About: Containing folk stories from many different peoples and culture of China, including tales of Tibetan, Han and Uighur origin. The character Nasrdin Avanti may be of particular interest, as some of his adventures are quite familiar to us in the West.
One day Avanti thought of earning some money. So he took a length of
rope, about twenty or thirty feet, and went to the market-place. Just
as he got there and stopped among a group of porters, a man came up and
“I've a crate full of bowls and cups here. Whoever carries it home
for me shall get three pieces of good advice as his pay.”
Hearing this, all the porters ignored him. Avanti, however, bethought
himself: “A thing like money can be obtained at any time, but good
advice is difficult to get. I'd better hear what advice he has to give,
in order to learn something.” So he agreed to carry the crate for the
As they were walking along, Avanti said to the owner of the crate:
“How about telling me now what good advice you have to give?”
The owner of the crate said: “Don't believe anybody who tells you
that it is better to go hungry than to eat your fill.”
“That's very good advice!” Avanti agreed.
They walked on for a little while, then Avanti said: “Well, let's
have the second piece of advice now.”
“Don't believe anybody who tells you that it is better to go on foot
than to ride on horseback.”
“Aiya! That really is excellent advice!” Avanti exclaimed.
After they had gone on for some distance, Avanti demanded to hear the
third piece of advice.
“Don't believe anyone who tells you that there are porters even more
foolish than you,” the man said. But hardly had he finished when Avanti
suddenly let go of the rope in his hand and said:
“And don't you believe anyone, either, who tells you that the bowls
and cups in this crate aren't broken!”