Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Turkish Folktale


Last weekend, while browsing through a used-book store, I found a collection of Turkish fable and folklore stories, Traditional Turkish Folktales for Children, collected and edited by Ahmet Edip Uysal.

Here is a tale from the book.

Ahmet, Hasan and the Bear

One day, two men were walking through a forest. One of these men, Hasan was a rather cowardly person. In order to build up his confidence, he said to his friend,"Ahmet, suppose we stumble upon a bear in the forest. What would you do?"

Ahmet, without much thought, answered, "I have my pistol. I would just shoot and kill him."

Hasan was greatly relieved, "That would be fine." But then as they walked a little further, Hasan asked him, "But what if you didn't have your pistol. What would you do?"

Ahmet looked at him and said, "Not to worry. I have my knife. I would stab and kill the bear."

And along they continued to walk. Hasan grew silent again and then he asked, "What would happen if you had forgotten you knife and you didn't have you pistol. If we ran into a bear in this forest, what would you do then?"

Ahmet thought for a second, "Well, I still have my pickax. I would hit the bear on the head with it and kill him."

"That would be the best thing to do," said Hasan. He forgot his fear of the bear for a few minutes, but a short time later, his fear returned. "Ahmet? Ahmet, suppose you didn't have your pistol, or your knife or your pickax, and we stumbled upon a bear in the forest, what would you do?"

Quite exasperated, Ahmet shouted, "See here, Hasan. Let's get this straight. Whose side are you on? The bear's or mine?"


  1. Thank you for sharing this story. This story made me laugh.


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