A collection of Pashtun stories from Loy Afghanistan

Saturday, December 12, 2009

"Good Reason"

They tell of one of the Afghan kings of long ago who used to spend three days on affairs of state, then could not be found for another three days, then took up his duties again for a further three days, and so on for many years.

Nobody dared to ask him the reason for his strange behavior; although there were plenty of guesses. Some said that he was a pious recluse part of the time, others that he had some illicit activity, yet others that he was given to fits of madness......

Then came the invasion, as so often before, of the barbarians from the North. The King, his commanders and the Court fled to the high mountains to carry on the struggle.

Conditions were very hard and the grandees, and even the warriors, unaccustomed to this life, often became disheartened and were only rallied by the King, who showed a remarkable resilence and flexability.

When the enemy had been expelled, and the Court resumed its usual routine, the Prime Minister praised the King for the way in which he had adjusted to privatations and thus kept up the spirits of the others.

"It was no hardship." explained the King. "Because for many years, when I was absent for almost half my time from Court, I was living the life of the ordinary people, full of poverty and problems. How, after all, can a king rule if he does not know the way of life of the majority of his subjects, through personal experience?"

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