Legend of Kalta Minaret

Many years ago in Khiva lived a great Khan. He often fought with neighboring khanates, so he decided to build the biggest minaret in the world. Then, when he would climb to the top, he would be able to see approaching armies, as well as everything else that went on in the land.

One day he called a master builder, who was very famous. He told the builder that he wanted to have the tallest minaret in the world so he would be able to see approaching enemies, and prepare his defense. After the master builder began his work, the Khan thought to himself, "After he finishes the minaret, I will kill him. If the other Khans see how great it is, they will want one like it." So he made his plans, and ordered his soldiers to guard the builder.

One day a student of the builder heard about the plans of the Khan. He wrote everything he heard on a brick, and sent the brick to the builder. When the builder read about the plot, he wanted to escape from the city, but was unable to because he was heavily guarded.

But then an idea came to him. He wrote his idea on a brick, and sent it to his student. The builder asked the student to make wings so he could fly away. The student did as he was asked, and when he finished making the wings, he glued them together with wax, and sent them to the builder. Before the minaret was finished, the builder tied the wings on his back and jumped from the minaret. He flew higher and higher until he reached the sun. But suddenly the heat of the sun melted the wax, and the wings fell apart. The poor unlucky builder fell to the earth and to his death. The minaret was never finished, and is known to this day in all of Central Asia as Kalta, the short minaret.

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