Tune into a Mongol Fable every Wednesday. We’re happy to hear your comments on these creative renderings.
Once upon a time, a ruddy old man lived on the Rendezvous Hills of Mongolia. Yes, they’re called the Rendezvous Hills–no, it’s not set in France. Just listen up closely, okay?
He had seven brown sheep, a flying horse, and a non-flying horse. One day, he was herding his seven brown sheep on the Rendezvous Hills when one of the sheep gave birth to a pristine white lamb. The ruddy old man was so happy and they all lived happily ever after.
You’re not asleep? Okay.
So, he was carrying the pristine white lamb in his saddlebag when the rascal raven of the sky swooped down and pecked the lamb’s two eyes out. Or slapped the lamb, yeah, slapped the lamb.
The ruddy old man was so mad at this that he rode his flying horse to chase the raven and peck its own two eyes out in revenge. I mean, he went to the crow and said, “You’re not a nice bird.”
The raven went to complain to the Khurmast Khan of the sky, who yelled in rage, “Who dares hurt my dear raven?” When he found out that it was the ruddy old man, he sent two wolves to eat his flying horse. Err… I mean to steal it.
But the ruddy old man heard of the mission, so he switched the posts of his horses: his flying horse on the left side of the ger, his non-flying horse on the right. The wolves came and ate up (stole) the horse on the right, mistaking it to be the flying horse. As the wolves tried to leave, the ruddy old man caught up to them on his flying horse and flay their skins up to their muzzles. Um… this means he stripped them naked.
Khurmast Khan was furious and sent out his two dragons to smite the old man’s seven brown sheep. The old man heard of this, made seven decoy sheep using spare wool and placed them on the Rendezvous Hills. Yes, just close your eyes and I’ll read the rest.
The dragons came and scorched the decoy sheep on the hills. When they were done, they headed back, and the old man pursued them with the flying horse and cut off their tails. I mean, their nails. Because the dragons had long claws.
Seeing the dragons return whimpering with no t–nails, Khurmast Khan sent out his trusted servants, two apes, to kill the ruddy old man. Are you sure you want to keep listening? Because this is a bit too violent. Okay.
After hearing of this, the ruddy old man locked himself up in his ger and started boiling the carcass of his non-flying dead horse in a cauldron. Oh, boy.
When the apes came and poked big holes through the felt to see inside, the old man threw the cauldron full of boiling oil at them. The monkeys left, screaming in agony.
You know, why don’t you go and watch TV? I’ll allow it. Really? Alright.
Finally, Khurmast Khan had enough and sent for the ruddy old man. When the ruddy old man came, the Khan started interrogating him.
He asked, “Why did you peck the eyeballs of my raven?”
The old man said, “I was so happy when I saw the pristine white lamb that I thought I’d send it off to you as a sacrifice, but your raven damaged him so I punished it.”
The Khan said, “Alright, smart ass, then why did you torture my wolves?”
“You sent them to eat my flying horse, did you not?”
“Yes, I did. Why?”
“Your wolves ate up my non-flying horse, so I wanted to discipline them.”
“Well, that’s fair. But then why did you cut my dragons?”
“You told them to kill my sheep, not to burn the Rendezvous Hills, right?”
“Your dragons didn’t kill my sheep, but they torched the Rendezvous Hills so I did that for punishment.”
“Okay, you may be right there, but tell me this, why in the world would you throw hot oil at my apes’ faces?”
And the old man said, “Did you send your apes to kill me, or to vandalize my property?”
“Certainly to kill you.”
“Well, your apes poked two holes the size of a hand through my property, so I was naturally protecting it.”
“Alright, alright. You were right about everything. You’re free to go,” says Khan Khurmast, who is the stupidest sky god ever.
Wow, who knew a Mongolian fable would turn into a court drama all of a sudden? Goodnight, baby.
What, you can’t sleep? Yes, you can watch Supernatural.
You can read the fable in Mongolian here , in its original form.
Natso Baatarkhuu lives in Mongolia and writes in English. His works have appeared in Cracked.com and The UB Post, and he started this website. He dreams of publishing novels and selling screenplays someday.