Tax Collector

One day, the tax collector of Akşehir and surrounding towns fell into the river. Since he didn’t know how to swim, he was about to drown. The villagers gathered by the river bank to save him.

“Give me your hand, give me your hand,” they were all shouting. But the man was not extending his hand. At that time Nasreddin Hodja happened to be passing by.

“Hodja Efendi,” said the good samaritans, “the tax collector fell into the water. He is going to drown. He is not giving his hand.”

“Let me try,” said the Hodja. “Efendi, Efendi,” he yelled to the man bobbing in the water, “take my hand!”To this, the tax collector immediately extended his hand and grabbed Hodja’s arm. The Hodja and the people around were now able to pull him off the water.

“You see,” the Hodja clarified, “he is a tax collector, he is more practiced in taking than giving.”