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Ruined Village

32in x 22in


Whilst hunting, the horse of the King. Carried him far away from the royal retinue. The only companion of the king was his minister; the king and the minister were alone together. In that hunting ground the king saw a village, Ruined like the heart of an enemy. Two owls were sitting close together; Their discussion was closer than the heart of the king. He said to the minister: “What is their augment? What is the meaning of their cries to one another?”.

The minister said: “Oh, the king of the world, I will explain it, if the king would take a lesson.” “These two voices are not mere signing; They are the proclamation of a marriage ceremony. “This owl has given a daughter in marriage to that other owl And demands from him that the price of valuables be settled in the morning. “Saying: ‘Leave this ruined village to us together a with a few more like it.’ “The other one answers, saying: ‘Do not worry about this. See the tyranny of the king and do not grieve. “If we have the same king and this destiny,  In a short time, I will give thee a hundred thousand ruined villages like this”.

These words had such an effect on the king, That he heaved a sign and began to lament. “See my tyranny which leaves owls for the farmers instead of hens” “God gave me the empire, that I may not do that which is unworthy.” “Why should I spoil my good name by oppression? I oppress others, alas! I oppress myself.” Immediately, he remitted the taxes on overtaxed land. He abolished bad customs and ways of injustice. He spread justice and destroyed tyranny, And to his last breath he remained faithful to this. (Nezami)

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Rumi Molavi
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