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Wisdom from the son of Armenia.

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  • Ahratch ahsseghuh kez khuhreer, hehdoh mahkhatuh ouhreeseen

    First pierce yourself with a pin before you stick a packing needle into someone else
    (a packing needle is a very heavy duty needle used for sewing canvas sacs)

    There is an instructive story that illustrates this proverb. There was and there was not a king who was gifted a powerful pair of binoculars. He enjoyed peering through the high power binoculars from his palace balcony. One day he noticed a temporary tent of nomads in the distance. He saw a nomadic woman step outside the tent. She was pregnant. After a few moments she stepped inside. After two hours she stepped outside again. She had a little baby in her arms. She gave birth to the baby and was around and about already. He was impressed.

    He thought about his own wife also was also pregnant. She was expecting to give birth in one month. One day his wife seemed disturbed. She began to complain to her husband about some issues with her pregnancy that made her anxious. The king became impatient. He said:

    “Stop complaining. Why can’t you go to the tent of the nomads and have your baby like their women. Don’t complain, just do it!” He told her about the nomad women he saw who gave birth to a child in the tent and then two hours later was walking with her child in her arms.

    The queen didn’t say anything. She was offended by what the king said, but realized he needed to learn the difference between herself and the nomad woman.

    She spoke privately with the king’s royal gardener who took special care of his heirloom rose garden. She told him that she and the king did not want him to water the roses anymore. They wanted to see if the roses could last a month without watering. The gardener was perplexed, but he didn’t say anything knowing well the quick temper of the royal couple. After two weeks, the roses wilted and began to fade away. Seeing the sad state of the roses, the king was convinced that the gardener was insubordinate. He ordered the gardener be hanged for disobeying his command to care for the royal roses.

    The gardener protested that he was ordered by the queen not to water the roses. He claimed that the queen insisted that the king himself did not want the roses to be watered. The king immediately called the queen for an explanation.

    The queen spoke to her husband:

    “Dear husband, you know very well that there are so many wild rose bushes in nature that grow without having a gardener to water them. So I thought we could dispense with our gardener watering our rose bushes too. Similarly, you want me to have our baby in the tent of the nomads by myself instead of in our palace with the royal doctors and nurses. If I am obliged to give birth like the nomads, why can’t our roses thrive like the wild ones in nature?”

    The king excused the gardener and kept silent. It is rightly said:

    First pierce yourself with a pin before you stick a packing needle in someone else.

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