Piece of land1
By Ali Samedli
Once upon a time there lived a people. The blossoming valleys, the amazing meadows, the admirable mountains, the life-giving springs and the forests full of game animals were pleasant to the eye. That tribe had countless horse herds and sheep flocks. The sons of that tribe ploughed, sowed and reaped the harvest with their honest labor. That tribe was never carried away by the riches or property of other peoples.
The brave men of that tribe flew on their horses like birds, with their swords sparkling.
The tribe picked a wise, grey-haired man as its leader. Everyone called him Great Father. No one contradicted him and his word was a law. Young and old alike respected and honored the Great Father…
He was against blood and disasters and always said, "My brave men, fight against mountains and stones. Cut rocks, lay roads, make water for valleys. Don't shed blood, but shed sweat and then it will turn into grain, and your labor will turn into good".
Young and old listened to the Great Father's wise words. Robbers from remote countries could not bear that affluence and prosperity. But their noses were jammed and their attacks were repelled every time. It did not go without victims. Many brave men fell for the people and honor. Many mothers' hearts burnt, many loving eyes were in tears after every war. The Great Father grieved most over his fallen brave men.
Once the enemy attacked again. The brave men of the tribe took arms and jumped on horses.
But the Great Father said:
– Wait, my brave men, let us see what they want.
The brave men heeded his advice. Meanwhile, the enemy's messengers came and demanded a tribute from the Great Father. The Great Father was lavish and gave them a sack of gold from the people's riches. Everyone felt happy and the disaster was gone. But the messengers came again early next morning.
– You are welcome. What do you want this time?
One of the messengers:
-Our ruler demands that you give him your war horse!
The brave men were filled with indignation when they heard that, but the Great Father calmed them down:
– Give them my war horse to prevent a war.
The enemies took away the war horse. The messengers came again in the morning.
– What do you want now?
– Our ruler demands that you give him your only son. He wants to make him his servant.
The brave men got angry and shouted:
– We want to fight!
But the Great Father calmed them down again:
–My brave men will be killed in the fight and they are no worse than my only son.
The enemies took away the Great Father's son as their servant. The next day, however, the enemies came to the gate again.
The Great Father could hardly suppress his anger. He asked:
– What else do you want?
– Our ruler demands a piece of your land to settle down on it.
Everyone turned their eyes on the Great Father. The Great Father's eyes flashed with anger. He rose to his feet:
– Hey my brave men! The enemy went beyond the limit!" he said. "The land belongs not to me but to the entire people! Don't spare the enemies! Forward, my brave men!
The brave men formed a line in no time and the fight started. The sun grew dark, everything mixed in the cries, and mothers and sisters put on men's clothes, took swords and went to the battlefield. The enemy was smashed in less than a day. There were also victims among the brave men, but there was no mourning declared. The Great Father said:
– Mourning and Victory cannot go together!
The people held feasts and composed songs about the Great Father, ozans2.
– "The greatest wealth is piece of land, piece of people's land," said the Great Father.
Those words became a legend and that piece of land became sacred.