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Bataar's Adventure

By , Seattle, WA
Hi my name is Bataar and I am a Mongol warrior, and proud of it! I was once the greatest warrior of the whole Il-Khanate of Persia, and had been in the front cavalry of the conquest! But now, I am trapped in a strange land that no one has heard of but the strange people that live there, who don’t know who I am either! Imagine that! Well, I guess you’d like to hear how this all happened, so I’ll start from the beginning.

I was walking through a small city where I lived in Persia, on my way to the market to pick up a new saddle for my horse, which had gotten fatter since the invasions from lack of exercise, and so was now too big to fit in her old one. Of course, I had to bring her with me to try on the saddle, so everyone in the road was staring at me like I was on fire. They all expected it was another raid about to begin, but I just smiled politely and kept walking. When I finally entered the main square, I walked straight to the saddle shop. I went inside, but it was very dark and unfamiliar, so I had to wait a second to be able to see through the darkness. Slowly, a dim figure appeared in front of me, making me jump; I had not seen him before in the darkness. I started to say hello, but he grabbed my arm and pulled me farther into the caverns of the shadowy room. Then, I realized it wasn’t a room at all: it was a tunnel. At this time, my horse, Kushi, began to thrash around and shake, but I just shushed her. At that moment, a light grew faintly at the end of the tunnel and I could see the man for the first time. I looked at him and saw, in that split second, a flash of red in his cruel little eyes and then he was gone and I was being pulled faster than an arrow flies from a bow through the tunnel and then…

Everything stops. I am standing in the middle of a vast plain full of nothing but tumble weeds and dirt. What just happened? Where am I? Who was that man? A thousand questions are rushing through my brain and I can’t seem to find any answers, then I hear the sound every Mongol knows: the sound of many galloping horses behind me. I swirl around in time to take a blow to the chest and fall to the ground, only to be jumped on and bound by the wrists, alongside Kushi. The next thing I know, I am hanging limply over the back of a galloping horse, bitter dust whipping at my face and all I can do is close my mouth and eyes shut and wait for the nightmare to be over. But it doesn’t end. The mare slows to a trot, and then a stop and my captors dismount and enter the leather tent-like house we have stopped in front of. After a few minutes, they come back out and a new person is with them, but this one is wearing a headdress. This is the first time I get a real look at these people. They all have dark skin, like the Persians I am accustomed to, but they are also different. Their facial features are different, as if they were from a different culture, but I have never seen these features before.

“Who are you people,” I ask, “and why have you kidnapped me?”

Blank stares is all I receive, they clearly do not understand Mongolian. They take me over to my Kushi and start pointing and talking nonsense at me; they must be some form of new barbarian tribe. I try to understand what they are saying, but have no luck, until I realize that they are wondering where I got my horse! I try to explain to them again through talking, but still no answers. Then I realize that I can show them where I’m from! I trace a vague map of Eurasia in the dirt and do not get results, until I draw the water in. They understand! But apparently they have no idea where this is. This strange group comprehends though, and that is enough. They lift me up and unbind me, for they now know that I am not from an enemy tribe. I am pulled to my now untied horse and am signaled to mount, and I am very happy to oblige. Then the others climb up on their own beasts and lead me to the back of the tent, where we find a stockpile of all the bows and arrows one could dream for! They each take a set and offer one to me, but I pull my own out from concealment and gasps are heard all around me. They snatch the weapon and eye it greedily, admiring the complexity of it, compared to their makeshift models.

I am now the most respected man of the gathering, everyone is trying to get a smile from me and touch the bow, but soon, the man with the headdress whistles and all is silent. He speaks to the others and they hang their heads, but soon, all is forgiven and we are galloping across the expanse of land they inhabit, and the wind through my hair and the exhilaration feels so good after months of staying put in that city that was my home. Soon, as we slow down, they show me animals to shoot and are amazed at what accuracy I can get with a bow. But they are not bad shots themselves, one of the people, a short, built one hit a rabbit from one hundred yards away; even better than I can shoot. In the end, we all bagged twenty animals and that was plenty enough for the lot of us.

That night, we cooked around a fire and it was the best food I had eaten in a long time. We then sang and danced and they told stories with movements that I very much enjoyed. The next few weeks passed in the same way, and it was the best time I ever had.
One day, I was riding alone early in the morning, and happened upon a strange rock in the middle of the plain, with carvings all over it in some sort of language I did not know. I was just getting off Kushi to further investigate, when on the stone, appeared the man that had brought me here. I backed away and started to sprint away as fast as I could, but it was no use. I soon felt the sensation of flying forward and stopping.

I was back in the Persian town square, people were still staring at me and I was with Kushi again. I shook it off and walked up to the saddle shop I always went to, with the female owner, and bought my saddle.





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