There was once a great warrior called Vaakri, renowned for his courage and prowess: sharp of eye, strong of arm, bold of heart. He was devoted of the Empyrean Emir who directs all things below and above. Vaakri knew the Verses well and confessed reliance on the Emir's blessings. But in his heart he grew proud and haughty. In time he became a hypocrite, confessing truths not followed.

The Emir sought to test him and return his heart to faithfulness. One night while Vaakri slept, he sent Malakh his attendant to whisk Vaakri away. He awoke far from the lush lands of the kingdom and in a desolate waste. When Vaakri asked aloud, 'What is this place?' Malakh revealed herself and answered: 'These are the Dry Lands made by the Great Sky King. He has brought you here to feast. See, even now the table is prepared!' Malakh pointed to where a wild hart stood, only a dozen paces away.

'Forgive me, Attendant,' Vaakri answered, 'but I see only desolation, cracked earth and a hot, clouded sky. I would gladly feast upon this hart, but even my skill and strength cannot catch a deer without spear or bow.'

'The Empyrean Emir,' Malakh explained, 'would not abandon you even in these wastes. Ask, and you shall receive.'

'Of course, Attendant of the High One,' Vaakri said dutifully. 'As the faithful know. But these things are done in the fullness of time. How shall I ask what is needed right away?' Malakh did not answer, for she had already spoken truth. Vaakri finally prayed aloud: 'O Prince of the Vast Skies, grant my prayer! I thank you for the feast you have lain before me! By your mercy, grant a bow by which to hunt.'

An east wind blew, and far above the clouds rolled and folded. Where there were once wisps of white there was now a long cloud formed in the shape of a recurved bow. Malakh bowed her head in humility. 'That which you have asked is granted you, O Warrior.'

Vaakri grew angry. 'Why does the Emir mock me? What good does a bow in the sky give to a hart on the earth?'

Malakh suddenly became like lightning. 'Do you now reject the gift of the Sky King? Or do you lack the faith to take what is given?'

Vaakri grew afraid. He knew he once had faith, but he felt it was now lost. 'O Blessed Prince of the Heavens,' he prayed in desperation, 'grant the faith to accept your gift!' Vaakri reached and stretched, grasping at the sky. At first he seized nothing, but his heart was filled with the Empyrean Emir's winds and light, and finally he grasped the bow from the far sky and drew it to the earth. With praise to the Sky King, he aimed the bow and pulled its string, and the hart was struck dead.

That day Vaakri's heart had returned to the Empyrean Emir, never again to stray.

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