THE SAD BATTLE
Written by Hamid Beza Beidaghi
English text by Yuko Saito
nce upon a time, in the land of Persia, there lived a warrior named Rostam. He was the bravest, the mightiest, and the most skillful warrior in all the land, and everybody respected him.
One day, while riding his famous steed Rakhsh, he went hunting in the woods separating Persia and the kingdom of Toran. He got a kill, filled his stomach with it, and lay down on the ground for a nap. But when he woke up, his beloved horse was gone. He was convinced that it had been stolen by thieves from the neighboring Toran. So he went to the royal palace and asked the king to search for it.
When the horse was found and returned to Rostam, the king held a banquet for him and said, “I am sorry that some of my unworthy subjects have dishonored you, and I would like to make amends for the trouble they have caused. Tell me what you would like in return.”
Rostam remembered that the king had a daughter named Tahmineh, whose extraordinary beauty was much talked about throughout his home of Persia. So he said, “I would like your beautiful daughter's hand in marriage.”
The king was pleased to have such a mighty warrior become his son-in-law, so he held the wedding without delay.
ostam had been enjoying his married life in Toran, when the king of Persia sent for him to fight a war against a neighboring country. It was a natural duty for a warrior to fight for his king in times of need. So Rostam sadly bid farewell to his wife, promising that he would return as soon as the war was over.
Then, handing her a beautiful belt adorned with jewels, he said, “I leave this for our child to be born soon, as a token of my love. If the child is a girl, I want her to wear it around her head. If it is a boy, may he wear it around his arm.”
ahmineh gave birth to a boy and he was named Sohrab.
Years passed. Persia was still fighting wars, one after another, and Rostam never came back.
Little Sohrab asked his mother, “Who is my father? Why is he not here?”
Mournfully, his mother answered, “Your father is named Rostam, and he is the mightiest warrior of all Persia. He cannot be here because he is busy fighting for his king.”
―― 以下略 ――