Sunday, December 23, 2018

Rik George writes & draws

The Alpha-Bestiary

T is for Teresa, 
A tortoise from Teotihuacan 
Who traveled from Tehran to Timbuktu 
Titillating the terrapins that toiled in the tules 
With terpsichorean treats of tango and tap. 
In Tonawanda, Terwilliger, a turtle of tender temper, 
Enticed her with treasure to turn domestic 
So Teresa turned her tutus into tea towels. 

1 comment:

  1. Teotihuacan, 40 km (25 mi) northeast of the modern Ciudad de Mexico, was probably the 6th largest city in the world when it was at its peak. It was built in ca. 100 BCE and continued to expand for another 1 1/4 century. The Otomi, Zapotec, Mixtec, Maya, and Nahua peoples all had distinct neighborhoods, and the Totonac claim to have founded the city. It was sacked and systematically burned ca. 550 but survived until the 7th or 8th century. A millennium later the Aztecs claimed a common ancestry with the Teotihuacanos, modifying and adopting aspects of their culture and believing that the gods had created the universe at that site; they even gave the place the name it is known by, meaning "place of those who have the road of the gods."

    Tehran has been settled for at least 7,000 years. In the 7th century BCE it was a suburb of Raga (Rhages, modern Ray), where Zoroaster was allegedly born, as well as the 1st human, Gayomard, his remote ancestor (45 generations). It was the place where Fereydun bound the dragon Azi Dahaki with a lion's pelt tied to great nails fixed into the walls of a cavern, where he will remain until the end of the world; near the end of his reign Fereydun divided his empire among his sons: Salm inherited Rûm, the Roman Empire; Tur, inherited Turan, Central Asia as far as China), and Iraj, the youngest and favored son, inherited Iran, the best part of the kingdom. Iraj was murdered by his jealous brothers, and Fereydun installed Iraj's grandson Manuchehr, who avenged his death. leading to the long war between the Iranians and Turanians. To end the war it is agreed to redraw the borders: From Raga, Arash is to fire an arrow, and whatever land falls within the range of the shot shall belong to Manuchehr, all the rest will go to the Turanians. In some accounts the arrow traveled a 40-day walk. Over time Raga was repeatedly sacked by invaders, and Tehran remained a secondary city, until Agha Mohammad Khan of the Qajar dynasty established it as his capital in 1796.

    Timbuktu, Mali, was inhabited in the 5th century BCE and became a regional trade center in the 12th century. The population was about 10,000 in the 13th century and, after the establishment of a major Islamic university, it was about 50,000 in the 16th century. In the 14th century it was part of the Mali Empire, then was taken by the Tuareg tribes early in the 15th century, before it was annexed to the Songhai Empire ca. 1468. A Moroccan army defeated the Songhai in 1591 and made Timbuktu their capital, but in 1612 the city became basically autonomous. However, a decline in trade caused by increased competition from newly available trans-Atlantic sailing routes caused the city to decline, and various tribes governed it until 1893, when France annexed it to Mali. Mali became independent in 1960.

    Henry Anguish built a log cabin on the south side of the Tonawanda creek (from the Haudenosaunee [Iroquois] "Tahnawa-teh," meaning "confluent stream) where it empties into the Niagara river in 1808 and added a tavern in 1811. The Erie Canal incorporated it in 1825, and the former hamlet was incorporated in 1836. According to Mark Twain, in his 1904 Diary of Adam and Eve, when the 1st humans were expeled from the Garden of Eden they relocated to Tonawanda.


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