KELOĞLAN AND NASREDDİN HODJA
Keloğlan had gone to the town to sell chickens. When he arrived at the market, he started to look for a customer for the two chickens. A man offered to pay a gold coin for the chickens. Keloğlan didn’t accept this. He said that he absolutely wanted two gold coins for the chickens. The man saw that Keloğlan would not sell the chickens for a gold coin:
“Keloğlan look, I have a treasure map. I am alone, and I’ve already got old. That’s why I couldn’t look for the treasure. I used to work at Zenginoğlu’s mansion. Zenginoğlu gave me this map. Let me have the two chickens, have the map, look for and find the treasure, and be happy all your life” he said. Keloğlan believed the man, and agreed. Keloğlan returned home in the late afternoon. His mother shouted:
“Oh my stupid son! Can two chickens be bartered for this piece of paper? You were meant to buy gas and salt after selling the chickens. You have been cheated. Sit in the dark, eat the meals without any salt and make up your mind.” Keloğlan didn’t care, he was only thinking about the treasure. He passed the night in difficulty and got up very early. Keloğlan said:
“Mother, I am going to look for the treasure. I have prepared food for winter. Let there be no gas; you will go to bed early in the evenings. Let there be salt; you will get it from the neighbour. If I find the treasure, I will make you live like a sultan”. He kissed his mother’s hand. Seeing that Keloğlan was determined, his mother desperately changed her mind. She saw Keloğlan off saying “Goodbye, Keloğlan. I hope you find the treasure.”
Keloğlan crossed mountains and hills, looking for days until finally he found the well on the map. The treasure was meant to be in this well. The stone he threw into the well made a sound like ‘BANG’. Keloğlan understood that there was no water in the well. However, three people who had gone down the well in his village and weren’t able to come out last year came to his mind. “I have a rope, which I brought with me from the village.” He started worrying: “What if I tie the rope to the edge of the well and go down, but then die like them because of the poisonous smoke in the well? That will be a bad state of affairs - first I need a helper who is manly, trustworthy and who is able to remove the danger in the well. Nasreddin Hodja came to mind while thinking where it might be possible to find somebody like this, and he said “Ok, the Hodja will find a way to resolve this matter.”
After a long journey he eventually arrived in Akşehir. There he asked to be shown Nasreddin Hodja’s house. He knocked on the door and Nasreddin Hodja opened it. He said “You are most welcome, my son. I am Nasreddin Hodja. Would you like something?”
“My Hodja, I am called Keloğlan in my village. I would likr your help for an important matter. I would be very happy if you would be so kind as to listen to me.” Hodja welcomed Keloğlan into his house. Keloğlan told him how he had got the treasure map; he told him that he had said goodbye to his mother and had left the village, had found the well on the map, he told himwhy he hadn’t been able to go down the well. He concluded his remarks by saying, “If we find the treasure, we will share it fifty – fifty, my Hodja. What do you say?”
Nasreddin Hodja replied, “Since there is not enough current, this poisonous air gathers in the wells which haven’t been used for a long time and into which poisonous air leaks from the layers of earth around them. If someone goes down into these wells, they will poison and kill that person. As you have told me, the depth of the well is nearly 9 or 10 metres. It is too tiring and troublesome to dig and broaden the hole around the well, we can’t accomplish that. If we try to find a helper, it will spread from ear to ear, and the public will gather at the well. We must find another way Keloğlan. Stay with us for a couple of days as my guest, and I will think and find a suitable way.”
Nasreddin Hodja made plans during the following two days, and drew up drafts. He brought the plans to the smith. He admonished him to give the equipment that he had; to make those he didn’t have according to the drawings. The equipment was ready in a week. He had bought a cart which two donkeys pulled. He put the equipment, and necessities like food and drink in the car. He said goodbye to his wife and mounted his donkey. Hodja with his donkey in the front, and Keloğlan in the cart at the back, set off. After a troublesome journey lasting for days, they reached the well in which the treasure was. Hodja scrutinized the well. He took down the big bellows, which they had got the smith to make, next to the well with Keloğlan. They dangled one of the tips of a pipe, which was nearly 10 centimetres wide, into the bottom of the well. They attached the other tip to the bellows. They started to pump the bellows. The still and poisonous air - which had accumulated for years - started to scatter, rise slowly and get out of the well from the effect of the fresh and pressurized air. The rate of poisonous air in the well lessened each time the bellows pumped air. This process was continued the following day, too. On the third day they came to the conclusion that the well had been cleaned. Just to make sure, Nasreddin Hodja put a cat, which he had brought in the cart, into a sack. After tying up the sack with a rope, he lowered it into the bottom of the well. He saw that the cat was alive and kicking after pulling it back two hours later.
Tying the rope around his waist, Keloğlan had gone down the well. He took out the stone mentioned on the map. After digging the earth under the stone, he found the chest. He tied up the chest with the other rope near him and called out to Hodja to pull him. When Keloğlan had come out of the well, he pulled up the chest with Hodja. When they broke its lock and opened the chest, to their surprise they saw it was full of bright and shiny gold! They felt very happy. They shared the gold immediately. The next day, Nasreddin Hodja set off to Akşehir on his donkey, and Keloğlan set off to his village in the cart.
Keloğlan got a legendary mansion built in his village. He hired maids and manservants. He bought fields, vineyards, gardens. He started to live like a sultan with his mother. The Sultan heard about Keloğlan’s extraordinary wealth. When he was out hunting one day, he stopped by Keloğlan’s mansion. Keloğlan showed respect for the Sultan, and treated him in the best way. The Sultan, who was very pleased with this close interest, invited Keloğlan to his palace for the festival, which was going to be celebrated the following month.
Keloğlan went to the palace by coach and with manservants on the festival day. He met the Sultan’s extremely beautiful daughter, Violet, and fell in love. Violet loved Keloğlan at first sight and didn’t want him to leave. After the festival entertainments had finished, Keloğlan returned to his mansion. He told his mother that he had fallen in love with Sultan Violet at first sight and wouldn’t be able to live without her. They thought it over carefully and they decided to ask the Sultan’s consent to marry Violet. Later he went with his mother to ask the Sultan if he could marry his daughter. The Sultan accepted Violet’s marrying Keloğlan. Keloğlan returned to his mansion and started the wedding preparations. On the way he had sent messengers to Nasreddin Hodja to invite him to his wedding.
After Nasreddin Hodja had returned to Akşehir with his share, he clothed the poor and the orphans, and spent most of his money on good deeds. And at the same time he heard from his friends’ conversation and from the travellers passing by that Keloğlan had got a mansion built in his village, had hired menservants, had bought fields and started to live like a sultan, and he felt happy about the things he heard. When he heard about Keloğlan’s wedding invitation and that he was going to marry Sultan Violet, he regained a lot of his good humour. He started the preparations to go to the wedding. He bought carpets, furs, and silk cloths. He bought jewellery like earrings and a necklace for Violet. He also bought two coaches, which four horses would pull, and he also hired two manservants. He wore his most valuable clothes and his showiest fur. He set out with his wife a couple of days before the wedding. The Hodja arrived at the palace with his entourage, very ostentatiously. Keloğlan welcomed the Hodja at the door. He kissed his hand. They embraced and hugged each other. The Hodja told a lot of stories about events that he had lived, including witty remarks, until the wedding day. He made the guests have a funny time. Keloğlan and Sultan Violet married among the entertainments with musical instruments and much conversation. There were no words to describe their happiness. They lived happily for many years.THE END