Price of a hit on the neck
Nasreddin Hodja had visited a town for some personal business. Hodja was walking quietly along the road when somebody gave him a violent blow on the back of the neck. He looked behind him, and saw a young man whom he had never seen before.
- How dare you hit me like that! shouted Hodja.
- Sorry, in appearance from behind, you resemble someone I hate.said the young man.
He thought Hodja was making a lot of noise about nothing.
- I dont't think so! replied Hodja with pain on his neck
This insult made Hodja even angrier, of course, and he at once arranged for the young man to be brought before a judge. There was nothing for the young man to do but to appear before the court. Now, the judge who heard the case was a friend of the young man's father, and, although he pretended to be quite fair, he was thinking how he could avoid punishing the young man while at the same time not appearing unjust. Finally the judge said to Hodja:
- I understand your feelings in this matter very well. Would you be satisfied if I let you hit the young man as he hit you?
But Hodja said he would not be. The young man had insulted him and should be properly punished.
- Well, then, said the judge to the young man, I order you to pay ten liras to Hodja.
Ten liras was very little for such a crime, but the young man did not have it with him, so the judge allowed him to go and get it.
Hodja waited for him to return with the money. He waited an hour, he waited two hours, while the judge attended to other business.
When it was nearly time for the court to close, Hodja chose a moment when the judge was especially busy, came up quietly behind him and hit him hard on the back of the neck. Then Hodja said to him:
- I am sorry, but I can't wait any longer, I got lots of business to do. Since the price of a hit on the neck is ten liras you may receive that money instead of me. When the young man comes back, tell him that I have passed my right to the ten liras on to you. You look like familiar with this kind of compensation, don't you?