An Algerian Noodlehead Tale

The Donkey Egg (Algeria)

“The Donkey Egg” 17 Feb. 2004

This fool tale has the familiar main character of Nasr-ed-Din Hodja. In “The Donkey Egg” the Hodja is easily fooled by Ali. If he sits on a Donkey Egg for three weeks it will hatch and he will have another donkey. The Hodja and his wife (Fatima) actually sit on what they think is a donkey egg for three weeks, until they realize they have a bad egg. Later on in the story the Hodja is presented a little dumber than before, since what he was really sitting on the entire time was merely a pumpkin. However, only the reader is told he was sitting on a pumpkin. The Hodja is ridiculed in front of all of his peers who snicker and laugh at him for sitting on a pumpkin. The Hodja never pays much attention to their jeers. He walks off and rids himself of what he thinks is his rotten egg by rolling it down a hill. While the actual pumpkin is rolling it cracks open and scares a rabbit who is nearby. The frightened rabbit runs off, and the Hodja believes the rabbit is his baby donkey. By the end the Hodja has been fooled by Ali that he can hatch a baby donkey, mistook an egg for a pumpkin, and identified a rabbit as a baby donkey.