By Javad Hashtroudian
I suppose I must have written this, though I do not remember when or why. It contains stories from various sources and I suppose plenty from my unconscious mind...
Iraj was eight years old when his grandfather King Zohak had the dream. Zohak the Great, the Magnificent, the Just, had a dream. There was a great oak overshadowing all the nearby trees. From the oak an acorn came. The acorn grew to be an olive tree. From the olive came an oil. The oil was used in a light house and lit the whole countryside. Zohak had been extremely disturbed at this dream. He asked the wise men of the nation for interpretation. No one could interpret the dream. Zohak became maddened. Zohak the Just was now Zohak the tyrant. His counselors searched for the best doctors of the land. They proclaimed that whoever cured the king of his malady would receive seven sacks of gold. The price of failure was death by beheading.
Logoman, the Greek, interpreted the dream as a sign that the king must found a Great Seat of Learning, the fruits of which would light up the whole world from darkness and ignorance. This was done and so was born the Library and University of Internalia. The populace became learned but the king was yet more disturbed. Logoman and his head were soon parted.
Ben Hashim, the Bedouin, interpreted the dream as a sign that the king was losing his vigor. He gave the King an elixir made of gold powder, lion's heart and shark blood. This made the king sick and nearly solved everyone's problem by killing the Tyrant, but Zohak survived the headless bedouin.
A year went by and no one attempted to interpret the dream or cure the king. One day Nasrudin, a fool, entered the city. This fool was known as the wise fool who would solve problems inspite of his folly. The Viziers pleaded with Nasrudin to cure the king. The fool said, "O king, the greatest of the great, you have had a most blessed dream. You are the Great Oak which overshadows everything. From you issues an acorn. The acorn is your daughter, Princess Roshan. Her son Iraj is the oil. His influence will someday be greater than even yours and will light up many a far away land. Hearing this, the King was at once cured and ordered his henchmen to give the fool the seven sacks of gold that they had promised.
The fool who had no use for gold gave the sacks to Roshan and told her to leave the country as soon as possible.
That night while there was a great feast at the palace, Princess Roshan took Iraj and left home. At the feast much wine and nectar were drank. In a moment of drunken stupor the king thought to himself, "why should my grandson, the son of the Azari prince, be greater than I?" The thought angered him totally and he ordered the boy to be killed.
Soldiers went out searching for Iraj but his bed was empty.
The king ordered all citizens to apprehend his daughter and the boy. Roshan changed her clothes with those of her son. Now she appeared as a man and Iraj a young girl. They evaded the border guards and entered the land of Prince Halma, her husband. Halma who had never seen his own son because he had been kept separated from his wife for nine years, was much pleased and sent for the fool to tutor Iraj. Nasrudin taught the boy the difference between truth and untruth. The boy became so enamored by the idea of truth that he persuaded his father to establish a day of truth. On this day everyone had to tell the truth else the executioner would cut his head off. That day Iraj asked the fool where he was going. The fool replied, "I am going to the executioner to be beheaded". Iraj said you are lying and by the Prince's proclamation you must be beheaded. Nasrudin replied, "I told you the truth and according to the law I a cannot be beheaded." Iraj said, "then you lie...." That day Iraj learnt a little truth about the nature of truth.
Under the tutelage of the fool Iraj grew up to be a wise young man. On his seventeenth birthday he heard that his grandfather, King Zohak, had gathered an army to invade the land of his father. The Azari's tried to resist but they lacked numbers while Zohak's forces had many elephants from India.
Prince Halma led the Azari troops. Zohak himself was at the head of the opposing hosts. The battle lasted a few bloody hours. Zohak killed Prince Halma and was about to decimate the Azaries when Iraj and the fool joined the campaign. They brought forth a multitude of mice. The huge elephants which had never seen the tiny rodents in India stampeded. The battle lost was suddenly a victorious celebration.
King Zohak fell under his elephant and was instantly crushed. After a suitable period of mourning the next in line for the King's crown became the next king uniting the lands of his fathers with those of his grandfather Zohak. The united lands were called Iran after Iraj the first king.
Iraj ruled Iran wisely with the help of Nasrudin, the fool. The fool taught Iraj many things over the years but that's another story.