My mother used to tell me a story which her father would tell her. My grandfather was Iranian (half Azerbaidjani, haf Turkmenistani), and this may be a Sufi tale…
When Noah was gathering all the animals onto his Ark, and old woman came to see him. “I beg you, Noah, don’t let me drown in the Flood,” she said. “Let me come with you on the Ark.”
So Noah promised that, once all the animals were on the vessel, he would go and knock on the old woman’s door.
Only he forgot.
Once the rain began to pelt down, the waters started to rise and the Ark was carried into the seas, he felt the pangs of guilt about the old woman.
Forty days and forty nights later, once the waters subsided and the Ark stood firm on Mount Ararat, and Noah let his family and the animals ashore, he remembered the old woman and strolled in the direction of her house.
There it still stood.
Surprised that it had not been swept away by the flood, Noah gingerly knocked on the door, which was quickly flung open. “Oh, so we’re ready to go!” the old woman said, smiling.
Noah was astounded. “But – but… How come you’re still here? There have been forty days and forty nights of rain, and a universal Flood!”
The old woman gave him a quizzical look. “Well, I did hear some noise outside but I figured it couldn’t be anything dangerous because I knew you would come and pick me up, so no harm could befall me.”
The same story with the old man version has been told also in Anatolia.
For us the children, it was told to stress the importance of our words and their responsibility.
If we did not remember our promises for a reason, it would come back and remind us itself in a way that could embarrass or insult us.
And from the old man’s point of view, it was a lesson for us the kids to never directly accuse people for not keeping their promises but to gently tell what a promise can lead to in our lives and how we rely on them.
It was such a coincidence I found this story in your blog so many years after it had been told to me. Almost forgotten. I’ll tell my son tonight before sleep.
Warm regards from Turkey,
How wonderful to hear from you! Do drop me a line if you still have my e-mail address. My mother told me this story to illustrate the power of the mind – of tuning it to the the right frequency.
So I guess Noah’s remembering belatedly had the almost effect of protection. A simple but profound little story. I hope you and H. are keeping well and safe during this time of universal difficulty and bereavement. All the best to you and yours.
My mother used to tell this story to illustrate the power of the mind and the imprtance of “tuning” into the right wavelength. You, too, keep safe.
Totally love it! Hard times are hard times, just got to believe … in something!
Thank you. I’m glad you liked it. Keep safe – whoever youy are!
A wonderful tale, Katia, filled with the hope we need so much now. Thank you.
I’m glad you like it. Much love to you and yours.
And the same to you and yours, Katia. xo
Beautiful! A hopeful story for a scary time.
Thank you. Be well – whoever you are!
A wonderful story ☼ its paradoxical nature suggest a Sufi origin.
You may be right. Thank you for reading, and keep safe.