Nasrudin always makes the wrong choice

Every day Nasrudin went to beg for alms in the market, and people used to make fun of him by playing the following trick: they would show him two coins, one worth ten times more than the other, and Nasrudin would always choose the smaller coin.

The story went round the whole province.
Day after day, groups of men and women would show him the two coins, and Nasrudin would always choose the smaller one.

Then one day, a generous man, tired of seeing Nasrudin ridiculed in this fashion, beckoned him over to a corner of the square and said:

‘When they offer you two coins, you should choose the larger one. That way you would earn more money and people wouldn’t consider you an idiot.’

‘That sounds like good advice,’ replied Nasrudin, ‘but if I chose the larger coin, people would stop offering me money, because they like to believe that I am even more stupid than they are. You’ve no idea how much money I’ve earned using this trick.

“There’s nothing wrong with looking like a fool if, in fact, you’re being really clever.’


  1. Penny Auction site says:

    Very interesting details you have observed , appreciate it for posting . “In a great romance, each person plays a part the other really likes.” by Elizabeth Ashley.

  2. Dear Paolo,
    Probably is ot today as in ancient days the choise is the awearness and sub contioness off both parts (giver an taker. Who is who?) As well as Nasirs listeners/beholders expectations and imaginations as the third part. Three indipendent characters wowen into one.
    Thank You for The modern way of explaining the deserts involvement to a relationship.
    Yours Cincerely

  3. yes Paulo, This is true because this shows that your are not defined by your choices, you define your choices. So even if you make a wrong choice in the eyes of the world or look like a fool, its millionth times better than you make right choice and look like just another intelligent man in town! :-)

  4. maiko says:

    let them laugh at you if it make you well.

  5. Alvile says:

    Fascinating and very clever story. Thank you!

  6. Tina Halevi says:

    In the magnificent Beatle’s song “The Fool on the Hill”, there is a great line which reads: “…..he doesn’t mind them; he knows that they’re the fools…”
    When we become aware that EVERYBODY CAN BE EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING, it becomes easy to look upon the world with kindness and tolerance.

  7. ghazal says:

    thanks for these stories,i love them so much.thanks

  8. tayebeh says:

    i saw you in my dream last night.sory i dont undrestand english very well.but I wanted to say I love you stories. thank you.

  9. ghazal says:

    thanks for these stories,i love them so much.

  10. tayebeh says:

    i saw you in my dream last night.soory i dont undrestand english very well.but I wanted to say I love you stories. thank you.

  11. Истина всегда одна,а слова мудрости просты и это здорово. Нам надо учиться определять настоящую истину среди тысяч других вариантов. Спасибо, Пауло.

  12. Antonio says:

    Nasrudin una persona sencilla,honesta,bondadosa,humilde.Todos estos calificativos debe ser que le invadian a alrededor siempre que pedia limosna,no se oia ,idiota,estupido.Esto era para cada uno y para su interior,lo que nos dice que los demas no miraban realmente lo que era.Inteligente mas que los demas.Solo de esa forma se cumplia su proposito.

  13. sid says:

    Paulo has’nt written it.
    Thats an old famous Arabian chapter.

  14. maria says:

    i think it’s hard to keep pretending and hiding yourself behind a false identity. we like to show intelligence infront of others, and sooner or later nasrudin must disclose his secret.

  15. Susie says:

    Lovely story. I liked it. Thank you Paulo.

  16. Malihe says:

    Hi Paulo. You always amaze me. How do you know That lovely Mollah?!Sounds to me that you have lived many lives!

  17. Daryoosh says:

    Here I see a slight deviation in the original story- which originally is in my mother tongue, Persian. The coins were gold and silver, not big and small. But thanks for your eye-opener stories. I love them!

  18. Lola Chetti says:

    In French we say : “Faire l’ane pour avoir le foin” – the direct translation is : Play the donkey in order to get the hay!. Clever Nasrudin!

  19. arleene correa says:

    Coelho, I’d like to thank you for all your simple words of wisdom. They get me through the day and remind me to keep believing even when everyone else shuts my thoughts & opinions down. Thank you sir, for this strength.

  20. Brian says:

    i fell in love with ‘mullah nasruddin’ jokes after reading ‘the kite runner’ by khaled husseini

  21. Shonit Mittal says:

    is this article you have blogged is from very famous series of short stories based on MULLAH NASRUDIN??

    1. Saad Al Khawaja says:

      Thankyou sir, you took me to my childhood when my mother and grand ma’ used to tell us Mullah’s stories and in dreams i used to travel with Mullah around his town. lol. The bast time a human can have… childhood and dreams. Thanks

  22. sare says:

    thank u mr coellho:)

  23. Fatima says:

    Really Amazing ..

  24. mohammed saleem says:

    very nice thanks.

  25. Ryan says:

    Paulo you rocks!

  26. Ryan says:

    It’s really awesome!

  27. name says:

    Hey m nidhi..
    M married , 25yrs old n a home maker… evers since i ve been married ,i feel like m worthless.. i blv the problem is tht i knw m intellingent n maybe evrrybody knows that n thats y m being presurised to stay at home n look aftet the kid.. my husband gets frustated to always realise the fact tht m a strong person n i ve mre knowledg than him…
    N now whn i know he has thid prob i ve staryed being dumb n stupid .. so tht there will b no fight between us..

    This story is really similar to mine.. at times its good to be bad..

    1. lahnina!! says:

      waw! Be strong,my heart goes with luck

    2. huma arshad says:

      good job nidhi! luv u for this

  28. Shubhneet says:

    It was a very good story to teach a lesson to someone who makes fun of others by showing himself to be more intelligent.

  29. Sebastian says:

    Respect Sir, for your straight to the point wisdom….
    And let me take the opportunity to invite you for a winter/spring visit to Slovenia. I have just recently learned that you know very well the city of Ljubljana… Well, let me tell you, that there are people who would like to have a drink, a chat and a walk with you by the Ljubljanica river, so if time allows, please come for a visit! We will take good care of you….
    All the best….

  30. Alaa says:

    thank u Nasrudin, and thank u Mr Coelho for the blog

  31. shuhaib says:

    becoz of this sense am following the great person.I will salute those who go behind the truth………god bless u

  32. Alaa says:

    نصيحة جيدة في العالم الدي نعيش به

  33. Maria João Fernandes says:

    A ganí¢ncia é o mal do mundo, queremos ganhar tudo de uma vez, ní£o sabendo que há o amanhí£ esse é que é incerto.