AGHITHEL AND YAYIK

 

The rivers Yayik, Hakmar, Aghithel, Karithel, Nogosh, Olo Eiek and Kese Eiek originate from nearly the same place. They say, they could speak in olden times. Once they had a bet: 'Let us flow our waters in one and the same direction. If we set off in the afternoon we shall certainly meet each other at some place.' Thus they ran together along the Urals ridge.

Yayik made a slow start. Yet, going slow it encountered no hindrances on his way and therefore streamed awide. Biek and Hakmar ran into some mount! and rocks ontheir way, but soon after they both came into the open field to meet there.
Likewise, Aghithel and Karithel faced high mountains and abrupt rocks on their route and evading them lagged behind the others. From afar Aghithel called to the others: "Hey, which way are you flowing?" Eiek and Hakmar were about to voice an answer when Yayik muffled them down: "Hold your tongues! Let him go his own way!"

Meanwhile Aghithel struggled his way through the rocky mountains, and numerous other rivers and streams joined him. Thus the waters of Aghithel rose, his power increased. It frightened Yayik most of all, he thought Aghithel would boast and praise himself.

Aghithel pursued his way. But he had to turn around near the settlement of Kongak since he received no answer. His strength grew still more as other rivers joined him. Soon accompanied by Karithel he flowed into the Kama river and then into the more powerful Ithel river. Thus multiplied he poured into Caspian Lake. It turned out afterwards, the Ithel river grew big and strong, while Yayik remained meek and small.

They say, due to envy Yayik waters are so shallow. So it is unnavigable. On the conrary, Aghithel and Karithel (let alone Ithel and Kama) boast of ships sailing in due time. Moreover these rivers are constantly praised in songs of people.

Our older people would finish telling this story with a caution against ill feelings and envy1.

 

 


1) The legend and traditions of rivers' disputes are frequently met in other people's foiklore. E. g. the disputes between the Volga and Western Dvina, the Dnieper and the Desna.