Las Vegas Tales VI

Bryan: the Insurance Agent’s Tale II


by Mark Kodama

 

Now, as said before, Croesus had two sons.

Atys, the eldest son, the crown prince,

Was an offspring second to none

The model of courage and intelligence

Greatness, generosity and eloquence.

His second son, however, was unfit

A deaf mute, a half wit.

 

Morpheus visited the king in a dream

Warning Atys was to be killed by iron blade.

King Croesus awoke with a start and scream.

After his dream, all iron weapons he forbade

And his son’s position in the army stayed.

He prohibited Atys from hunting game

And sporting contests all the same.

 

One day, denizens from the mountain of Zeus,

Petitioned the crown prince Atys to engage

To save them from a wild boar on the loose.

No hero could stop the beast in its rage.

Atys promised to end the boar’s rampage.

Atys was by iron spear, accidentally killed

And thus King Croesus’s dream was fulfilled.

 

Across the desert sand, Cyrus the Great

Was building  his own spear-won empire

It was decided by the hand of fate

That Cyrus and is army should acquire

By siege engine, war horse, sword and fire

The storied cities of the Middle East

Land of Babylon and the caravans east.

 

Croesus feared for the freedom of his own land.

The king met with his closest advisors

To initiate an action plan

The War Council sent an ambassador

To the Delphic oracle to decipher

What defensive measures they should take

To stop the Persian King, Cyrus the Great.

 

So the Lydians went to Mount Parnassus

To consult the oracle at Delphi

They inquired if they attacked Cyrus

Would the venture be fated in disaster – would they die?

To which the Priestess did reply,

Uttering in a trance in the great hall:

“A mighty empire will fall.”

 

So Croesus led his veteran Army,

Across the desert sands to Syria

To meet Cyrus the Great and his Army

At the Cappadocian town of Pteria

The Lydian army was superior.

Croesus had the finest cavalry

And a professional hoplite infantry.

 

But wily Cyrus knew horses feared camels

So he attacked King Croesus’s horsemen

With his swift moving humped backed animals,

Causing the horses to panic and run.

The cavaliers fought as infantryman

And these brave men were defeated in the fight

And slain in great numbers in their flight.

 

King Cyrus followed Croesus to Lydia

And besieged King Croesus in Sardis

And captured his capital in 14 days,

By climbing by goat path up the precipice

And impossibly capturing his fortress.

And the unassailable mountain town

Was seized and razed to the ground.

 

Hapless Croesus was bound to a wood post

And set atop a sacrificial pyre.

King Cyrus said his prisoner would roast

The wood from the pyre was set afire.

Croesus’s circumstances seemed dire

He thought about his misfortune, his dead son,

He cried aloud: “Solon, Solon and Solon.”

Cyrus asked Croesus what was his lament.

When Croesus told Cyrus about Solon

And all that his meeting had meant.

Cyrus the Great’s heart was won.

He ordered the execution undone.

But the fire was now a blaze

And could not be stayed.

 

So Croesus, in desperation, lifted his eyes to sky

And called to the sun god for deliverance

For his infinite mercy he did apply

To save himself from ignominious deaths,

King Croesus said through parched lips.

“If you ever enjoyed one of my fatted cows,

Then please save me now.”

 

From nowhere, great nimbus storm clouds appeared

And then rain water began to pour down,
And the seemingly fatal fire cleared.

And now that the fire was drowned,

Cyrus made Croesus adviser to the crown

Croesus’s first advice as first counsel to Cyrus

Was to have his soldiers stop looting Sardis.

Now, that the city belonged to Cyrus

All the possessions of the city were his.

 

Cyrus the Great in a great battle was slain

By Scythian horsemen on the Russian plain.

A dictator threw Aesop, the fabler and seer,

Off a cliff for telling him what he needed to hear.

Solon returned to Athens where he lived in prosperity

And died peacefully of old age, very happily,

Much admired  by his friends, family and posterity.


Read more by Mark Kodama here. Follow Peaks Journal to stay updated on every new article. Join the community on Facebook, and comment on, and share your favorite articles!

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