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Nader had a little lamb
Better to eat the savage and be led by men, than to eat men and be led by savages

By Korosh Khalili
March 26, 2002
The Iranian
It seems to me that life is somewhat more complicated than heroes and villains. But if we were to conform to that simplification, I would have to respectfully contend that the hero in "Little lamb in fessenjoon" is not Niki Tehranchi's father, Nader.

Nader had a little lamb
Its fleece as white as snow.
Nader played all over Rasht
With his lamb in tow

The amity of man and lamb can never be, such is also the case for wolf and lamb, for we are the predator, and it the pray.

Nader loved his little lamb
He ignored natural law.
The kinship of lamb and man
Will always be a flaw!

To my eyes, the hero of that little tale was in fact Cyrus, who was unjustly portrayed as a villain.

Enter Cyrus, fit and wise
He knew the butcher's plan:
No lamb has died of ripe old age
In company of man.

Cyrus may have been judged less cerebral, but he was certainly more realistic. The lamb was doomed from the beginning; Cyrus tried to teach his cousin a lesson from this tragedy:

Cyrus sensed a lesson here
To teach Nader 'bout life
"Better learn it from me now
Than later from his wife!"

The lamb ended in fessenjoon,
As always was its fate.
Nader enjoyed his supper though
And cleared off his plate

You can't eat eggs and then go
To pet your favorite hen.
That's like dropping meal packets
with bombs in Afghanistan!

The lamb kept its silence through
But Cyrus spoke the truth.
Nader missed his lesson though
His taste buds most uncouth!

When you completely miss
A lesson, bitter and plain,
You are destined to retaste
The bitterness again.

Cyrus perhaps had heard about another Cyrus, whose grandfather wanted him dead! When Astyages, king of the Medes, learned of his doom by the hands of Cyrus, his grandson, he charged his commander to leave the infant Cyrus in the woods so that he may perish.

The order was never fulfilled, and when the King learned of the disobedience, the commander was fed a stew made from the man's own son. It was this same commander who betrayed Astyages in the battle against Cyrus.

Better to eat the savage and be led by men, than to eat men and be led by savages.

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By Korosh Khalili

Khalili's features index


Little lamb in fessenjoon
Why my father became a vegetarian
By Niki Tehranchi

A big beautiful lamb
Memoires of a sacrifice
By Mehrnaz Mahallati

For Bambie's sake
We have "culture shock" and we have culture shock
By Sepehr Haddad

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