Akhak Timer - Tamerlan

Once an old fortune-teller came to the Khan and told him:

"My Khan-sultan, children born this year will get at your head"

The Khan was not long in consideration. He ordered his servants to roam the country and trample bellies of pregnant women. The Khan's servants were dropping in at every house and trampled bellies of those women who were with babies coming. That is why only one child was born in the country that year, and he appeared to be lame. He was given the name Akhak Timer - the Lame Timur (Tamerlan). He grew up and did get at the Khan's head.


* * *


Akhak Timer was a fierce warrior. Waging war against other khans, he conquered one town after another. No one could offer him resistance. Nevertheless he stopped by the walls of one of towns, unable to conquer it. "Isn't it amazing?" marvelled Akhak Timer. "Why am I unable to capture this town? What's its secret?" He was lost in amazement and embarrassment He was racking his brains for a long time and then he decided to send his spies to this town. Disguised as merchants or beggars, they filtered into all the nooks of the town. But none could bring comforting tidings to his lord and master. One of the spies, disguised as a beggar, peeped into every house. Once he found himself in a house, where there were many children. The father of this family was at war. Children were eating porridge. They were sitting around the bowl in a tight circle, as if they were afraid that it would run away from them. None of the children was eating at his side of the bowl -everyone was hurriedly stretching his hands to the centre of it. Then mother hit the head of one of her sons, the one who behaved worst of all, by a spoon and said:

"Eat whatever is closer to you. Don't stretch your hands to the thing that is not for you, don't be like Akhak Timer!"

Having returned to his camp, the spy retold these words to the Khan. Only then Akhak Timer realized his mistake. He aimed right at the centre of the town, without conquering the suburbs first.