About a week ago I posted 2 excerpts from The Atternen Juez Talen that I’m currently translating back to “old English”. Here’s another one you might enjoy.
To remind you: the setting is a small town in medieval Georgia; the year about 1270 CE. Our hero is recording some notable events that happen in the courtyard of the han (caravanserai) he’s working in.
At the gate of the han, stompin’ and screams; two wild men, hair matted in knots, beards that swallowed the whole of their face and it made their heads look ghastly large, like them demons the Tibetans paint on their scrolls. Their robes were a patchwork of scraps and holes stained and filthy and as foul as their mouths, them screamin’ for blood of some rascal thieves. With an elbow my neighbor gives me a poke:
“De-frocked Nestorian monks, I hear, beggin’ and pilferin’ and skulkin’ about. It seems some lad got the better of them.”
Curious and amused I finish the verse of *Pesukei Dezimra* I’m scribin’ for the rav, **“Supru v’goyyim et kavodo.”**
Then I wipe my quill and mosey on down to piece out the story from their monkey mouths. When I get there, one is pawin’ his purse lookin’ for something, with growl and curse.
“Here! You see this piece of shist? Genuine lapis that bugger swore, highest quality, finest kind, straight from Khorasan’s finest mine and carved by an artist in holy Mashhad. And more he’s got, that bastard says, him takin’ pity on us wanderin’ monks.”
He sticks out his grubby and scabby hand to show us a medallion, crude and dull, like the throw-away matrix you can find in a heap outside a shop for cuttin’ gems. Gray and black veins, splotches of white; some blue patches, them second rate. There’s chuckles and grunts and ‘you been stung.’
“But yesterday this here was blue as the sky, til we took it to sell at ‘Gems of the Shah’. That bitchbag dropped it in a boilin’ pot; when he pulled it out, he hands us this dungball, useless as tits on a bull. Help us find that pisspot runt that sold us this. We’ll cut off his nose.”
Then up rides a soldier, sword in hand, and me and the guys drift back to the han.
*-* ‘Verses of Song’; songs to begin morning prayers
**-** ‘Declare Hem glory to the nations’