Tuesday, January 15, 2008

No Silver Lining

My father's family has had some bad luck with silver. It starts with a story about one of his ancestors that made a living on the Silk Road. It seems this woman went to ask a holy man for some advice. She wanted to know what she could expect for her son in the future and what she could do to ensure his success. The young man in question was my great great grandfather and his mother was worried that he wouldn't amount to much.

The young man was asked by his Mother to find her a kurus coin. He went around town and couldn't find any of the older coins so he brought her instead a newer coin with a higher denomination. She insisted that she needed that specific type of kurus coin and pestered him for weeks to collect these for her. He soon found that other young men were also asking around for the same coins and began chatting them up. Through a series of conversations he was able to piece together an emerging story.

The mothers of these young men all had been known to seek the advice of the same holy man. It seemed that this holy man told his mother that he would be a successful man and grow to produce a large number of grandchildren but only if she were to produce the appropriate sacrifice in the form of the specific coins that he requested. If she did not produce these coins in sufficient quantity she was told that her son would end up in a terrible mess, possibly even in prison. The young man also had several conversations with people about rumours that some silver coins were about to be replaced with copper versions and thus was able to put two and two together.

Angrily and without much consideration for the consequences he went to visit this so-called holy man and ended up giving him a pretty good beating. It was clear that this charlatan was engaged in an effort to collect all of the soon-to-be much more valuable silver coins and he was exploiting the hopes and fears of the simple women of the town in order for them to do his bidding.

When his mother came to visit him in prison she apologized for not finding enough of those silver coins to give the holy man crying that his fortune-telling was obviously very accurate since he did end up in prison just like he had predicted.


maioloc said...
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maioloc said...

A touching story. But he was successful, he has a wonderful great, great grandson.