A collection of biggest mythological stories of the world from the heart of history that has come from mouth to mouth and generation to generation has been gathered in Shahnameh Ferdowsi. This book, which is more than a thousand years old, is the biggest collection of world’s mythologies along with Homer’s The Iliad and The Odyssey. The legend of Zahhak and Fereidun is one of the most interesting parts of the book.
Kingdom of Merdas
In the past there used to be a just and fair king with whom the filthy devil had decided to fight.
This just king whose name was Merdas, was a god-fearing and pious man.
The king has been enticed by the devil many times to stop doing good deeds, but the king had remained by his faith and goodness through patience and effort.
One day the devil thought to himself, and then turned into a young man and went to the castle of the king to entice him. When he got to the castle, the king’s son, Zahhak, was laying on a bed and resting. Zahhak was very ignorant and naïve and the devil was able to entice him easily with interesting words.
Days past and the friendship between Zahhak and the devil got stronger, to the point that Zahhak would ask devil’s opinion in any decision he wanted to make. One day the devil turned to Zahhak and said, “I know your father has made a lot of efforts for this castle, kingdom, and your people, but the truth is the people want to have a young ruler such as yourself, since your father has become old and weary. Zahhak replied, “no, my father is still alive and this cannot happen.”
The devil replied, “the important thing is that you like the idea of being a king and you should strive to get there, and if the only barrier between you and your kingdom is your father, then you can kill him.”
“He is old anyhow, and if you don’t kill him, he will die of natural causes any day now, and in this regard I will do whatever I can for you.”
The ignorant Zahhak gave in to the enticement of the devil and accepted his suggestion. The devil dug a huge hole on the path of Merdas and covered it with dried leaves, then climbed up to the wall and awaited Merdas. Merdas stepped on the leaves while crossing the hole and fell into it and dies.