Nasreddin Hodja had grown old and was near death. His two grieving wives, knowing that his end was near, were dressed in mourning robes and veils.
“What is this?” he said, seeing their sorrowful appearance. “Put aside your veils. Wash your faces. Comb your hair. Make yourselves beautiful. Put on your most festive apparel.”
“How could we do that?” asked the older of his wives, “with our dear husband on his deathbed?”
With a wry smile he replied, speaking more to himself than to them, “Perhaps when the Angel of Death makes his entry he will see the two of you, all decked out like young brides, and will take one of you instead of me.”
With these final words he laughed quietly to himself, happily closed his eyes, and died.