The Rub al-Khali is the largest continuous body of sand on Earth, stretching across the Arabian Desert from Jordan and Iraq to the north and Qatar and Yemen to the south.
This is the birthplace of Aldebaran.
Aldebaran is a magnificent animal, tall and strong, a descendent of royalty. No one knows his birth name due to the unfortunate circumstances of his parent’s demise, but he earned the name given to him by his adopted family as you will soon learn.
On the day of Aldebaran’s birth, God sent a horrific sand storm of epic proportions to the Rub Al-Khali. Not a living creature survived except for the newborn, somehow sheltered from the storm and spared the fate of the rest of his natural family.
When the dust settled and the air cleared, there was a herd of Dromedaries passing through the desert. Young Aldebaran got up on his spindly legs and followed the camels, making himself quite at home.
That’s how he got his name which means “follower” in Arabic and alas, the grand animal lived up to his name.
As far as Aldebaran knew, his childhood was ordinary. He had no recollection of his life before becoming a member of the Dromedary herd. He kept up with his brothers as they roamed the desert. He worked alongside his adopted kin, knowing love and acceptance. He lived well and he was happy.
As he grew he had odd urges – improper desires. He dismissed them as not fitting for one such as he, and continued to look upon his elders for guidance. He watched and learned and gave his heart to every task assigned to him.
Young Aldebaran carried heavy loads, and was easily tired as he plodded along. He was thirsty and parched at all times and frequently suffered from heatstroke.
It seemed the harder he tried, the harder it was to do what was expected of him. His growth was stunted and he was bewildered. He prayed for endurance, he prayed for the skills his cousins came by easily. He was constantly struggling and his spirit sagged.
One day, when trudging along the desert sands, outpaced and left behind by the others, it came upon him to kick up his heels and rise up from four on the ground to two. A loud rebellious sound escaped from his jaws, and when he came back down to the Earth, Aldebaran took flight.
Swiftly, gracefully, the animal pounded the sands in a gallop, bypassing the stunned herd and continuing on and on to parts yet discovered.
He stopped to drink at a small body of water. He couldn’t be satiated. Each gulp was an elixir revitalizing his very soul.
As he dipped his head again to the water he paused and took sight of his reflection.
He stared in astonishment. He continued to gaze at the image before him with a building awareness. He took one more sup of water and backed away from the spring.
Aldebaran lay down belly to the desert floor. He bowed his regal head and thanked God for making him uniquely himself.
And just like Jacob, there in the desert, God gave the Arabian stallion a new name; Zaim which means leader. From A to Z, follower to leader, Zaim was reborn.
It was in his rising when Zaim caught a magnificent sight coming toward him from a far away sand dune.
She was beautiful. Long mane blowing in the wind from the back of her short graceful neck. Four muscular legs built for speed. Her body compact with a rose bay color coat. And the tail, oh the high carriage of the distinctive flowing tail!
Breathless, the mare came to a stop at the water spring where Zaim stood waiting. She drank hungrily.
It was time to go.
Zaim took off to explore new horizons. His bride to be at his side. He was ready to begin living the life for which he was suited, for which he was created, for which he had been selected by God.
postscript: Zaim’s destiny was to sire a new generation of Arabians. Horses with speed and power, mixed with the trait of endurance Zaim picked up from his adopted family of the Dromedary camels. Today, bloodlines from an Arabian is found in nearly every breed of riding horse on the planet. God’s plan worked.