Folk Nuggets

Gatil Mu Meghr

War Because of A Drop Of Honey

Gatil Mu Meghr [Illustrations by Arthur Knadjyan]

War Because of A Drop of Honey

Once when a shopkeeper was selling honey,
a drop of honey dripped onto the floor,
and of course a bee buzzed into the shop and sat on that drop of honey;
and next thing you know, the shopkeeper’s cat pounced on the bee and killed it.

Now this angered a dog that was passing by;
so it growled and attacked the cat and killed it too,
at which point the furious shopkeeper whacked the dog with his ladle
and dropped him onto the floor next to the cat.

As it happened, this now-dead dog
belonged to a shepherd from another nearby village.
When the shepherd found out what had happened to his dog,
he decided to get even with the shopkeeper,
scurried to the shop and, with one swift blow of his cane,
left the shopkeeper flat on his back on the floor.

Soon all the people in both villages took to their arms
and fought a horrible war against one another,
demolishing, burning down each others’ homes
until nothing in sight was left standing.

And after all the killing, bloodshed and the destruction
from among the people of the two villages,
one single human being was left alive
looking around in a daze, wondering and asking himself...
“Now why did we fight this war?
What was the reason for this war?”

All that destruction and killing because of a drop of honey?!

From The Book of The Fox by Vartan Aykegtsi,
12th-13th Century Armenia
As retold by Alidz Agbabian
Copyright ©2007

Lake Van at Sunset