Chapter Five: Attack of the Monster Mammoth

Peshotan swung his mighty horses around. The ground shuddered as his powerful Rath (chariot) thundered back the way he had come.

Minutes passed into hours. After some time, through the darkness and the falling snow, he could now barely distinguish the long line of Aryan families in their chariots; travelling much slower than him.

There was a burning flame placed in a partially covered canopy in each Rath, and it was in that light that the families were able to follow one another.

The flame, so zealously protected from the falling snow and the howling winds was the personal Sacred Fire of each Aryan family.

From time immemorial, from the start of the world; the Aryan race had worshipped the holy element of Fire. Fire, they had always sung; was the greatest gift of Ahura to man.

When Ahura made the world, when he made the plants, the animals, and man; all were lifeless. Then Ahura created Fire; and Lo! It was this holy Fire, the spark of life that entered the breasts of Ahura's creation and made them vibrantly alive. Fire, the vivifying force was that agent of God which had given them life, which had made each human a warrior on the side of Goodness against evil, a Ratheshtar.

If man did not follow this God-given duty, if man did not fight against evil in whatever form he encountered it throughout his life, then he was a betrayer of God's army and a coward.

In the hymn to Fire, which was intoned by every Aryan family once in a day; the Aryan paid homage to Fire as the Universal Purifier. Fire, the purest element of God; inspired the Aryan to greater heights of purity and heroism. The family prayed that the majestic Fire may ever remain burning in their household, and they may remain under its purifying influence.

Peshotan turned his horses to the far right of the line of Aryans. He motioned to the Ratheshtars he saw to fan out on all sides; indicating with his powerful heavy Vadhare or horned bull- headed mace the directions he wanted them to protect.

One Rath was coming straight towards him. As it drew nearer, he saw that it was his childhood friend, Feroz in the Rath.

The hands of Peshotan and Feroz met in the Ancient Aryan greeting of Hamazor, as their faces smiled. Feroz, a powerfully built young Aryan was a faithful friend of Peshotan. Their families knew each other since many years ago, and Peshotan and he had played and prayed to Ahura together.

Feroz smiled again. Was he remembering those forgone years in their lost homeland, Airyanam Vaejo? Peshotan's eyes were misty with memories. How they had enjoyed those childhood days together, when they had attended the Aryapatastan, the religious school of the Ancient Aryans. In the school which was held in the open air amidst the glories of nature, masters taught them the principles of the Aryan faith of Ahura Mazda along with training on how to use arms. Everyone was trained to be a warrior; just as everyone was taught the sacred hymns and trained to become an Athravan (Fire Priest). It was up to the individual to make his choice. The girls received equal status as the males, and received the same training in arms as well as tending the fire.

Peshotan's mind turned back to the present. He pressed the back of Feroz's hand again. His lips were just beginning to form a word when suddenly a ear-splitting roar split the air.

Peshotan and Feroz spun around in their Raths. Their eyes pulled wide open in shock and surprise and for a moment they stood paralysed in their Raths in the falling snow.

It was something that none of them had ever seen before. A Monster. A huge thirty-feet tall black animal with long woolly hair, wicked curved tusks and large red gleaming eyes. A mammoth of the prehistoric era.

And it was rushing straight at the two Ratheshtars, on that day twenty thousand years ago.

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