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A Tale of The Old Man and Saharhin

  • Reading time:7 mins read

In the days of old on the island of Socotra, the area was hit by drought, and Famine spread throughout the land. Most of the people died on the island because of hunger and malnutrition. Some men were said to have been forced to divorce their wives in order not to starve from hunger and men who might have been in charge of their deaths. Thus, by allowing their wives to return to their family’s homes, the husbands increased their wives’ chances of survival.
As for those who still had the strength and courage, they used to take what they could find on their way, whether it was theirs or not. They were trying to save themselves from death.
In those days, there was a man named Saharhin who lived with his wife. That couple entered a forest in the middle of the island, looking for anything to satisfy their hunger. When they reached the depths of the jungle, they found a cave. Hence, they entered the cave looking for a dead animal or bird to eat.
The couple stayed in that cave, eating the leaves and bark of trees and any insects or birds that could be caught.
People were suffering from hunger a lot, with the lack of birds or insects owing to the drying out of the land and the trees.
One day, a young boy under ten approached the cave. When he came closer to the cave, a man told himself, hopefully, that that very boy might be a good meal to eat that same evening for him and his wife.
When the boy came closer to the man, the man immediately covered his mouth so as not to shout. The man brought him to his wife. She got shocked and scared.
“May we eat him at once now?” the man asked his wife.
She completely rejected the idea of eating the boy. Then they decided to choose adoption for the boy. But the boy kept shouting and wanted to return to his family. The result was that they locked him up in a dark burrow inside the cave. And then they piled heaps of stones at the cave entrance.
The boy had an older brother who was the bravest and most powerful in that region. His older brother was an example of a brave man with extraordinary strength.
When the old brother missed his little brother, he decided to go looking for him in the forest. While he was looking for him and came very close to that cave, he noted a strange man and woman there.
He intuitively realized that something was going on there. He came to them, greeted them, and began talking to them about their situations, their homeland, and what they were doing. While they were talking to each other, the boy heard the voice of his old brother and could recognize his voice.

“O, my brother! This man and his wife have kidnapped me,” the boy shouted from the dark burrow where he was locked up, screaming for his brother’s help.
The old man jumped to where the sound came from, recognized his brother’s voice, and realized he was still alive. He told his brother to lift the stones with his feet and get out. The boy did what his old brother told him to do and left that burrow. The old man grabbed Saharhin’s neck and said to him that he had come there just to kidnap children and eat them. However, on the other side, Saharhin made up a lie, justifying that he was only looking for a son to adopt. Therefore, the old man calmed down and told him that he forgave him because he had committed a mistake, but if he stumbled back into doing the same again, he would kill him.
The man promised him not to repeat it. The old man left the place with his little brother, whose heart almost dropped when he got scared.
In the days after, two foreign women were passing that way. They saw one little sheep owned by that old man. They grabbed it. They found Saharhin and his wife on their way. They asked them to help with sheep slaughtering. Saharhin did help them. He slaughtered and flayed the sheep and gave them the meat.
The old man didn’t find the sheep. He doubted that the man and his wife might have stolen the sheep. He went first to look for it in the grazing fields, the forest, and the mountains. While the old man was looking for it, he heard the sound of firewood popping, crackling and collecting in the valley. When he came closer to the source of the sound, he found that it was a man. The old man called him, but he made no answer.
“O, old man! You are calling me. What do you want from me?” He replied after he called him again.
The old man told him that he wanted to talk to him.
Saharhin told him to wait, and he would come to the place where he was. Saharhin meant harm to him, telling himself that that man was old and that one shot was enough to cause his death. The old man waited on a smooth rock. The man came, having an angry look on his face and meaning harm to him. When he came closer to the old man, he tried to strike him with one knife strike on the head. But the old man could move swiftly and softly, catch the man’s hand, wrap it, and put him down.
He gave him quick punches until he beat him nearly to death.
He warned him, saying, “O Man! You and your wife must leave this land as soon as possible. I don’t want to see you again here; otherwise, I will kill you both.”
The man went to his wife in a hurry. They left that cave and vanished as lightning faded in the pitch darkness. After that, no one could have seen that man in that place anymore. But soon after, the old man felt that his strength was giving out and that he could no longer climb mountains or run as fast as the speed of light as before. He was no longer able to carry rocks as he used to. He realized that Saharhin might have stolen his strength and gone forever.

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