Chapter Eighteen

The Bdul Tribal Council Convenes.



Upon returning, members of the Bdul people surrounded us and treated the wounds of our horses with herbs and spices. We were given generous food and water as well as fresh clothing until we were settled. I have never experienced such care from the people of the desert. I never thought that such a thing would befall us. My two full siblings, who had never experienced the harsh conditions of the desert, proved to me their desert heritage. Now, I began to know the human side that resulted in the special qualities of the Arabian horse.

The tribe members and the tribal elders convened a special counsel to consider what had just occurred and the consequences that would be meted out to the participants of this dishonorable act. We were invited to join them. Rashad’s brothers were sent to the tents of the Ruala to communicate with Mike, Walter, and the Doctor. The message was short but concise.
“We were all right and will be returning soon. We have been well cared for by our neighbors, the Bdul”.

The parents of the youth that participated in the theft were summoned. The leader Shabbar and his cohorts gathered in a special place in the tents where the council was being held. This was a serious matter relating to the traditions of hundreds of years involving the horse-breeding tribes. Their brethren, the Ruala had been their allies for decades going back to the warring times between competing tribes in the early twentieth century.

The youth that was present before they had committed a sin, that was punishable by Sharia law and required the perpetrator to have his hands cut off.

“Shabbar had been injured seriously. It was noted that he was discovered huddled next to Dazshtan, who gave of himself to protect his enemy from the sandstorm. He had previously been attacked by Shabbar. But Shabbar was shown such mercy and forgiveness from his one-time enemy.
There is a lesson here to be learned. Dazshtan had shown such bravery in protecting his mates. Should not we all protect the Arabian horse in general from the ravages that the western world has beset upon them? These youth, who have been participating in competitions throughout the Middle East had no desire to protect the Arabian horse. They desired to win at all costs, even though the destruction of their beautiful temperament from hundreds of years of living with and providing succor to their masters was slowly being destroyed. Isn’t it we who have shared our lives and spirits with the Arabian horse? Isn’t the Arabian horse worthy of our protection?”

The council of Elders, having heard from their members and tribe members alike, produced a verdict of how to proceed:

“We Have decided the fate of Shabbar. He has suffered the loss of his stallion who ran into the haboob and was found later deceased behind the rocks. His injuries are substantial. He deserves the punishment of Sharia law. But as the stallion Dazshtan saw fit to forgive his deeds and give of himself for Shabbar’s sake, we join with the members of the Ruala tribe and their guardian angels to offer a pardon for his sins, and the other youth that participated in this dishonor.”

Josie, still disguised as a young man, Rashad, and Mathew recovered sufficiently from their injuries, and set out to return to the tents of the Ruala tribe bearing the gift of Bint Shahwan to Sheykh R’ Ammeri to replace her deceased grand dam, Ashreen Arnaza.

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