An Asian Fairy Tale
- Eastern Europe and Central Asia, Uzbekistan
- Folk Tale
Once upon a time there lived a man who had three sons and a bull. When his time came, the man died. His sons decided to sell the bull at the town's market.
But they lived too far from the town and, after they'd been walking for three whole days, the bull suddenly stopped. The sons didn't know what to do with him.
At the same time, another man was riding toward the market. As the sun rose, the rider met the youngest brother not far from the bull's tail. At noon, he met the middle brother at the bull's back. Only as the sun set did the rider reach the bull's head.
"The bull is thirsty," the rider said to the eldest son. There was a big lake nearby. The bull drank. After the bull had drained the lake, they could see a fish at the bottom. And the fish had swallowed the bull.
But just after this, an eagle caught the fish and flew away to a rock. He sat on the rock and began to eat the fish. And too much water was pouring down.
Just then, an old man was sleeping in the shadow of the rock. He woke up when the water from the fish began pouring over him. "I feel like I've got something in my eye," he said, and pulled out the bull's shoulder blade. He threw it away.
A large caravan was passing nearby. There were 40 camels in the caravan. The entire caravan spent the night on the shoulder blade.
In the middle of the night, people felt movement. A fox was dragging the shoulder blade away. They killed the fox. On the spot, they started to skin the fox. But as mid-day approached, they had only skinned half of the animal.
Suddenly, a woman rode up. She took the fox, saying, "I've got a one-month-old baby and I want to make him a little hat. But I fear that the whole fox's skin won't be enough for the hat."
So, what do you think was the biggest? The bull, the fish, the eagle, the old man, the fox, the woman, or her one-month-old baby?