when he asked him where there was a good place to eat. Hodja suggested a place and the scholar, hungry for conversation, invited Hodja to join him. Much obliged, Hodja accompanied the scholar to a nearby restaurant, where they asked the waiter about the special of the day.
- Fish! Fresh Fish! replied the waiter.
- Bring us two, they answered.
A few minutes later, the waiter brought out a large platter with two cooked fish on it, one of which was quite a bit smaller than the other. Without hesitating, Hodja took the larger of the fish and put in on his plate. The scholar, giving Hodja a look of intense disbelief, proceed to tell him that what he did was not only blatantly selfish, but that it violated the principles of almost every known moral, religious, and ethical system. Hodja calmly listened to the philosopher's extempore lecture patiently, and when he had finally exhausted his resources, Hodja said,
- Well, Sir, what would you have done?
- I, being a conscientious human, would have taken the smaller fish for myself.
- And here you are, Hodja said, and placed the smaller fish on the gentleman's plate.