The Garden Guide

Book: Journey and Embassy to Samarkand
Chapter: Azerbijan

Tabriz City

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WHEN the ambassadors arrived in the city of Khoi, they found in it an ambassador, whom the Sultan of Babylon had sent to Timur Beg; who had with him as many as twenty horses and fifteen camels, laden with presents, which the Sultan of Babylon {Probably an ambassador from Cairo} sent to Timur Beg {In the Persian province of Azerbijan. Khoi is still the chief town of a rich and fertile district, and the emporium of the trade between Turkey and Persia}. He also had six rare birds, and a beast called jornufa {Giraffe}, which creature is made with a body as large as that of a horse, a very long neck, and the fore legs much longer than the hind ones. Its hoofs are like those of a bullock. From the nail of the hoof to the shoulders it measured sixteen palmos; and when it wished to stretch its head, it raised it so high that it was wonderful; and its neck was slender, like that of a stag. The hind legs were so short, in comparison with the fore legs, that a man who had never seen it before, might well believe that it was seated, although it was standing up; and the buttocks were worn, like those of a buffalo. The belly was white, and the body was of a golden colour, surrounded by large white rings. The face was like that of a stag, and on the forehead it had a high sharp projection, the eyes were large and round, and the ears like those of a horse. Near the ears it had two small round horns, covered with hair, which looked like those of a very young stag. The neck was long, and could be raised so high, that it could reach up to eat from the top of a very high wall; and it could reach up to eat the leaves from the top of a very lofty tree, which it did plenteously. To a man who had never seen such an animal before, it was a wonderful sight. The ambassadors were at Khoi from the Thursday on which they arrived, until the following Sunday, the 8th of June, when they departed. From Trebizond to this place, the ambassadors had always seen snow on the tops of the mountains, but after leaving this place the country was warmer, and they saw none. On this night they slept on a plain. On Monday, at noon, they came to a place called Caza, which was large and populous. It was situated in a plain, with many fruit gardens, and streams flowing from all parts. Before reaching this place, there is a lake of salt water, a hundred miles round, and in it are three islands, one of which is inhabited {Lake Urumiyeh}. They passed the night at a place called Cusacana, which was a large town, but half destroyed. They say that Toktamish, Emperor of Tartary, destroyed it; who was afterwards conquered by Timur Beg, and driven out of his dominions, and is now deprived of them; as will, he related to you presently. In this place there were many Armenians.