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Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 34.djvu/493

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THE YEZIDEES, OR DEVIL-WORSHIPERS.

ing and evening twilight, the morning star, the other stars, and the seven planets. Each of them made himself a mare, with which to travel over the sky. The gods talk with one another in Kurdish, the speech of paradise, the language of languages. The seven gods together created the angels. It came to pass that the angel created by the first god rose against his lord, and was cast into hell for it. He at once set up a great lamentation, with confessions of his faults, and wept continually for seven thousand years, filling seven great earthen jars with his tears, till at last the all-good and merciful God had pity on him, and took him again into paradise. This angel afterward so excelled the others in doing good that God loved him more than all of them. The other angels once in a quarrel taunted him with his single sin and punishment. God overhearing this became very angry and said: "Whoever of you offends this little one with another word shall be accursed; whom God hath pardoned, the creature shall not make ashamed." He raised this angel to be first and master of all, called him Melek-Taus, and united him with his own person and existence, as two flames become one. The seven jars filled with the tears which he wept in hell are to be preserved till Sheik Adi shall return after having completed his mission on the earth, to be used in extinguishing the fires of hell.

The seventh god created the various species of animals, gradually, one out of the other, and finally Adam and Eve. But their posterity could not maintain themselves. After ten thousand years the earth destroyed them all, and then remained desolate for ten thousand years longer. Only the genii survived. The same thing happened five times again, each god creating a human pair in his turn. Finally the first god, with Melek-Taus, created the last first pair. Eve a considerable time after Adam, and not till after he had been expelled from paradise. Adam lived in paradise, and was allowed to eat of all the fruits growing there except of wheat.

In the course of time Melek-Taus said to God: "You have created Adam to people the earth; but he still lives in paradise, while the earth is uninhabited." God said: "You are right; take counsel about it." Melek-Taus went to Adam and moved him to eat of the forbidden fruit, upon which his expulsion from paradise followed as a punishment. God then determined to give Adam, who was still alone, a companion, and made Eve from his ribs, who bore him seventy-two pairs of twins. The Yezidees are not, however, descended from this race, but from a son miraculously given by God to Adam, named Shehid-ibn-Giarr, and a houri from paradise. Their posterity, the Yezidees, do not mingle with the children of Adam and Eve.

Shehid's eldest son was Yezdani, from whom, through his son