Harry Terhanian.com

Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • Work with the wise, carry a heavy load
    But fools you avoid like a poison toad
    Be inspired by acts of the pious
    Learn what not to do from the impious

    With the wise you will never be depraved
    With the depraved you will never be saved
    By your company you will be known
    To be a good man or a mindless clone

    If you will to be wise
    Never ever tell lies
    Nor anyone despise
    Nor thievery devise
    Nor lust for others’ wives
    Nor drink bibulous wines
    Nor gamble one time
    Nor on meat ever dine

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  • A friend gave my daughter a rabbit sad and sick
    Skinny, dull hair, sad eyes, no step, set to die quick
    “Daddy, look, my rabbit with its science diet.”
    I looked at the denatured grub and stayed quiet.

    Grim eyed, droopy ears, the animal was forlorn
    Mournful in its cage as if she swallowed a thorn
    If only we had knowledge how to save her soul
    Revive her appetite to eat greens in a bowl

    We had a wild garden growing out of control
    Dandelions, plantains, blackberries, holes and mole
    That I never mowed or seasoned it with pesticide
    My wife didn’t like it but she learned to abide

    In spring the dandelions grew amazingly
    Yellow flowers opened to the sun gorgeously
    I had an intuition something was afoot
    When the rabbit twisted its snout to take a look

    The diet to die slighted, I opened the cage
    Prayed the rabbit go where the greenery pervades
    After an hour the weak rabbit sidled out
    Kept its head down like a tortoise and moved about

    It found a dandelion with juicy green stalk
    Clipped it and began to nibble it like a hawk
    When one was devoured it went to another
    Savoring with zest like a calf on an udder

    Watching the rabbit I felt she was my teacher
    Conveying by example she served as preacher
    After some time it went back to its cage
    Jerked its whiskers to and fro peering like a sage

    Day after day dandelions aplenty she ate
    progressively grew healthy, peppy with new gait
    she became playful, naughty and joyfully bold
    It was impossible to catch her fast and hold

    Her hair began to shine, eyes brightened, she gained weight
    She was cute, full-bodied, frisky, ready to mate
    Her appetite opened and her taste buds happy
    She ate dandelion leaf, stalk and blackberry

    One day she dug and burrowed a hole
    Went deeper, deeper under the wall
    Without a sign she left behind all
    That made my kids regretfully bawl

    I received a profound education in nutrition
    Green living, medicinal herbs, well-being ambition
    I respect the mighty dandelion, flower to root
    However, science diet I consider an empty suit.

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  • An old man once claimed that he was without fear
    Of ghosts, goblins or strange things that might appear
    Superstitions of the ignorant, old wives tales
    Made up stories to daunt and cause the mind to ail

    He boasted to his friends, “Send me anywhere
    Where there are evil spirits that might scare
    One friend asked, “Can you stay overnight
    in a graveyard without deep sleep or fright?”

    “Oh sure,” he said without hesitation
    “I’ll brave the night with no trepidation.”
    That night he stayed in that hoary, dark place
    til dawn no apparition, not a trace

    “Just see,” he said, “ghosts and ghouls don’t exist
    Though I stayed throughout the night in their midst.”
    He walked out the graveyard with happy mien
    Musing why silly folks fear the unseen

    Unnoticed were briars with thorns on the ground
    That caught his long cloak, pulled back without sound
    Shocked out of his wits as if dragged to death
    Imagined evil ghosts and exhaled his last breath

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  • There was a lamb that lived in a garden and shed
    She ate green grass and was well fed
    One day a wicked wolf entered her world
    Grabbed her soft body, but no one heard

    The lamb fell on her knees cried and said
    I have no strength to oppose you, I’m dead
    But before I go please grant me a last wish
    Which will give me solace before your death kiss

    “I’ve heard from my elders wolves can trumpet so sweet
    That the melodies they play and croon are a real treat
    Please, trumpet for me a tune that will prepare my eternal rest
    That I may go with the sound in my ears and be forever blessed.”

    The wolf was flattered, he curved his neck upward, began to howl
    Frightful sound that alerted the guard dogs who came with a growl
    The dogs bit the wolf who ran away as fast as he could
    Across the field, over the hill into the dark thicket and wood.

    The wolf circled this way and that lamenting his foolish vanity
    “When did a butcher become a trumpeter? What insanity!
    If I want to eat a tasty lamb, I shouldn’t be delayed by flattery
    But lo is me, I have been outsmarted by the lamb’s chicanery.”

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  • hohruh vohsgorov zahruh seenetz

    This saying emphasizes the lack of respect and cruel irony
    of a son making a pair of dice out of his dead father’s bones.

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  • gahdounee kahkuh tegh eh uhseen, gaddoun
    hoghov shoud dzahdzgetch

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  • buhzdeek khoghehruh guh gaghenk, medzehruh taghahgan guh puhnargehnk

    (buhzdeek khoghehruh guh gaghen, medzehruh guh hahrkehn -
    Little thieves are hanged and the great ones respected)

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  • khozehruh ahmbhehruh chen naieer

    Pigs have thick necks that makes it very hard to see the sky.
    They seem only interested with eating, sex and sleep.

    Some men may be grossly materialistic, egotistical, and self-interested.
    They are interested in the same pleasures enjoyed by pigs. They avoid
    the cultivation of spiritual values.

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  • Keep not nasty words in your heart
    Forget such speech right from the start
    Lest they fire your mouth like hot coals
    That will stain your soul and burn all
    make you angry and downward fall

    All that you hear do not disclose
    Nor all you see dare not expose

    Cherish traditions that sustain morality
    avoid new ones that favor abnormality
    Do not untie a knot that is tied
    nor a new one seal that is untried

    Notice not a woman whose body entices
    With makeup, dress, scent, and alluring devices
    That divert you from goodness, awaken your lust
    Engross in illusions, waste life, turn you to dust

    Covet not the wife of another
    look upon her like your own mother

    Avoid women that whisper much
    One’s with shrill voice never touch

    The beauty of woman is her good sense
    Truthful words and love that she can dispense

    Spring blossoms of the almond come out fast
    But the fruits take time to mature the last
    Mulberry tree flowers blossom slowly
    Yet the ripened fruits are eaten quickly

    Be not rash to reach conclusions to fast
    not based on facts nor wisdom of the past
    Ponder events slowly, consider all
    Justice served, your fairness will all enthrall

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  • ehsheroun joghovuh yev shounehroun hatchelluh

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  • katchaghuh inchkan tound uhlnee eerah ahmanuh guh godree

    The more one is mean, overly strict or abusive with others the more damage they do to their own self.
    ohv vor inchkan khist uhlnee inkuh eerahn vad gahnee

    The wisdom one should follow is to be strict with oneself and tolerant of others rather than strict with others and tolerant with oneself.

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  • janjuh mee pahn chee, seerduh guh kharnee

    A fly is not very important. Yet, it can disturb many people by its
    annoying presence. Similarly, one person may upset the mind of many others
    by constantly making negative or inappropriate comments and purposely
    or inadvertently doing annoying things.

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  • tzouguh kuhloughehn eh hohdee

    This is a very interesting proverb that applies to political reality.
    A society or organization begins a downward spiral when the leaders become corrupt and
    gradually the corruption spreads down through the entire society. This proverb says a
    fish begins to stink from the head down. If the leaders of the society are not honest,
    their example affects the entire population.

    When ordinary citizens hear about the misconduct of their leaders, they use this saying to express their exasperation (or disgust).
    “What can you do with these politicians. A fish begins to stink from the head down.”

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  • There was once a very pious woman named Ahzneev (Good or noble). She was a widow. Ahzneev worked very hard but never was able to amass much money. She lived humbly and always prayed that God be kind to her. She was very kind herself. Once she found a bird that had injured its wing and suffered painfully. The bird could not fly due to its injury. Ahzneev adopted the bird and cleaned its wound and covered the cut with a piece of cloth. She made a soft nest with grass and other natural plant material so that the bird could rest in a natural surrounding. Ahzneev read the sacred prayers of Narekgatzi, the renowned Armenian priest who prayed for cure and salvation”

    Dearest Lord of Lords, Blessed Son of God Almighty.
    The Lamb of Suffering who will free me of misery
    I pray to You in my distress bowed in all humility
    You are my only hope for grace and sanctity

    My body is a mass of disease beyond any hope of cure
    I beg you to heal my sore soul with your hand so pure
    I cry out to you Lord Jesus Christ in my time of need
    I pray in earnest for your blessings and sincerely plead

    In this bleak world, but for you, there’s no hope for salvation
    Save me Oh Lord from the throes of eternal damnation
    You can deliver all your children from sickness and suffering
    As well as this little bird whose frail body is aching

    She fed the bird everyday and gradually the bird’s wound healed. One day the bird flew away.

    After some days the bird came back to Ahzneev. She gave Ahzneev three little seeds which she planted saying prayers of praise for the Lord. They gradually grew into a small trees that bore fruits made of pure gold. The poor woman became very rich. She plucked the fruits and gave praise to God. She used her wealth to serve the poor and help all creatures appreciate God’s goodness.

    Ahzneev had a neighbor named Nahkhantz (Jealous). She observed Ahzneev’s activities from the start.
    She set a trap and waited patiently until one day the bird was caught.
    She inflicted a wound to the bird’s wing and nursed it back to health and let it go. Nahkhantz never prayed to God nor did she act as a believer. She wanted only wealth for her selfish ends. The bird returned and gave her three seeds. Nahkhantz planted the seeds and waited expectantly. The little trees grew and bore fruits which were poisonous scorpions. The scorpions bit the jealous woman and she ran away in fright.

    God protects the devout whose hearts are clean
    Like the clear, fast waters of a mountain stream

    ahstavadz guh bahsbaneh ahnontz voronk mahkour seerd ounehn
    eenchbes vuhjeet chour guh hohsee sahree aghpourehn

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  • Life comes and goes like a dream
    As straw we flow down its stream
    Birth, old age, disease and death
    Scared, we gasp for our last breath

    Body is the cause of sickness and sin
    We must look rather for the truth within
    To understand the grim nature of life
    We must be free of illusion and strife

    A lady kept a chicken in a coop
    Polished the metal but fed it no soup
    Proud, she had the most shiny chicken wire
    But the chicken ignored had to expire

    Please the body while ignoring the soul
    Like keeping your head buried in a hole
    The body is dead but it looks alive
    Without sweet love the soul cannot survive

    The soul intangible exists for real
    Right before death it can still cry and feel
    Like a traveler stays in a hotel
    For only a short time and says farewell

    Wake up dear friend your death is very near
    We dare not waste our time year after year
    Love of God will teach us how to love others
    In life or death, with love, we’ll be brothers

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