Mythology II

    The Story Centre

  • "The Camel and The Deer"
  • "Sun-Girl" The Origin of The Oroqen People
  • "The Myth of Habat Hassar"
  • "Erhi Meregen, A Marksman"
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  • "The Camel and The Deer"

    Long long ago, Camel had beautiful branching antlers just like deer does today, and Camel was frightfully macho and snobbishly vivacious because of those beautiful antlers. This all took place way back when Deer was still bald.

    One day when Camel was on the bank of a river having a drink, he noticed his own reflection in the water. He was mesmerized by his own beauty and just stood staring into the water for quite some time. Deer, who was standing just inside the forest's edge watching, came out nervously calling Camel.

    Deer, with is head held high, walked right up to him and looked him straight in the eyes, "I've been invited to a get-together with some of the animals in the forest this evening. But how can I go like this, bald and ugly.......? How wonderful it would be if I could go like you, with those beautiful antlers, even for just one hour. Camel, will you lend me your antlers for an evening? I will return them to you tomorrow when you come to drink water."

    Camel looked down at Deer, who really did look pitiful and awfully listless, broke off his antlers and gave them to him saying, "When you come for a drink tomorrow, please give them back to me."

    Deer put the antlers on his head and went back into the forest. The days and nights passed slowly, one after another until years had passed, and poor Camel was still without his antlers. One day when Camel ran into Deer, he asked him pitifully, "Didn't you say you would return my antlers to me?"

    Deer responded saying, "When the mountain goat's horns reach the sky and the camel's tail reaches the ground, I will return your antlers."

    From that time on, whenever Camel goes for a drink and sees his bald reflection in the water, he feels disgusted and just shakes his head. He slurps up one mouthful of water and immediately remembers his appointment with Deer. Each and every time, he slurps up one mouthful of water he remembers his appointment with Deer. Each and every time, he takes one slurp and he slowly lifts up his head and looks off toward the horizon searching for Deer.

    This the reason why deer lose their antlers once a year: they weren't theirs in the first place. Deer took them from Camel.

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    "Sun-Girl; Origin of the Oroqen People"

    Once upon a time long long ago there was a famous young hunter boy who lived near a lake at the foot of Baikala Mountain. One day he went out to go hunting and saw seven beautiful maidens bathing in the lake. The name of the youngest maiden was Sun-Girl. After seeing the hunter boy, she said, "Sisters, this human world seems to me better than the sky world." The sisters teased Sun-Girl, saying, "Little sister has certainly let that young hunter catch her eye!"

    Sun-Girl was embarrassed at what they were saying, and acted as though she hadn't heard as she splashed herself with water. The young hunter, overhearing what they had said, thought to himself, "That would be the best thing that could ever happen to me if I could take Sun-Girl as my wife!"

    After the seven girls finished their bath, they were ready to fly back to the sky world. Sun-Girl took off to the foot of the mountain and sat on a rock. She urinated into a crevice on the rock where she had been sitting, and then flew off to catch up with her six sisters. Seeing her fly off, the young hunter ran over to the rock where she had been sitting. He looked up into the sky and watched her fly away, and he didn't lower his head until she was completely out of sight. Then the hunter boy went to the rock where she had been and urinated into the same crevice and left. The crevice became solid.

    After seven-seven and forty-nine days, the cry of an infant came from inside the rock Sky Father knew what was going on. He called Sun-Girl over and said, "Since you went down and bathed near the young hunter, you shall go down and spend your days with him."

    Sun-Girl did what she was told and flew down to the top of the rock. Then she blew some spirit breath and the rock cracked open. She embraced the baby, and with a smile on her face ran off to the young hunter's chooh`chureen joo. From that day on they have been a happy couple. They named the baby Murenbuk, and have lived a free spirited life of hunting ever since.

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    "The Myth of Habat Hassar"

    During a time when Chingis Khan was preparing to go to war with Sardol,and after all of the troops arrived at the border of Sardol they stopped to rest. At this timethe troops were advised that there is a sacred white antelope amongst the horses whichcalls out ‘The time has not arrived, the time has not arrived’ just like a man and when the soldiers hear it their hearts become confused.

    The Master Chingis called together his one-hundred advisors to talk over the problem with them. They said “The time to war against Sardol has definitely not arrived, you should not use your strength in struggle at this time!"

    After listening to what they had to say Chingis agreed to pull back all of the troops and they rested at Bordohi where the soldiers tended to the horses.

    Chingis was together with his many military officers, his advisers, and soldiers. They went alongside Moni Mountain living off the surroundings, the soil and the river and they rested there waiting for the time to go down into the area below.

    One day, during the hot part of the summer, the Master Chingis took his advisors and soldiers together up Moni Mountain to claim an area called “Skinhead Banner” for game hunting. Up ahead of the Khan they heard the call of an owl which flew by the Master Khan causing him to feel uncomfortable. His younger brother Habat Hassar was alongside him and the Khan shouted “Shoot it!”. At the order of the Master, Habat Hassar pulled the bowstring and shot an arrow into the forest, just at that time a magpie came flying by and got hit by the arrow. The owl flew off saving it’s own life and the magpie died.

    The Master Chingis was irate at this “How could you kill an auspicious magpie and let an evil owl go free?! You have gone against my command!”. After saying this he hollered to the people below “Take Habat Hassar and bind him!” At this the people of the Khan took Habat Hassar down off his horse and put him into a dry well which they had dug out, there he would serve his sentence of one-hundred nights.

    The Master Chingis Khan returned contented.

    When he arrived at the encampment below, all at once, his many advisors and military officers came forward pleading “Master Chingis Khan, please look deep into your heart and forgive Habat Hassar. We beg you let him free."

    “In the military there are no word games, all laws and policies are decided by me. When my younger brother goes against the law shall I not punish him? If it were not so, how shall I guide the people or govern the world? Say no more!" retorted Chingis Khan.

    The advisors and military officers were strongly impressed by these words and became very attentive to service.

    It is said that at the at the place where the Shori River flows in “Skinhead Banner” at Moni Mountain, there on the shore of the riverbed was an old Black-Mystic woman. along with the old Black-Mystic was an old soothsayer, the two of them were sitting together. Each day they would sit at the Shori River and using a ladle, dip water out of the river letting it flow from the ladle back into the river, speaking curses and strange words, rebuking the Heavenly Army in their war against Sardol.

    Consequently, there were many stories and lies going around amongst the soldiers, sickness was being passed around and the hearts of the soldiers had become unstable. After coming to know these things the Master Chingis ordered them “Go find and shoot those speakers of evil words!"

    No matter how many arrows the soldiers shot, none were able to hit the two. Because of this Chingis Khan shouted that he would shoot himself. When he said this all of his advisors and military officers stopped him and said strongly “To succeed you must let Habat Hassar shoot.” However, when the Master Chingis spoke of the crime and punishment the advisors and officers leaned forward and said unto him “The ways of the soldier also say that one can pay their debt through labor.' Chingis responded “If this appeals to Habat then I am willing."

    With this, Habat Hassar came out of the well from his one-hundred night sentence on the ninetieth day. He bowed to the Master for his mercy and then began to shoot, however after having been shut up in the well for so long he had no strength to pull the bowstring. He asked for the broth of one-hundred black sheep to regain his strength and the Master agreed.

    After drinking the broth of one-hundred black sheep, Habat Hassar went to the top of Moni Mountain and with his hand extended over his brow looked far off. He then took an arrow from his quiver and placed it on the bowstring. After this the old people called this place “Quiver”.

    Habat Hassar pulled the bowstring taut from morning until night fall when he released the arrow toward the Black-Mystic of Sardol, the arrow pierced the ribs of the Black-Mystic speaking curses. Red blood flowed behind her, onto the ground and into the river causing it to cloud and turn red. After this the old people called this river the Red Mistress.

    The black-Mystic of Sardol wanted to get up but couldn’t, she grabbed for some tumbleweed which was next to her, but as she pulled the roots broke off and she cursed it, “Grow as you please, your roots will roll!" This, they say, is the reason why tumbleweed roots break.

    Then she grabbed a mule which was near her and tried to pull herself up, the mule spooked and she couldn’t grab hold. The Black-Mystic cursed the Mule “Give birth as you please, your offspring will be broken". They say this is why the mule cannot reproduce it’s self.

    She grabbed a ladle and threw it over her shoulder and it hit the mountain behind her, even today we call that mountain Ladle Mountain. It is said that the water from the ladle sprinkled on the ground in front of her and the part of the Mistress River (the Yellow River) which flows to the south of the “Skinhead Banner”, zigzags more than any other part.

    Still with nowhere to turn, she cursed the broth of one-hundred black sheep “Look all you will, there will never be one-hundred!” and it is said that ever since this time no flock of sheep has ever had one-hundred black sheep.

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    "Erhi Meregen, A Marksman"

    It is said that long long ago there appeared seven suns in the heavens. The world became unbearably hot, the earth began to crack, the rivers began to dry up, the plants and vegetation began to wither and die and the creatures of the earth could no longer bear to live in this world.

    At that time there was one marksman named “Erhi Meregen”. All of the creatures pleaded Erhi Meregen to save them and shoot the seven suns from the sky, otherwise they would all perish. Erhi Meregen made an oath that he would use seven arrows to shoot the seven suns from the sky.

    “If I fail to shoot the seven suns from the sky with seven arrows I will cut off my own thumbs, drink no water and no longer eat sweetgrass. I will hide myself in a desolate place never to come out again!"

    At that he began shooting one sun after another, beginning from the East and working his way toward the West. He quickly shot six suns out of the sky using six arrows...he then aimed the seventh arrow to shoot the seventh sun from the sky when just as he released the arrow a swallow flew by. The seventh arrow clipped the tail of the swallow leaving the swallow with a split tail but did not hit the seventh sun. This is why the swallow has a forked tail today. The seventh sun, afraid of being shot down, quickly lowered it’s self into the mountains in the West to hide.

    Erhi Meregen was outraged at the swallow for causing him to miss the seventh sun and jumped onto his calico horse and chased after the swallow trying to kill it. His horse then made an oath to his master; “From dawn to dusk, if I do not catch up with the swallow just cut off my front legs and throw them into a desolate field. From that time I will never again be a saddled horse and will live in gullies and marshes."

    Erhi Meregen rode his calico horse onto a hillside where he nearly caught the swallow but it was already dusk. Erhi Meregen in an angry fury cut off both front legs of his calico horse and threw them onto the prairie. From that time the horse turned into a kangaroo rat and this is why the kangaroo rats two front legs are so short. The swallow still comes out at dusk and flies in circles around horses and their riders as if to tease them saying “So you think you can catch me".

    Erhi Meregen, keeping to his oath, cut off both of his thumbs and hid in a hole in the ground where he turned into a marmot, not drinking water or eating sweet grass. This is the reason why a marmot only has four fingers on each paw. Soon after this, Erhi Meregen forgot that he had become a marmot, and comes out of his hole everyday at dawn and at dusk to face the sun rising in the East and setting in the West. That is because in his heart he still wants to shoot that seventh sun out of the sky.

    Since Erhi Meregen became the marmot there is a place on it which we call “human meat”, and we do not eat this portion of meat. Also, that one last sun is still afraid of being shot out of the sky so it always moves from the East to the West where it hides behind the mountains, this is the reason why we have day and night.

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