The following story I’m repeating for the benefit of a teacher who asked me to. I told it at the closing ceremony for our recent “How to Teach Writing” course ( we used Harmer’s book by the same name – a great book for all teachers, especially teacher training…). This story is one of my favorites of Hodja the Turkish trickster. It has an important message about writing (and if you don’t get that message, no worries, it will come to you eventually!).
One day, Hodja was at the market. He saw a nice cut of meat and thought it would make a great dinner. He asked the butcher how he might cook it.
The butcher spent the next 5 minutes telling him a wonderful recipe. Hodja looked at him, stupified and said,
“Dear sir, that is wonderful. Sounds delicious.
However, I am a simple man and won’t be able to remember all that. Could you be so kind and write it down for me?”.
The butcher smiled and scribbled it for him on a piece of paper. Hodja bought the cut of meat and put it in a basket on the back of his mule.
On his way home, Hodja whistling away, a huge eagle spied the meat. The eagle swooped down and stole the meat off the back of the mule. Hodja, startled, looked up and began screaming at the eagle and shaking his piece of paper, saying, “That will do you no good! You don’t have this!”…..