In the faint breeze, people all over the world heard the sound of a little boy laughing. From the top of the Ivory Tower, standing tall on the highest mountain on the top of the World, the Winds carried the laughter of the Little Boy, the tower’s master, because of a hilarious tragedy that occurred in a round city, much like the Round City of al-Mansur. As revealed in the Foreshadowing of the Ivory Shards, the Little Boy sent a piece of the Ivory Tower flying towards Heaven in anger. Since this was an act of anger, desecration, and hostility, the Sun protected Heaven by attempting to obliterate the ivory missile. This is the story of how a little piece of ivory brought a rather large and formidable city down into a rumbling, roaring heap of rubble that caused the Little Boy to laugh.
It all began when a piece of the ivory missile fell on a crow living near the city of Yuvarlak. As the ivory shard had mystical properties, it enlightened the crow’s little brain and gave it the gift of human speech. Instead of its usual “caw, caw” call, it started to say “Good morning,” “good evening,” and learned to gossip. Since the other crows were just normal and were only equipped with a one-word dictionary that contained “caw,” the crow got bored with his friends so he flew all around the city to look for a person that he can gossip with.
After circling the city nine times, the crow saw a girl sitting by herself on a bench in one house on the East Crescent side of the story. Her name was Afet. The name was strikingly apt for this story because it meant “catastrophically beautiful.” She was the most beautiful daughter of a popular merchant in the Round City of Yuvarlak. She had the most peaceful looking eyes -- big, round, and as brilliant as the clear desert sky. Her hair flowed like black water as she sat fanning herself. With famed beauty, she had to keep herself from perspiring since she expected a long line of suitors to come in the afternoon.
“Good morning!” the crow greeted her.
Startled and amazed, Afet looked for the voice and found the crow perched on the other side of her bench. “Good morning to you, too, little crow,” she replied with amusement. “How can you talk, little crow? This is the first time that I’ve heard a crow talk!” she exclaimed.
“Well, I don’t know really. One day, I was flying in the sky and I felt dizzy. I went home to sleep, and when I woke up, I can talk like you. It’s handy really. Now, I know why that fat lady living at the outskirts of town calls me ‘gurultulu.’ All the while, I thought it was my name; as it turns out, I’m just noisy. It’s a fitting name, actually. I am Gurultulu. My mother didn’t bother to name me so I took it upon myself to pick one. I’m actually thankful to that fat lady since she inspired me to pick that name,” chattered the crow.
“Oh my! You really are noisy,” chided Afet. “My name is Afet. You know, I’d like to talk to you now, but it seems that any moment now, my suitors will be here and I need to attend to them. My mother makes me receive them because they bring such precious gifts! If you’d like, I can give you a shiny trinket if you’d return to me and talk.”
“Alright Afet, my new found friend. I’ll come by tomorrow at an earlier time so we won’t be bothered by your pesky, gift-giving suitors,” said Gurultulu. With a knock on the door, Afet smiled at Gurultulu. He understood what she meant, and he flew away.
The days went on and off. Gurultulu and Afet became even better friends, so one day, Afet confided a secret to Gurultulu. “I’m actually tired of talking to my suitors about pointless things. I’d like to pick one – anyone – so that I can finally settle down and just be a wife. They’re all rich and handsome anyway. However, my mother told me that I can only marry a man that has an infinite amount of wealth. She says that if they take a few days before returning with new gifts, th ey’re not rich enough. The days they are not here means that they are working for the gifts that they’ll bring me. Since the city is round and there’s a big wall dividing the East Crescent and the West Crescent, my suitors can’t come by every day even though they do have the riches. It’s just that they really are that numerous, so everyday, I get visitors. If only one man can come by here everyday, my mother would let me marry him,” lamented Afet. Then, a knock interrupted her next word. “Oh dear, they are already here.” With a sigh, Gurultulu flew away again, thinking that he must have more time to talk to Afet.
With his tiny crow brain, Gurultulu tried to solve Afet’s problems. He flew up into the sky and looked at Yuvarlak. As previously mentioned, Yuvarlak is a round city. More than being round, it was divided into the West and East Crescent by a tall wall that made traveling from one side of the city to the other. Too bad for Afet; the men on her side of the city were poor or not rich enough to come by with gifts on a daily basis. Too bad for the rich men on the other side of town; they need to travel 3 days to reach her and 3 more days to go back home and fetch more gifts. If only one man can solve this problem, he’ll have a married friend with enough time in her hands to just sit and talk all day.
As Gurultulu was flying in a circle around Yuvarlak, he continue to fly higher and higher into the air. After his 9th upward spiral, he broke through the first layer of clouds and saw the Ivory Tower. Since the Ivory Tower and its master were always aware or made it a point to be aware of everything that happens in the World, it didn’t fail to notice Gurulturu, his flight, and the plight of Afet. The Little Boy called out to him, “Hey, crow! Come here! I have the solution to your problem.”
With the sound of the word “solution,” Gurulturu flew fast and landed on the Ivory Tower’s window sill. “Hello, Master,” greeted the crow. “Do you really have the answer to my problem?”
The Little Boy said, “Yes, my good crow. I do. I am the Little Boy, the Master of the Ivory Tower, and I have all the answers in the World!”
“Please, Master. Tell me how to solve my problem. Help me help Afet get a husband. If what you say is true, I’ll let it be known to the whole world that you are wise.”
With that, the Little Boy whispered the answer to Gurulturu’s problem.
to be continued...