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7-10-2015, 21:25

ARSLANTAI MERGEN KHAN

Many years ago there lived a khan called Arslantai Mergen. This khan's kingdom held the belief that correct practice insisted that all horses be herded together and grouped on low ground. Among his many fine horses there were some special steeds, among them a wild chestnut horse. One day, when the khan came out to check on his horses, he found to his astonishment that they were not together in a herd on the low ground. He could not understand this because he personally checked the horses every night. His guess was that three wolves must have eaten some of his horses. So without further ado, he prepared to hunt those three wolves and bring back their heads as trophies. He chose, as his special mount for this special hunting trip, his chestnut horse, which was born of a chestnut mare.

News of the khan's expedition soon reached the ears of the three wolves, and they began to discuss strategy.

"Arslantai Mergen Khan intends to kill us by hunting us on his chestnut horse, the foal of a chestnut mare. Since it is also the foal of a young mare, we shall have to try to escape, first up to the top of a mountain, and then we should change direction quickly and run away down the mountainside, so that he can not catch up with us." The other wolves quickly agreed with him.

Next day, Arslantai Mergen Khan found the scent of the wolves and quickly gave chase after them. The wolves, as they had agreed, fled first up to the top of a mountain, and then they turned swiftly down the mountainside, and Arslantai Mergen Khan could not catch up with them.

Arslantai Mergen Khan decided to continue the hunt for the three wolves using instead his foal of a chestnut mare with a blaze of white down its nose, so he went back home to prepare for the hunt.

The wolves learned of this and said to themselves, "Arslantai Mergen Khan is getting ready to pursue us on the foal of a chestnut mare with a blaze of white down its nose. However, this foal is the foal of an old mare, so we can make good our escape by turning swiftly down the mountainside and then turning quickly up to the top of the mountain each time he tries to reach us. Then he will never be able to catch up with us, and we will escape his clutches forever." Tlie other two wolves agreed that this plan would allow them to escape from the khan.

The next day, once again Arslantai Mergen Khan galloped after the wolves, riding on his blazed chestnut horse, which was the offspring of a blazed chestnut mare, but he was unable to catch up with the wolves because, just as they had agreed, after running away down the mountainside they abruptly turned and sped back up to the top of the mountain.

Again Arslantai Mergen Khan went home to devise a better strategy to ensnare these scheming predatory wolves. This time, he decided to hunt them with his lean and bony wild chestnut horse. Again, the three cocky wolves heard of the khan's plans, and they laughed derisively at the thought of being chased by this old, skinny horse. They sneered at Arslantai Mergen Khan's audacity in coming after them on such a "steed." That night the wolf said to its companions, "Let's feast on that bony chestnut horse from among the herd of Arslantai Mergen Khan!" The other two wolves replied, "It would be bad for our digestion if we ate such a lean and skinny horse. Let us choose a filly mare with more flesh," but they could not agree among themselves which horse they would honor that night with their hungry teeth.

Finally, the chief wolf said to the others, "Listen, we can decide this matter later. Let us first agree where to meet. Now listen to me. First, we will meet on the shady back-top of the Altai Khangai mountain! Second, we will meet on the backside of that wild and chestnut horse! And third," the wolf continued, laughing and sneering with contempt, "we will meet on the shoulders of the Arslantai Mergen Khan!"

The next morning Arslantai Mergen Khan pursued the three wolves on his wild chestnut horse. It was not long before he caught up with them and swiftly killed all three of them. Fie had caught and killed them all on the back-top of the Altai mountain. Having killed the wolves, he put their skins on the back of his lean and wild chestnut horse and then returned home. At home, Arslantai Mergen Khan fashioned a jacket for himself from the wolf-skins. From that day forth, both the khan and his steed wore their coats made from the skins of the three wolves.

So it came to pass that those three wolves had in fact spoken the truth and had correctly foreseen the future. For they truly met each other on the three occasions they had mentioned, namely, on the back of the Altai mountain, on the rump of the poor wild chestnut horse, and around the shoulders of Arslantai Mergen Khan!



 

 

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