Ancient History, animals, Paganism, poetry

The Old Man And The Ibex


Woe betide his piteous misfortune

He is lost in a labyrinth of sand

No resolute Bedouin to guide him

No horse to take the burden from his legs

The sun above is restless and will soon

Slink fast away below the horizon

Leaving the weak old man to brave the cold

Comforts of a frigid desert twilight

Alas all hope seems most unwarranted

Until our hero spots the silhouette

Of a desert creature against the sun

It is the Ibex, lord of all the dunes

The sight of such a noble creature brings

A swell to the imams heart and cool tears

To his burnt, dry, and sand encrusted eyes

“O brother Ibex peace be upon you!

I beg of you please show me the way home”

The proud old beast stuck out his bearded chin

“Art thou a Christian O ye lost old man?”

The old man coughed and shook his tired head

“Ibex I worship not that carpenter”

The Ibex seemed to laugh with his black eyes

“Art thou a Jew then O ye haggard wretch?”

The Imam frowned and spit into the sand

“I am no slave of the book of Moses”

The Ibex smiled a strange and unctuous smile

“Why then you must be a Mohammedan!”

The old man fell to his wretched old knees

“I am no Christian, and I am no Jew

I was once a Mohammedan but now

I am just a misbegotten old crone

And I admit I worship only you”

The Ibex bowed ‘til his horns touched the sand

“Well then my first act as lord and savior

Is to lead my true prophet from this place

Grab my horn and I will show you the way”

And thus was born a momentary faith

A new born creed of base necessity

Manufactured piety, but real grace