A shepherd under Alamut


The fortress of Alamut rises on an almost inaccessible rock. We are climbing up to it in the bed of the stream running down under the rock. The sun rises, it shines on the poplars along the stream, and the barren hillsides beyond the poplars. At the end of the village, when looking back from the beehives, we see that a small group turns up the road. Shepherds go in the mountain to replace their colleagues, and an old couple drive their six sheep to the pasture above the fortress. We await them. The old man on the white donkey returns with dignity our greeting. “So early?” he asks. “Did you sleep in the village? Where? Yeah, Agha Rusuli”, he places us in the coordinate network of the intelligible world. “Won’t it be very cold?” he asks by pointing at my short-sleeved shirt.” “By the time we reach the top, I will want to take this off as well”, I say. “I don’t go as high as you.” For a while we go along. Where the road forks, he beckons us to follow them. “Don’t go straight up, keep with us in the field, the fortress looks much nicer from here.” We go with them. At the next fork we look long after them, until they disappear behind the bend of the hill.

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