The Story of OgedeiIn the spring of the year 1222 a child was born unto Bolor Uker and Tansung Cecelg and the shores of the River Kerulem. Bolor Uker. His father was freshly returned from the battle against the Chin after their general had died. In 1226 the Khan and his generals returned victorious from his eastern campaigns. It is said that the Tanguts failed to supply the Khan with troops and so needed to feel the justice of the Khan and so in 1226 his father joined back with the great army and marched on these infidels. During this campaign his father was wounded and died on the field. It is of note that Ghengis Khan has also fallen in battle and died. The soldiers learning of this razed the Tangut capital to the ground. The child was named Ogedei in reverence to the Ghengis Khan’s third son who would later become Khan over us and the lands we live on. The campaigns continued as Ogedei grew up under his mothers instruction. He began to learn the arts of horsemanship at an early age and at the age of eight received his first horse, Cakilgan. He spent many afternoons riding Cakilgan across the open steppe with the other boys of his camp, racing and playing as boys should knowing his people were destined to conquer the world. He often played games with the other boys with the ankle bones of animals. At these he proved most excellent showing a sharp mind and a good grasp of strategy. Sometimes they would just try and shoot the bones off a log with their bows and arrows. Their favorite pastime was wrestling and when not on their horses you almost always found them struggling to be the strongest . Our games were preparing us for the hard military life ahead.
When Ogedei reached the age of ten his mother gave to him his fathers saddle and he captured a wild steppe pony. After many throws he finally managed to break this noble animal. Soon he would come to know him as Bilig, because as mean tempered as he could be, he could also show amazing intelligence and wisdom.
As winter approached on his tenth year the boys of the camp began to go out and hunt small animals like foxes and rabbits. Often after they had caught several of these they would light a fire on the steppe and cook some of them in a celebratory feast before returning home with their catch.
These games continued soon the older boys of the village had become men and were going off to war to join the army and our glorious cause in some far away land. Soon Ogedeis turn came and in the year 1239, his 17th year an emissary from the Khan arrived and Ogedei and several of his friends were ordered to the west to join a great army that was about to attack a strange people.
In the year 1241 he arrived with the army and was assigned to his place and went there without question eager to further the Khans vision.
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Marshall, Robert. Storm from the East. London: Penguin and BBC books, 1994
Onon, Urgunge. My Childhood in Mongolia. Great Britain: Oxford University Press, 1972