The Old Woman Who Wore a Skull Around Her Neck
My name is Abdulla and people call me the sardar (the leader). People call me the sardar because I have been involved in wars against enemies since I was eighteen-years old. I could defeat any kind of enemy and at the age of 25 I became a strong and glorious warrior in this country. The woman wearing the skull was a rich man's daughter. We fell in love with each other. We really loved each other. When I was just going to marry her, an enemy army started to invade the borders of our country and I had to go to war. When we were in the border areas of the country, another part of the enemy army had attacked our city and killed my parents and many others who fought against the enemy. The remaining inhabitants of the city were taken prisoner. After several days I returned to my city and saw that the city had been plundered. Only lame, blind and disabled people were left in the city. They informed me that the enemies took my would-be wife with them as a widow.
I spent that day in the city to give my horse and myself a rest after several days of war. Next day, I saddled my horse, took my arms and left for the enemy army. After several days, I came to a stream of water. As I was having a rest by the water, I saw a black puppy there. Thinking that it will not be a bad companion, I took the puppy with me and continued my journey.
After I had gone a long way, I saw a big tree on the horizon. As I approached the tree, I saw a horse tied to the tree and a man was sleeping under the tree in the shadow. When I woke him up, I recognized that he was one of the enemy soldiers.
I asked the man where he was from and what he was doing. He did not conceal anything. He openly admitted that he was one of the enemy soldiers who had plundered our country.
‘Why did you not kill me when I was sleeping?’ he asked me.
‘I am not the kind of person who kills a sleeping man,’ I answered him.
‘You are an honest and brave man. From now on, I will be your friend,’ he said and threw his sword on the ground. We hugged each other and became friends. I told him that my wife had been taken captive by the enemy,’ the old man continued his story.
‘Then he told me that they had an extremely strong leader who can raise them with one hand and play throwing them up into the sky and catch with his other hand. He told me that my wife was that strong leader's captive. He showed me a tent on the horizon and said it was that extremely strong leader's tent and my wife was there, but I would not be able to defeat the strong leader.
He said he was the strong leader's guard and that if I came at midnight, he would help my wife to come out secretly. I liked this and I tied my horse by the stream of water and waited for the night to fall. At night I left my horse and the puppy by the side of the water, and went up to the tent and waited for my wife under a bush. I heard the guard whispering to me to be careful and cautious. In some time, my wife came out and I immediately caught her by her hand. She was scared.
‘Do not be afraid. I am Abdulla. I came after you,’ I said.
But she said: ‘Well. What do you want from me? I do not want you. I will not be your wife any longer. Look for your luck somewhere else. Get out of here!’ my wife said. I beseeched her to come with me, but she did not. Then I said: ‘We, indeed, loved each other and I came after you from a far away country, thinking that you would accuse me of failing to save you from the enemy.’ She did not agree. Then I thought it would not be manly to leave my wife in enemy hands. So I took my wife by her waist with both hands, put her on my horse and raced towards my homeland. On the way home, I asked her why she did not want to come with me, she said she was just testing how much I loved her. I was ashamed of my own behaviour. Next morning I saw a dust-cloud swirling behind me. I immediately put my wife on the ground, took up my arms and spear and waitedmy enemy. I saw the strong enemy leader who took my wife captive stop about 200 yards before me. He did not attack me directly and asked me if I wanted to fight by shooting, swords or wrestling. I said I was ready for whatever weapons he chose. He must have been over-confident of his physical strength because he invited me to wrestle with him. He came down from his horse and I did the same. I tied a silk belt around my waist and we began wrestling......