LEGEND OF THE TOUCHSTONE OF ALPAMYSH

When I was a little girl my father used to take my sisters and me to Long dale for bird cherry. When we got to Bagrysh Mount, he would hobble the horse, take an axe and say:

"We must whet the axe on the touchstone of Alpamysh!"

And he used to run the axe over the surface of the flat smooth-surfaced stone. Then he would sit on his cart again and all the remaining way he would tell stones of alpamyshes -the mighty giants. They stepped over mountains and pine-trees as if we had stepped over stalks of burdock. The stone weighing not less than half a ton was allegedly an alpamysh's whetstone which had haphazardly fell out of his pocket. There are enormous pits by the Tiryakle village. Earlier there was a belief that they are alpamysh's graves1.

 


1) Legends of stones, graves of alpamyshes are known in regions of Bashkortostan and also the neighbouring Chelyabinsk province.