The origin of these two tales cannot be defined.
Some say the first tale originated in the mind of a dervish and it is the only place that it ever occurred.
Others say that it originated in Ternopol.
Of course Ternopol sometimes resided in Austria and at other times Germany; now in more recent times, Russia. Some even say that it appeared in Cossack territory; which at times was in the Steppes and at other times in Western Mongolia. But you would have to ask Genghis Khan about that.
Possibly the dervish had wandered through Ternopol and that accounts for the confusion.
That is the most detail I have been able to glean from various old deteriorating manuscripts. So we will have to leave the first tale where it now sits; which is in the mind of a dervish who is visiting Ternopol.
The second tale never originated.
That is to say it never had a first existence.
It is one of those tales that you yourself have thought, an Irish priest has thought, a mortician working at his stainless steel table has thought and most important – – – but not lastly – – – a false Pope has thought.
So, you see, this second tale originates in the mind of all men, in all novels, hovels, in all palaces, in all villages, cities, metropoli across the world for all existence, for all time. That is why it has no origination; it is not an original tale. If I were pressed, under threat of death to give this particular thought a name and a place of origination, – – – I would say it was an opus in Opus.
Now that we have a clear picture and a bit of context let us move on to the tale of these two tales.
Oh yes! One more piece of information is necessary for you to understand the complete picture. The tale of these two tales is not a tale, it is a story; a true story that originated everywhere and nowhere. So let us begin our accidental – – – or possibly occidental – – – journey.
A gentleman from Ternopol, whose ancestor most likely was the dervish, had two tales that he wished to record. Lacking paper, due to the ravages of the World War II, he had to write these tales on vellum. This vellum had been liberated, by this Ternopolite, from an architecture studio that had been reduced to rubble by one side or the other.
The following is what he wrote on his single sheet of vellum.
The man recording this story on vellum turned it over to determine if the other side of the vellum remained usable.
Only the very freshest ink had bled through; mostly on the bottom of the page.
By time the ink had thoroughly dried he would be able to write his second tale on the reverse side of the vellum. He went to bed entirely satisfied with his efforts.
TWO TALES WRITTEN UPON VELLUM
The next morning, after writing the first tale, the gentle Ukrainian
from Ternopol woke early. He checked the vellum to ensure it was usable. Once satisfied that it was, he started on the second tale; the one whose origination was both questionable and not questionable, because and since, it was ubiquitous and never existed for all time.
This is what he wrote.
The gentle Ukrainian from Ternopol, was a descendent of the dervish, if you remember correctly. Well, when he was through writing, he put his vellum manuscript aside for the night. He went to bed and rested comfortably.
TWO TALES WRITTEN UPON VELLUM
The next morning, the gentle Ukrainian from Ternopol who was a descendent of the dervish- – – if you remember correctly – – – arose and had a breakfast of gruel. It was after that he checked on his vellum manuscript.
He moved his chair over by a window to get a clear view; his eyes were starting to fail. The bright morning light appeared to show that the ink had bled through the vellum quite severely. He moved his arms away from the window and into a darker area. He was greatly relieved to see that it was only the bright sunlight playing tricks through the vellum.
Everything was clear on both sides; each story could be clearly read.
He decided to hold the vellum up to the window to see what the full effect of the sunlight would do to the image. This is what he saw.
The gentle Ukrainian’s belief in mathematics was forever suspect. It was then that he realized that 1 + 1 equals 3.
His next experiment was to write the entire bible, both old and new testaments, on the threads of a screw. He then wrote the entire Koran on the bottom side of the threads.
For this was his Lot in life.
His goal was to see if both holy books would work as One.
Christians and Muslims revere Lot as a righteous man of God. According to Christianity, Jesus is a descendent of Lot through David’s great-grandmother Ruth, who is descended from Lot’s son Moab. The Koran does not include any references to Lot’s drunkenness and incestuous relations. He is regarded as a prophet of Islam.
Just a little side-note to remind you about those Zaporozhian Cossacks who had all that fun writing a letter to the Sultan of Turkey telling him that his battalion of men were on their way home with their tail between their legs.
And one more reminder that Rumi’s poems where so good that they transcended national and ethnic borders.
[End of the two tales that ended up as three]
Images and religious comments about Lot are from Wikipedia.