Salma and St John
Salma loved John the Baptist with all her heart. She often went to look at the oil painting of the saint in the Catholic church, lit a candle, prayed devoutly and told him all her troubles. And she swore that everything she asked John the Baptist for was granted. But one wish of hers remained unfulfilled... Salma kept repeating her request, but in vain. She gave even more candles, but nothing happened. Selma reminded the saint first gently, then more and more forcefully, that she had already given nearly seventy candles for this one request and he hadn't heard her. The priest of the church sometimes had to wait a long time for her to finish her conversations with St John, and found it a nuisance... One day he had an idea: he got behind the picture and waited. Soon Salma came along and began explaining volubly that she was disappointed, because St John had failed her even though she had already given him seventy-eight candles. "This is my last", she said. "What exactly do you want?" Salma was alarmed, but she pulled herself together, explained her wish at length, and promised that if St John granted it she would give the church a hundred lira. "Why the church?" "Very well", said Salma, "then the hundred lira will be just for you." "But I don't want money", replied the priest behind the painting of St John. "What do you want? Candles? I could light you a hundred", offered Salma. "Oh, I hate candles", groaned the priest. "Would you like me to slaughter a sheep and distribute it to the poor?" "Those poor sheep, I can't stand the sight of blood." "Well, what do you want, then?" asked Salma, her nerves all on edge. "I want you to scrub the church three times a week for three months." "Oh yes? Scrub the church?" Salma snapped angrily. "I can do without that, thank you very much, but I'll tell you one thing: I'm not a bit surprised they chopped your head off, you old misery-guts!"