Stories & Tales
More Stories of Goha

One day when Goha was young, his mother sent him to the market to fetch some salt and also some samneh or clarified butter. She gave him with a dish for the samneh and took it for granted that the grocer would wrap the salt in a piece of paper . When he reached the shop, Goha handed the dish he had brought to the shopkeeper, and asked him for the butter. He then turned the dish upside down, and told the grocer to place the salt on the bottom of the dish. At home he said to his mother, " Here is the salt, mother." "But, my son," said she, "where is the samneh?"


"Here," replied Goha, turning the dish right side up. Of course, neither the salt nor the butter were on the dish anymore.

When Goha was old enough to work for his living he became a donkey-driver. One day, he was in charge of twelve donkeys which were used to carry dirt and soil to the city. Before heading back with the laden animals, Goha thought it wise to count them. He counted twelve, and herded the donkeys across the fields and towards the city. He stopped for lunch in a shady area, then, feeling quite full and not eager to walk, he mounted one of the donkeys. Soon he counted the donkeys again, but to his dismay found only eleven. At once he dismounted, he put them all in a row, and was astonished and greatly relieved to find the twelve there.


He remounted the donkey and set off again, wondering as he rode along how it was that he had missed one earlier. Suddenly the suspicion came upon him that possibly the second count had been wrong, and so he counted again. Once more there were only eleven trotting along in front of him. He was terribly disconcerted, and again he dismounted, stopping the other animals, and counted them again. He was puzzled to find that there were again twelve. He was so absorbed by this mystery, he kept on counting and recounting the donkeys till a passerby assured him he would have exactly twelve donkeys if he followed them on foot.

Adapted from Folklore of the Holy Land, J.E.Hanauer, Dover Publications