Kurdistan Tale

I first saw this in a posting by Steve Poge.

Once upon a time, about 4000 years ago, a great army of Kurds (from Kurdistan in Iraq) swept across the Middle East, conquering vast areas of land. They pushed westward until they reached what is the present state of Israel. There, they met staunch resistance from a small tribe of mountain dwellers called the Yerms. The Yerms were wonderful archers. They would simply wait in the hills until the Kurds passed through the valleys below, then they would shower the Kurdish soldiers with hundreds of arrows. For defense, the Yerms built a series of underground tunnels in which they could seek refuge whenever they were threatened.

After a long struggle, the Yerms were finally defeated, and the Kurds conquered the land. There was one Yerm, however, who had not given up. He decided to exact revenge. The Kurdish King had set up his capitol in Jerusalem, a city dominated by hills on the East. Through these hills there was only one narrow pass providing easy passage to Kurdistan. The last remaining Yerm guarded the pass and shot everyone who tried to get through. When the Kurdish soldiers came after him, he simply scuttled into one of the tunnels the Yerms had dug and escaped.

This distressed the King of the Kurds. Because of one lowly Yerm, no important messages or emissaries could pass through from his kingdoms in the East. The King had his military leaders identify the scrawniest, fastest soldier in the army. He called the man to his throne room one day and told him to go into the hills alone at night, sneak into the Yerm’s tunnels and capture that one last remaining Yerm. The soldier went out that very night, but never returned.

The King then identified and commissioned his second scrawniest soldier to attempt the same thing. That second scrawny soldier was never seen again. For weeks, the King kept sending out his dwindling supply of scrawny soldiers but none ever returned.

The King had become terribly discouraged when, one day, a big, burly soldier appeared before him and claimed he could capture the Yerm. The King doubted the wisdom of the move, but in his desperation he directed the big Kurd to find and capture the wily Yerm.

The next morning, bright and early, the King was awakened by the return of the soldier who marched into the palace with the Yerm slung over his shoulder. The delighted King promptly promoted the Kurd to captain of the guard, and, as was Kurdish custom, made the Yerm his personal man-servant.

As the new captain turned to leave, the King stopped him and asked, “Captain, how did you capture the Yerm?”

The big, burly soldier responded, “Sire, everyone knows that the burly Kurd catches the Yerm!”

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