Monday, 8 June 2015

The Desert Rats

Gobi Jerboa (

Luce Boulnois tells the following anecdote in her book about the Silk Road:

There was in Khotan [a kingdom in the Tarim] a particular race of rats, with a golden and silver fur, which was somehow supernatural. The kingdom of Khotan was menaced by a vastly superior Hsiung-Nu army, and the king remembered that he never made any offering to theses rats. So did he and asked for their help. He saw in a dream a giant rat who told him that he shall not fear the enemy and attack the next day. So before dawn, the Khotani army started and attacked the nearby camping Hsiung-Nu. The Nomads jumped on their weapons and horses, but all their leather goods, belts, bow stings, armours and so on had been gnawed away. The Khotanis easily won the day and the Hsiung-Nu fled in panic. After this victory, the king of Khotan built a temple and never stopped offering to the desert rats.

This is an example of the kind of help one can request from a nature spirit. Of course, only a Great Spirit can involve so many rats against a huge payment, but the protecting ichchi of a colony could control enough rats for a smaller task or to help against a small party of enemies.

The desert rat could be the Gobi Jerboa, a kangaroo- like small rodent with big ears living in the cold desert (click on the picture to see the movie).

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