What Pegman Saw – The dance of life

“What Pegman saw” is a great weekly challenge based on Google Streetview. Do join in!

Just use the location provided, and write a piece of flash fiction of no more than 150 words. You can read the rules here. You can find today’s location on this page,  from where you can also get the Inlinkz code. This week’s prompt is Taşlıçay, Ağrı, Turkey. Click on the blue frog to read other people’s stories!

WPS - The dance of life 180616

The dance of life

I stand in the square and watch.

Holding hands, bodies proudly erect, young men dance to the harsh, reedy yearning of the qernête and the repetitive, rhythmic throb of the daf. They are Kurds and proud of it. They fly their flags and get into trouble with the police. Some of them may go further; I wouldn’t know – but the smell of trouble clings to them like gun-smoke.

What good will a separate Kurdistan do us? This fertile land, this gateway from east to west, has been overrun by Assyrians, by Romans, by Arabs; even our own countrymen have made war against us. So many overlords. So much bloodshed.

I look over to the mountains, to snowy Ararat towering above. Once, many, many generations ago, my forebears and their flocks danced down that mountain following the slowly receding waters.

Our peaceful dance will live on forever, while nations pass away.

28 thoughts on “What Pegman Saw – The dance of life

    • Dear Josh
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I really appreciate the feedback, which has shown me certain things about the story that I didn’t altogether intend. That is the enormous value of feedback!
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Like

  1. This has a rhythm of resolve and hope: Holding hands, bodies proudly erect, young men dance to the harsh, reedy yearning of the qernête and the repetitive, rhythmic throb of the daf and What good will a separate Kurdistan do us? my forebears and their flocks danced down that mountain
    Pitted against desperation: They fly their flags and get into trouble with the police and but the smell of trouble clings to them like gun-smoke
    Then that wonderful last line. KUDOS!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Dear Alicia
      Thank you for reading and for your thoughtful comments. I’m glad you liked the last line so much. It’s the line I edited after reading Josh’s comments – I wanted to make the ongoing triumph of peace completely unequivocal.
      With best wishes
      Penny

      Like

    • Dear Francine
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you liked the story, and think its message is a wise one.
      With best wishes
      Penny
      PS I’m secretly rather pleased with “the smell of trouble clings to them like gun-smoke” so thank you for commenting on it!

      Like

    • Dear Bernadette
      Thank you for reading and commenting. I’m glad you enjoyed the way I told the story.
      The valley that looks so peaceful was an important route across the Middle East. I didn’t mention half the people who had fought to control it. Warfare seems to me so unnecessary and wrong; which is one reason why the narrator says “Our peaceful dance will live on forever, while nations pass away.” The dance of life will continue, despite human greed, vanity and lust for power.
      With very best wishes
      Penny

      Liked by 1 person

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