One of Nasraddin Hodja's neighbors was a very poor man; he, his wife, and four children were all living in one room. In desperation, he went to see Hodja to ask him what to do.
Tears streaking down his eyes, he told his heart-breaking story. Nasraddin Hodja listened to him with great sympathy and understanding, but said, “I can help you under one condition. You must do exactly what I tell you to do.”
The man held Nasraddin Hodja’s hands and kissed them. “Hodja, you are also father to all of us,” he said. “I will do anything you want me to do to improve the desperate situation I am in.”
“Bring your donkey, your goat and chickens to your room,” Nasraddin Hodja said. “After that, come see me next week. Then I will tell you what your next step shall be.”
The poor man could not make anything out of Hodja’s reasoning. There was already hardly any space to move in his one room, and now Hodja wanted him to bring his animals in,too. But he respected Hodja, and thought that Nasraddin Hodja knew something he did not. So he said, “Hodja though I don’t understand it at all, I will still do what you told me.”
The following week, when he came to see Hodja again, tears were running down his face. “I’m on the verge of committing suicide, Hodja,” he pleaded. “Please help me.”
“All right,” said Nasraddin Hodja, “now take your donkey out of the room and come to see me next week.”
The following week Hodja told his neighbor to take his goat out; and the week after, his chickens.
When all the animals were out, he came to see Hodja once more. He looked very content and was actually smiling.
When Nasraddin Hodja asked him how he felt, he answered, “Oh Hodja! I don’t know how to thank you. I’m so grateful to you. You made me see that I actually had a pretty good place to live. I feel I’ve been reborn.”