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The Khan And Wise Girl (Avar)

The Khan And Wise Girl (Avar)
JAF. HUMANIORA.- Once upon a time, there lived a cruel and cunning khan. He was a bad ruler. He made his people work very hard and then taxed them heavily. When they refused to pay their taxes he threw them into prison after his soldiers had severely beaten them. They rode from farm to farm demanding sacks of corn.

Chickens, goats and cows as payment for taxes. The people who lived on these farms were poor and could not fight the soldiers often the khan's soldiers burnt their farms if they could not pay. Then they rode away on their fine horses, laughing at the misery of these poor people. There seemed no end to the khan's cruelty.

One day, his soldiers gathered all the people in a great square in the town centre for a meeting. the chief of the soldiers spoke to them. The great and illustrious khans has made a list of all his subjects. All citizens will be required to answer there quentions each. Those who are able to answer these questions will go free. Those who are able to answer the questions correctly will be sent to prison and will be killed.

The people began to whisper among them selves. They had had enough of their ruler's   cruelty. for years he's had great power over us and he's used this power unjustly, it's time we had another ruler. But the people were pore and the khan had many soldiers who would kill them if they rose against him. What can we do when we have no weapons ? they said. so they bowed their heads and left the square. They knew their ruler was mad but there was nothing they could do against this latest madness. They would have to put up with it.

The khans's soldiers roamed the countryside. The head of each family was brought to the palace for questioning. The khan helped by his soldiers. Questioned them. Those who were unable to answer the difficult questions were sent to prison. First starve them and them cut of their heads. The khan told his soldiers. They obeyed him and mani children lost their fathers during this terrible time.

An a only farm, far from the khan's palace there lived and old farmer. He had only one daughter. His wife has died many years ago. He received an order to report to the khan's palace for questioning. I'm a poor, uneducated man, daughter all many live I've worked hard on the land. I've had no time to go to school or read any book. I know I shall not be able to answer the khan's questions. He told his daughter sadly.

"Don't worry father. I'll go in your place. I'll tell them that you are unable to walk as you've lost and the use of your legs which is true. Said the girl. So the brave, young girl walked to the palace of the khan many miles away. After walking through hills and valleys she arrived at the gates of the palace.

Take me to them khan. I've come in my father's place as he is to ill to walk here. she told the chief of the soldiers. You're a brave young girl. Do you know what the khan would do to you if you don't answer correctly ? he said. the girl nodded. She had heard of the cruelty of their ruler. It was nothing new to her.

The girl was brought before the khan. great khan, this girl has come instead of the father who is ill. Said the chief soldier. Bravely the girl looked up at the ruler seated on a high, golden throne.

The khan stared at her with his evil face but the girl was not afraid. I've come to answer your questions and then I must hurry home as my father needs me. He's old and ill. Said the girl. The khan then began to question her. what's keenest ? what's fastest ? and what's the most just ? he asked her. The girl thought for a while and then answered. sire, the keenest is the ear which all things, even the whispering of the slightest breeze. The fastest is the eye which sees all things, even the wings of a bird high in the sky. And the most just, sire, as everybody know, is your anger. Said the girl with smile. The knew that the khan liked to be praised and she was right. He smiled at her.

You shall go free today, as you've answered all the questions correctly. tomorrow I'll test your wisdom further. Answered three questions, now the khan wished her to be questioned further. Sire, the chief of your soldiers said that each person had only to answer three questions. She said. ah, yes but that was only the first part. Lied the khan. The next morning, the khan again sent for the wise girl.

Yesterday you were lucky. The questions were too easy. Here are two wooden boards. I wish you to make them into two beautiful dresses for yourself. said the mad khan. The girl nodded and then went into the palace garden. She collected some stones and gave them to the chief soldier.

Tell the khan that I'll do as he has asked me, I need some strong thread, ask him to have some strong thread made out of these stones. Said the brave girl. the next day, the khan's messenger brought her fifteen freshly laid eggs. The great khan says that he wished these eggs to be hatched by dawn tomorrow. The girl went out into a field of barley. She took some barley seeds and geve them to the messenger. Tell our great ruler to show these seeds and get a harvest by the morning or his chickens may die of hunger. Said the girl boldly, when the khan heard how boldly she had answered the chief of his soldiers, he sent for again.

So you've answered my questions and also shown me how foolish I am. I should really order my soldiers to beat you and put in prison. Said the khan angrily. Sire, you are known throughout the land for your cruelty. How much better it would be if a ruler was known for his justice and mercy instead. Said the brave young girl. The soldier who surrounded the khan in the throne room was shocked to hear her speak so boldly. Let me throw her in prison for her boldness, sire, said the chief of the soldiers.

The khan stopped him he stared for a long time at the girl. You're the youngest person to have been questioned by me. Yet you're not only brave but wise. You're made me see how unjustly I've treated my people all these years. Said the khan. The girl was set free and joyfully she returned to her father. Because of her the khan stopped treating his people badly. Instead he changed his evil ways and began to help them once more. The girl live happily in her village and soon she was married to the most handsome man there.

Oleh. Irene Anne Monteiro
Rewrite. Apero Fublic
Editor. Desti. S. Sos
Palembang, 06 April 2020.
Sumber. Irene Anne Monteiro. Favourite Stories From Central Asia. 2000. Bandung: Remaja Rosdakarya. Hal. 33-38. 

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