It is when we are filled with anger that we are most likely to make mistakes. So when we are angry we should not decide what it is that we should do. The story below clearly illustrates this lesson.

Genghis Khan was an infamous king, whose armies were invincible and feared anywhere they went. The Mongolian army expanded everywhere across the far reaches of Asia, north to the Baikal strip, south to the Huang He river. They occupied the whole of China (during the Jin and Song dynasties), eastwardly to the Songhua River, westwardly to Li Hai (the Caspian Sea), the vast land of South Siberia, Central Asia and parts of Caucasus, a part of Europe including the current city of Moscow.

One morning, on the way back to his palace, Genghis Khan decided that he wanted to go hunting so he and his companions turned towards the forests near to the palace. The other hunters carried their bows and arrows, but Genghis Khan only carried on his arm his favorite falcon: It would catch prey faster and more accurately than any arrow because it could fly into the sky and see what the people could not.

Despite the great effort of the group, the hunt was fruitless, they found nothing. At noon, the party returned to the camp in disappointment. However Genghis Khan intentionally left the rest of the party and rode on alone. He knew every path of the forest by heart. So, while the group took a short-cut to the palace, he insisted on going across the valley, despite knowing that it would take more time.

After his long journey, Genghis Khan felt so thirsty that his throat was like a burning fire. His falcon had left its familiar perch on the wrist of the king and had soared up above him into the sky. In the summer heat, all of the streams had dried up, and he could find nothing to drink.

Genghis Khan began to trot towards a small stream he remembered to be near the trail. He kept searching but to no avail. To his amazement, he saw a trickle of water flowing from two rocks high on the cliff. Genghis Khan learned that these water drops came from a river or lake above. If it were the rainy season, the stream would be abundantly overflowing, but now in the summertime, it was a meager trickle. He had no choice but to be reluctantly satisfied with the rare drops of water.

An anger

Genghis Khan jumped off the back of his horse and took out the silver cup he carried with him. It took quite a long time to fill the cup to the brim. However, just as he was about to raise it to his lips, his falcon suddenly flew down, snatched the cup from his hands and its contents spilled wastefully on the floor.

Genghis Khan was furious, but his favor for his trusted falcon tempted him to forgive his action, thinking that perhaps he was thirsty too. He bent down to pick up the cup, cleaned off the dust, and began to fill it again. This time, when the cup was only half full, the falcon again attacked it, spilling the water on the floor.

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Genghis adored his bird, but he could not tolerate such disrespect from any, under any circumstance. He thought to himself, someone could be watching this scene from afar and, later, would tell his warriors that the great conqueror could not tame his own bird.

He pulled his sword out of its sheath and began to re-filled the cup, this time, keeping one eye on the flow of water, and the other on the falcon. As soon as he had enough water in the cup to satisfy his thirst, the falcon once again, flew down towards him. Genghis Khan, with his sword out sung, pierced through the bird’s chest.

The mighty falcon fell to the ground, lifeless but desperately gasping for breath before, dying right there beside his master’s foot.

The truth

When the king went to reach for it, he could not see his cup. Looking around, he saw that it had fallen down between a narrow slit in the rock.

“I will definitely find water from this spring,” he told himself with more determination than ever.

He set off to travel upstream to find the source of the falling water. The journey was hard; the higher he climbed, the thirstier he became and the rougher the terrain.

To his surprise, when he eventually found the pool of water, he found that in the middle of it laid the most poisonous snake in the region, dead and festering. If he had drunk the trickling water coming from this pool, he would most certainly have died.

Tardy regret 

Standing still and silent, the king forgot his thirst. In his head appeared the image of the dead falcon laying on the cold, dusty ground.

“The poor animal was only trying to save me.”

He burst into tears.  

“What did I do? Oh, how can I save it now? How can I repay its salvation? It is me who killed my most loyal friend.”

Returning to where the falcon lay dead and lifeless, he gently took the poor animal in his hands and carefully placed him in his hunting bag. He then immediately rode straight back to the palace.

He ordered a sculpture to be made of the bird, cast in solid gold, and on one of the wings, he engraved,

Even when a friend does something you do not like, he is still your friend.

And on the other wing, he inscribed,

Any action taken in anger is an action doomed to failure.

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