EXCERPT: In the days when jinns were free to roam the skies, they often eavesdropped on the angels to find out if they planned to visit the Earth with Life or with Death, and upon their return to Earth, the jinns reported these conversations to the augurs. When the angels visited the Earth with Life, it rained and the crops were plentiful, and there was enough to eat for the birds, beasts and men; and when they visited it with Death, famines and plagues broke out; there were earthquakes and floods; and vultures and carrion-eaters, and insects which fed on corpses multiplied. The augurs foretold those events in their predictions, and the people revered and feared them for knowing what lay in the future.
Sarob, the augur, lived in a dark cave by a swamp in the land of Bilman. He was as old as the oldest tree in the land, and had become shriveled and bent with age. Night and day he remained busy in his reckoning and calculations, and in that he was helped by the jinn Darazgosh. Darazgosh had long, pointed ears, and wings that were like a bat's, only much bigger. He had served Sarob for many hundreds of years and had grown old in his service.
One day Sarob said to Darazgosh: "Find out what is being said in the heavens and bring me the news!" Darazgosh unfolded his wings and flew all over the First Heaven which bounds the Earth, but he did not see or hear any angels. On the way back to Earth he decided to take some rest and lay down against a boulder on the Moon. Because he was tired, he fell asleep. He was awoken by the sound of voices nearby; peeking from behind the boulder, he saw a party of the bovine-faced angels of the First Heaven, sitting in a circle.
Their chief said to his companions: "Send the rain clouds to the land of Bilman to rain until the rivers flood! In one place the floods will make a fallow land fertile, and in another they will destroy a bird's nest. Then God's decree shall be fulfilled, for two lovers are destined to die many years hence, as an outcome of these events!"