Zal and Rudabeh is like Romeo and Juliet but Nobody Dies???

Hey rascals
I hope you guys had a good labor day
I don’t remember mine so i’m sure I did
anyway today’s myth is from Iran
and was originally written down in a book
called the SHAHNAMEH
which is the PERSIAN BOOK OF KINGS

okay check it out:

so there’s this dude named Zal
he’s a prince of a part of the Persian empire.
A little background on Zal:
he was born with white hair and a baby beard
he looked like an old man baby, it was gross
so his dad Sam was like “ew get this gross baby away from me”
and left him in the wilderness
where he was raised by a magic bird
and eventually he became a great hero and his dad decided to love him
but he still has weird white hair so that’s always gonna be a thing.

Anyway Zal decides to spend some time strutting around his kingdom
and he ends up near a city called Kabol
which I assume is the same as modern day Kabul
but who knows?
anyway the prince of Kabol, Mehrab, comes to hang out with him
they party hard and it’s great
but then some courtier has to start flapping his dumb mouth
like “psst Zal I hear Mehrab has a hot daughter”
and Zal is like “FUCK”
and then Mehrab, who has no idea what’s going on
is like “hey bro do you want to crash at my house?
you know
the place where my hot daughter lives?”

so what do you think Zal does?
Does he
maybe
crash at Mehrab’s place so he can bang Mehrab’s smokin’ progeny?
uh no
that would be crass
instead he’s like “look dude I’m flattered
but we’re from totally different religious backgrounds
my dad is a king of Persia
your grandfather was a madman with snakes coming out of his shoulders
our families have fought each other since time immemorial
life is crazy
I think i’ll just remain here in my opulent tent, thanks.”
and Mehrab is like “ok fair enough”

so Mehrab goes back to his hot daughter Rudabeh
and Rudabeh is like “Hey
I heard Zal is out there
you know, the dude who was born as an old-man baby
what’s he like, is he gross?”
and Mehrab is like “omg he is definitely not gross
if there was a miss America pageant
but for men instead of women
and for Iran instead of America
well
the competition would probably have to be altered due to cultural factors
and gender norms
and also the fact that we don’t have televisions or sequins yet
but anyway I think he’d have a pretty good shot”
and Rudabeh is like “FUCK”

so what does she do?
does she steal away in the night
to fling herself into the arms of a lover she barely knows?
no, that would be irrational.
she sends a group of servants to hang out by a pond
where she’s pretty sure Zal will be
so they can find out if he’s cute
and they come back like “OMG HE SO IS.
IF THERE WAS A VERSION OF THE BACHELOR
BUT WITH ONE WOMAN AND A BUNCH OF MEN
AND YOU WERE THE WOMAN
AND HE WAS ONE OF THE MEN
ODDS ARE GOOD THAT YOU WOULD PICK HIM
even though he has weird hair”
and she’s like “yowza
tell that albino to get his lily white ass over here”

So Zal shows up at the walls of the palace that night
and Rudabeh is standing on the battlements
and he’s like “hey babe
i’m finding it difficult to smooch you from all the way down here”
and she throws her long luscious hair down over the walls
and she’s like “here, climb this.”
So what do you think he does?
does he scramble up this living rope ladder
forcing her to support his entire weight with her neck
while he simultaneously yanks on her scalp?
NO
THAT WOULD BE CRUEL
he brought a ROPE
because he’s not a fucking savage.

Anyway they spend the night making out
and in the morning Zal has to leave
because remember
his dad and Rudabeh’s dad are mortal enemies
but he can’t deal with this shit
so what do you think he does?
does he arrange to marry Rudabeh under cover of night
and then escape to somewhere far away and live in poverty?
No, that would be impractical.
He writes a letter to his dad Sam
like “Hey, remember how you abandoned me to be raised by birds
and then you felt bad and said you’d do whatever I wanted
welp
cashing in that dumb promise now”
and his dad is like “FUCK
this is EXACTLY the kind of dumb shit a kid raised by birds would think of
but I guess that’s sort of my fault
shit”
so he calls up his astronomers
to tell him if this is a good idea
and they’re all like “actually yeah
Zal and Rudabeh’s kid will be like the greatest hero ever
this is a win-win for you”
so Sam sends a letter to Zal like “yeah okay sure”

Meanwhile, though
Rudabeh’s mom Sindokht figures out what’s up
like, how her daughter’s about to marry their age-old enemy’s son
and she
well
she’s actually super reasonable about it
which would be surprising
if it weren’t for the fact
THAT EVERYBODY IS BEING SUPER REASONABLE IN THIS STORY
it’s like WHAT THE FUCK, PERSIA
DID YOU FORGET THAT MYTHS ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ABOUT MURDER AND INCEST?
IS YOUR WHOLE COUNTRY JUST FULL OF KIND, CONSIDERATE PEOPLE
ALL OPENING DOORS FOR EACH OTHER AND NOT CLIMBING EACH OTHERS’ HAIR???
this is bullshit

anyway Sindokht goes to Mehrab like “hey husband
our hot daughter wants to marry Zal”
and Mehrab is like “I WILL MURDER HER”
FINALLY SOMEBODY IS BEING UREASONABLE
except Sindokht is like “Why don’t you sleep on it, honey
and in the meantime I’ll go see what Sam thinks of all this?”
and Mehrab
INFURIATINGLY
is like “yeah that sounds like a good idea.”

MEANWHILE, THOUGH
the high king of all Persia hears about this shit
and he’s like “SERIOUSLY?
HAVE YOU ALL FORGOTTEN
THAT RUDABEH
IS DESCENDED
FROM A DUDE
WHO HAD BRAIN-EATING SNAKES
COMING OUT OF HIS SHOULDERS???
THERE’S ONLY ONE WAY TO STOP THIS
AND THAT BURNING KABOL TO THE GROUND.”
which is just like, phew, right?
I thought I was gonna have to witness a happy marriage
and not a bloody massacre
BUT THEN SAM WRITES THE KING A STRONGLY WORDED LETTER
AND ZAL DELIVERS IT
AND THE POWER OF HIS LOVE
COUPLED WITH THE ASTONOMER’S PROPHECY
AND ZAL’S WISE RESPONSES TO A SERIES OF WEIRD FREE-ASSOCIATION RIDDLES
CONVINCE EVEN KING ASSHOLE OF PERSIA
THAT THESE TWO KIDS SHOULD BE MARRIED
FUCK THIS
JUST FUCK THIS
FUCK

anyway yeah they get married
literally everyone is happy about it so it goes awesome
everyone gives each other stupid expensive gifts
and true to the prophecy
Zal and Rudabeh have a magnificent son named Rostam
who goes on to accidentally murder his teenaged son during a duel
so I guess it all works out in the end.

The moral of the story
is that communication between enemy states
is essential to every relationship.

The end.

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