They said they came in peace…Janissaries of Suleiman the Magnificent.

They brought a gift…a gift for Shah Tahmasp…a hand woven carpet…a Turkish kilim of rich reds, soft pinks and vibrant blues.

Bordered by Goz motifs to ward off the evil eye…at its centre an illustration in black…a nest of scorpions…symbolizing protection from their deadly sting.

The Shah’s soldiers bore the carpet upon their shoulders as they left to deliver the beautiful gift to their leader.

The Janissaries departed. On reaching the palace gates they emptied their leather bags. Tiny black creatures, their tales curled upwards, scattered towards the palace steps.

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