One day Nasreddin Hodja and his young son were on their way to the market. The Hodja was riding his donkey and his son was walking beside him. As they traveled such, they heard a couple of villagers who happened to be passing by, speak disapprovingly about them.
“Look at our Hodja Efendi,” one said to the other, “he is comfortably riding on his donkey and letting his little boy walk along. Shame on the Hodja for making the boy suffers like that!” When Nasreddin Hodja heard this, he wanted to rectify what was perceived as his selfishness. He put his son on the donkey and he started to walk beside. Shortly after, they met another couple of villagers.
“Look at the Hodja and his son!” they said, “These are the times we are living in. A young boy is riding on the donkey and his poor old father is sweating to keep the pace. Today’s children have no respect for their parents.” Nasreddin Hodja found some sense in this comment and thought of another remedy. They both got off of the donkey and started to walk beside it. A little while later, a group of villagers, also going to the market, approached the procession of the Hodja, the son and the donkey, all walking one after the other.
“This Hodja Efendi and his son have no minds, whatsoever,” they whispered amongst themselves, “They are both beating on their feet and the donkey is strolling along. Don’t these people know what a donkey is for?” Hodja heard this and thought they had a point. The solution was clear. Both he and his son sat on the donkey. As they continued their trip this way, thinking that they have finally complied with all the opinions of their fellow villagers, they met another of their acquaintances. He was not very happy to see both the Hodja and the boy on a scrawny donkey.
“Hodja Efendi,” he yelled, “don’t you know any mercy how is this poor little animal supposed to carry two people? The donkey is also Allah’s creation, have some pity.” Nasreddin Hodja agreed with this last remark as well. What were they to do? He shouldered the front of the donkey and his son took on the back part, and they carried the donkey to the market place.