Odd people of Sanahin

In Armenia, natural springs are given great honor—they are associated with the prosperity of villages and cities and are considered as a life-giving force, to be held in high regard. So high, in fact, they seem to be living things onto their own — as long as the spring is giving water, it rejoices, breathes silently and lives with its people. Due to this close relationship between the spring and its people, it’s not surprising that each has its own story.

That is, all but one spring. The spring nearby Sanahin Monastery did not have a story. Only the local village people knew about it, and they hated that fact. They wanted many visitors to come to their spring—wedding groups, princes and theologians. They were upset because no one visited their spring, it was not famous. This is how they got their name of being the ‘odd people of Sanahin’.

Until one day someone began spreading rumors about the miraculous waters of Sanahin Spring. According to the rumor, the spring could give intelligent people fluent and persuasive speech and writing, and it could take away a fool’s ability to reason.

“That spring is so wonderful that it’s impossible to get enough!” exclaimed Pogos the shepherd, “The water feels like young wine!”

Very soon the village blacksmith, the local trader and the healer began to say the same, all singing high praise to their spring. Within a short time, their noses were red and they started mumbling their words. The news about the ‘foolish man’s spring’ reached the Catholicos and he threatened to close the spring and save the people who had not yet become fools. He also said he wanted to send wise men to the village, but the local residents protested “No, you don’t have to! We understand, we are not fools!”

So, fearing that their spring would be closed, the odd people of Sanahin got wise quickly. And finally, the spring had its own story.

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