Hanayhary and Shaitanhary

In time immemorial there lived a poor old man. And he had eight daughters. Before the birth of each daughter, the old man was expecting a son, and each time his wish did not come true. The old man was beyond himself with joy when a son was bom to him, he said: "After so many uncountable daughters I've got a son at last!" And as in Bashkort language this phrase begins with the word «hanai» (he counts), the boy got the name of Hanai.

The boy grew up a daring handsome man, he started hunting, shooting ducks at a wonderful lake of round shape. Once, having got tired, he lay down on the bank of the lake and fell asleep. There was a thicket of purple willows nearby. A splash of water awoke him, he raised his eyes and saw a very beautiful girl standing near him and combing her long heir. He was quite lost in admiration and could not tear his eyes off the girl. And she, having finished combing her hair, dived into the water and never appeared.

For six days the yeget* was wandering along the shore in hope of meeting that girl but in vain. When on the sixth day he was just about to leave, the girl appeared again and began to comb her hair Stealthily the yeget came up to her, grasped her hair and wound it fast around his wrists. The girl dived into the water pulling the yeget with her to the bottom of the lake. On the bottom of the lake the yeget did not let the girl's plaits go. The girl opened the door of some big niche, and therein be saw twelve girls of rare beauty sitting in a row.

"Yeget, you haven't let me go," said the girl whose plaits were wound round his hand, "here are twelve girls, choose the one to your liking."

"I don't need any one of them," the yeget replied, "I need only you."

Then the girl was compelled to bring the yeget to her father. The latter was against the yeget. But still he decided to ask for his wife's advice, and they consented to their daughters marriage. The young couple married and started to live as husband and wife.

Some time later the yeget's face turned sallow, he was getting more and more sulky. "What's the matter with you?" his wife asked him and he confessed that he was pining for earthly life. He begged to lead him out to the surface. The girl started weeping, but she agreed. They got out to the ground and started living there.

It was the time when rich Russian merchants arrived at this place in search of lands for factories. The richest man set eyes on Hyuhylyu - Ac beautiful mermaid.

"Why haven't I seen her before?" he wondered. Enraged, he returned home and gave his wife a thrashing, saying: "Why haven't you been born a beauty?"

Afterwards he turned her out of the house.

This rich man rallied an army and waged a war for the beautiful mermaid against the army of Bashkorts headed by Hanai. During the battle Hanai's fighters, having hidden themselves beyond a ridge of a mountain, started shooting at enemies. The enemies also hid themselves beyond another mountain ridge and were shooting from there. Many people of enemy fighters were killed by the Bashkorts but their number did not diminish. There came more and more enemy fighters, they were as numerous as ants. "They are sure to be devils -shaitans," decided the Bashkorts. And Hanai's army thinned out. In the long run only Hanai, his wife and several of his men remained. Then the wife-mermaid started praying to God for help. A heavy downpour started washing the enemy fighters off the slopes of the mountain. When it seemed that none was left, a new detachment emerged Then a hand-to-hand fight began. Finally there was only one fighter left apiece on Hanai's part as well as on the part of the enemy. And then the last shaitan* pierced Hanai by his sword. When he was just anticipating joys taking hold of the mermaid, she stabbed him by the sword. The girl was left alone. Then she took hold of Hanai's dagger and killed herself by it

Thus since that time there have remained mountains Hanaihary and Shaitanhary.

If you cross the road in the direction of Makash, you will see a stream beyond the slope of the mountain. The mermaid-girl used to bathe and wash there. Hanai's house was at the place where is a bog now.