A Sassanian Story
One day, King Vahahran, seated with his queen in an open pavilion
overlooking the plain, saw two wild asses approaching. With his bow the strong man,
skilled in the chase, transfixed both of the animals with one well-aimed shot. Turning to
his spouse to receive the applause he thought due him, the wife replied: "Practice
makes perfect." Angered at the lightness with which his skillful feat was received,
he ordered her to be executed, but quickly repented, and simply divorced her from the
In quiet moments, he repented of his haste. For years, he had no trace
of the former queen, but when hunting one day he beheld a scene which quickly excited his
curiosity and admiration. It was a woman carrying upon her shoulders a cow, with which,
indeed, she easily walked up and down the stairs of the country house. On asking her
concerning the remarkable feat, she replied, as she dropped her veil: "Practice makes
perfect." The king recognized his wife, now no longer young, but still possessing
physical charms, and invited her to take her place again in the palace.
The woman had commenced to carry the cow when it was but a tiny calf,
and had shrewdly planned the feat in the hope that some day she might win back her
From: Edward B. Pollard, Oriental Women (Philadelphia: Rittenhouse Press, 1908),
Scanned by: J. S. Arkenberg, Dept. of History, Cal. State Fullerton. Prof. Arkenberg
has modernized the text.
Unless otherwise indicated the specific electronic form of the document is copyright.
Permission is granted for electronic copying, distribution in print form for educational
purposes and personal use. No representation is made about texts which are linked
off-site, although in most cases these are also public domain. If you do reduplicate the
document, indicate the source. No permission is granted for commercial use.