Armenian Falk Fables - Armen Sargsyan - E-Book

Armenian Falk Fables E-Book

Armen Sargsyan

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The first large collection of Armenian folk fables was compiled and recast by folklore specialist Artashes Nazinyan. This collection by Armen Sargsyan is basically the continuation of Nazinyan's work. The author has compiled the collection from different literary sources published in Armenia and Armenian Diaspora during 19 - 21st centuries. The major part of the material was selected from folklore and ethnographic collections, the other part was selected from fable section of dialect studies, some part was selected from books about place-names, as well as some private collections.

The collection includes the following types of fables:
a) Classical allegorical fables; the characters of such fables are mostly animals.
b) Short folk tales
c) Fairy-tale fables
d) Satiric fables and tales
e) Fables with dialogues and proverbs

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Table of Contents
THREE NECESSARY THINGS
THE EXE-KING
THE ELEPHANT AND THE LION
THE OAK-TREE AND THE PUMPKIN
SEE THROUGH THE EYES OF A FARMER
THE LAW OF THE ELDER
SUCH PEOPLE DIG THEIR OWN GRAVE
THE GREEDY MAN
THE BEAR THAT ENJOYED READING
WHEN THE KING SLEEPS
WHEN THE ACCUSED SPEAKS GOLD
THE DONKEY AND THE WOLF
THE MULLAH WILL MANAGE TO FIND THE LAW IN THE SHARIA
THE CAT AND THE MICE
THE DONKEY REMAINED THE SAME DONKEY
THE IMAGE OF THE DEVIL
THE FEAR OF THE BEAR
THE HUNGRY WOLF
THE IGNORANT MAN GOT RICH
THE FOX AND THE DOG
OH‚ MY BACK
ARCHANGEL GABRIEL AND THE SEVEN BROTHERS
THE RICH AND THE THIEF
THE DOG AND HIS CHAIN
A DONKEY HAD A COLT
THE FLEA WAS ASKED
GOD AND THE MAN
THE WORST THING IN THE WORLD
THE HOUSE
A MALCONTENT IS ALWAYS MALCONTENT
MAY BLESSED BE THE GARDEN FROM WHICH BEARS KEEP AWAY
THE HUNTER AND THE HOUND
THE ALIVE AREN’T TREASURED
THE HELPLESS
THE BENEFACTOR
SLANDER
THE PLATE ISN’T HOTTER THAN THE SOUP IN IT
EVERYONE MEASURES BY HIS OWN YARDSTICK
THE CRAZY KING AND HIS MINISTERS
FOX’S CONGRATULATIONS
YOKE IS STILL A YOKE
THE RELATIVE AND THE ENEMY
GOD AND THE ARMENIANS
EVERYONE DREAMS ACCORDING TO HIS APPETITE
THE REASON AND THE LUCK
TIE TO MY TONGUE
HARNESS YOUR CALF
A CROSS-EYED WAS ASKED
THE DOG AND THE OLD MAN
THE ADVICE OF SOLOMON THE CHILD
MAKING FRIENDS WITH GOD
FOX THE DIVISOR
THE GREEDY MAN AND THE CARRIER
THE FATE OF THE POOR
ONLY THE SALT CARRIER IS AWARE OF THE WEIGHT OF HIS LOAD
THE OLD MAN AND THE NUT TREE
WOMAN’S SLANDER
THE CROW AND THE FOX
THE MICE AT THE COUNCIL
THE GREEDY MAN
WHAT SHOULD HE EAT IF THERE WAS NOTHING
THE MOST BITTER AND SWEETEST THINGS
WHO IS BETTER
THE TREES AND THE AXE
THE PRICE OF THE BUFFALO
HOW LONG?
THE OLD MAN AND ARCHANGEL GABRIEL
THE FATHER AND HIS SON THE MOWER
THE RUINED AND THE BUILT
THE DROWNING PRIEST
WHEN YOU DEMAND LESS THAN YOU GIVE
THE BEAR AND THE WOLF
THE LIAR
GIVE AND GIVE
THE SNAKE AND THE FOX
MANTASHOV AND THE FISHERMAN
THE WIDOW AND HER SON
THE LAY BROTHER AND THE DEVIL
THE WANDERER AND THE MAHTESI
ONE OF OUR DAUGHTERS WILL BE WRECKED
WHO IS YOU MASTER
I HAVE A LOT TO TELL BUT –
THE SMITH AND HIS PUPIL
FOX THE PILGRIM
THE GRASSHOPPER AND THE ANT
THE URGENT MATTER
THE ASS AND THE HORSE
THE POMEGRANATE BEAN
MATCHMAKING
THE DEVIL AND THE MAN
WE TAKE NOTHING WITH US WHEN DYING
THE MOUNT’S FEAR
ST. PAUL’S DEBT
LUCK IS A TAILOR
THE POT OF GOLD
EAGLE’S ANSWER
THE FATHER’S LESSON
A MAN IS KNOWN BY HIS DEEDS
THE POTTER AND THE FARMER
THE “FAIR” MULLAH
ASS’S TALENT
DEEDS AND WORDS
THEREFORE IT IS SO DEEP…
THREE WEALTHY MEN
THE FEAR OF DEATH
THE BEST THING
NIGHT ALWAYS TURNS INTO LIGHT
IN DEATH AGONY
THE SORCERER
THE KING AND THE WISE MAN
WHICH IS EASIER
THE CLERGYMAN AND THE PEASANT
THE HEN AND THE GOOSE
THE RAVEN AND HER NESTLINGS
THE GRIEF
THE GREEDY MAN
THE WIND AND THE HAYLOFT
THE SNAKE AND THE LARK
THE LOYAL VIZIER
THE KING OF ONE
THE WHEAT AND THE BARLEY
THE OATS AND THE TREFOIL
AS YOU SOW YOU SHALL MOW
THE PRAYER PLEASANT TO GOD
THE WILD ONION
THE WOLF AND THE PIG
THE CAMEL AND THE KING
THE HERDSMAN AND THE OLD MAN
THE UGLIEST ANIMAL
THE UNHAPPIEST ANIMAL
ACTIONS SPEAK LOUDER THAN WORDS
THE OLD WOMAN AND THE SEA
BONELESS TONGUE
THE MODEST AND THE BOASTER
CAMEL’S PAIN
THE FINGERS
THE UNITY ENSURES POWER
THE BEAR AS A PEAR-TREE GUARD
THE BRAVE VIZIER
WATCH YOUR TONGUE
THE PRIEST AND THE BUFFALO
THE TRICK OF THE TAILLESS FOX
THE DEACON WOLF
HOW DO YOU DARE
TREAT ACCORDING TO MERITS
TELLING LIES IS A SKILL, TOO
THE TWO FRIENDS
THE MAN AND THE DEVIL
THE BLIND MAN AND THE LAMP
THE POOR CONFECTIONER
THE PRINCE AND HIS PEOPLE
THE SINGER BIRD
THE RICH MAN AND THE JUDGE
YOU SHOULD KEEP YOUR PROMISE
THE MERCHANT AND ST. PAUL
THE BISHOP AND KING THE COAL
IT IS BETTER TO DIE THAN…
THE DEVIL’S NOSE
THE DROWNING ASS
THE FOX’S CREDENTIAL
THE WISE DOCTOR
THE MAN AND THE WHEEL OF FORTUNE
THE DOG’S MILK
THE BLIND MAN AND THE ANGEL OF DEATH
LEAVE A ROOM FOR BLESSING
MY MOTHER HAS DIED
THE KING AND HIS SON
LOOK WHERE YOU ARE GOING
NOAH AND THE DEVIL
THE POOR MAN
GOD IS IN THE SHADY FOREST
THE FLINT
A MAN’S EYE IS SATIATED ONLY WITH LAND
ONE SHOULD NOT BELIEVE EVERY KISS
THE MAN AND THE BEAR
THE LITTLE GROWS UP AND THE BIG GETS LITTLE
THE PARTRIDGE
DO YOUR JOB BEFORE TELLING ABOUT IT
THE HEIGHT OF THE CAMEL
MONEY BEGETS MONEY
EVERYTHING IS IN ITS RIGHT PLACE
THREE LOAVES OF BREAD
HAVE A LOOK WHEN EXCHANGING
ONE GETS FORTY WHILE FORTY IS REDUCED TO ONE
THE RIGHT OF A RICH MAN
THE PILGRIM AND THE GOLD
A MAN IS REMEMBERED BY HIS NAME AND ACTIONS
WHEN IS IT CONVINIENT?
AS YOU SOW YOU SHALL MOW
CAPTURED BY HIS OWN LIES
THE ACQUAINTANCE
THE BLIND BARD AND THE PASSER-BY
THE THICK-NECK WOLF
LOW PRICES FOLLOW THE HIGH ONES
THE PIG ATE THE BUTTER
THE TRAVELLER AND GOD
DISTRIBUTION OF FATE
THE CUSTOMER AND THE PAINTER
THE JOKER
THE ‘CLEAN’ PRIEST
WHEN WATER IS MIXED WITH MILK
THE WEALTHY MAN AND THE PEASANT
“I KNOW” ENDS IN DUNG
THE AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE PEASANT AND GOD
BBB
EVERY MAN GRIEVES FOR HIS OWN ‘CAMEL’
THE GREEDY MAN’S SHARE
MONEY IS A GOOD SERVANT BUT NOT A MASTER
THE PROPHET AND THE SHEPHERD
CAT THE HAJJI
THE FOX AND THE CRANE
I FOUND MY STRING A LONG TIME AGO
SOLOMON’S TRIAL
THE ‘CLEVER’ APPRENTICE
WHEN YOU’VE GOT NO ROOM TO MOVE ABOUT
THE SCORPION AND THE FROG
THE PEASANT AND THE KING

Illustrated by Naira Poghosyan

The fable is one of the most interesting and valuable forms of literature. Fables are always edifying and present the moral values of the nation they have been made up in. Fables can be found in the literature of almost every country. And Armenia is not an exception; Armenian people have many interesting and edifying fables. Some of them have been invented by the Armenians themselves and some have been borrowed from other peoples. Armen Sargsyan’s collection of Armenian folk fables contains many famous Armenian fables. And I have translated this collection of fables into English to acquaint other nations with the fables that are popular in Armenia.

 

Preface

The first large collection of Armenian Folk Fables was compiled and recast by folklore specialist Artashes Nazinyan. This collection was published in 2008. Later, I compiled a new collection of Armenian Folk Fables. This new collection of fables was published in 2011. Basically, my collection was the continuation of Nazinyan’s work, for the collection contained valuable material and the folk fables were of edifying worth.

The first large collection of Armenian Folk Fables was compiled and recast by folklore specialist Artashes Nazinyan. This collection was published in 2008. Later, I compiled a new collection of Armenian Folk Fables. This new collection of fables was published in 2011. Basically, my collection was the continuation of Nazinyan’s work, for the collection contained valuable material and the folk fables were of edifying worth.

Armenian literature of 19-20 centuries was used while compiling the new collection of fables. The major part of the material was chosen from folklore and ethnographic collections, the other part was chosen from among the section of fable examples involved in dialect studies, some fables were chosen from books about several districts, also from several personal collections. When choosing the fables their modernity, the distinct and deductive value of their morals was taken into consideration.

And now, I have pleasure in presenting to our readers this new collection of Armenian Folk Fables translated into English.

This collection includes the following types of fables:

• Classical allegorical fables; the characters of such fables are animals, partly.

• Short folk tales

• Fairy-tale fables

• Satiric fables and tales

• Fables with dialogues and proverbs

Armen Sargsyan

Translator’s Note

 

Some of the fables have not been included in the translation because of their recurrent plot in the Armenian variant. Some descriptions and explanations of the fables being considered irrelevant and unnecessary have also been excluded from this book.

The titles of the fables are, mainly, the same as in the Armenian variant of the collection. I have changed some Armenian names and toponyms used in the fables to conform them to the English language.

Alina Mirzoyan

©§Edit print¦

THREE NECESSARY THINGS

They asked a wise man:

“What does a man need to live a full life in this world?”

“Three things are essential to people: a farmer needs a plough‚ a scientist needs a pen‚ and a soldier needs a sword. The combination of these three ensures the wealth of the world‚ the brightness of mind and the safety of life ‚” said the wise man.

THE EXE-KING

An exe-king was asked:

“Why were you banished from your kingdom?”

“I was banished because I confided high positions and important assignments to unworthy and mean people while insignificant matters were trusted to wise and outstanding people.”

THE ELEPHANT AND THE LION

Once an Elephant asked a Lion:

“Why do you attack and tear unprotected animals?”

“I want to bring about peace; they don’t get on well‚” said the Lion.

“How are you going to bring about peace?”

“By the method inherited from my ancestors: in my stomach.”

THE OAK-TREE AND THE PUMPKIN

A pumpkin pip fell under an oak-tree and began to sprout up. The pumpkin bush grew very quickly and twined around the oak-tree. Not long after it reached the top of the tree and said to the Oak:

“How many years did it take you to grow so much?”

“Three hundred years” said the Oak.

“And I reached you in three months. Soon I’ll pass ahead of you.”

“You reached my height twining around me instead of growing on your own. How can you overcome winter hardships?”

“We’ll see” said the Pumpkin scornfully.

The Pumpkin, which was used to the sun and warm weather, started to get cold at the end of autumn and shriveled up trembling with cold and plopped down the tree. The Oak-tree looked down from its height and saw that the huge pumpkin had split up and it was thoroughly empty.

SEE THROUGH THE EYES OF A FARMER

A king called a craftsman and ordered:

“Change the windows of my palace so as splendid views spread before me wherever I look‚ so as everything is bright and cheerful in my world.”

A wise deacon said:

“Your majesty, you shouldn’t look at the world through those windows‚ you should see the world through the eyes of the man with a plough in his hand.”

THE LAW OF THE ELDER

A Persian Shah once went hunting with some of his nobles. By the evening after having hunted plenty of deer and chamois, the Shah ordered to stop by a cool fountain and try the deer meat. While preparing the meat it turned out that they had not taken salt with them.

The Shah ordered one of his ministers to ride a horse and bring salt from the nearest village. Before his departure the Shah strictly ordered the minister to pay for the salt by all means.

One of the Shah’s nobles asked him:

“Your majesty! How can a peasant take money from his Shah for a handful of salt? Why won’t the master and the owner of the country take a handful of salt from his subject without paying for it?”

“I’m not afraid of my subjects and of their boasting about their generosity towards their Shah by giving him a handful of salt for free. I’m afraid of my nobles as whenever the Shah picks an apple from the garden of a subject, the next day his nobles will not only break all the branches, but they’ll also grub all the trees in his garden out.”

SUCH PEOPLE DIG THEIR OWN GRAVE

A group of people went to their prince and begged him to make their manager treat his people well. The prince listened to them and asked:

“But why does he behave in such a manner?”

“He used to be poor but after taking up a position and growing rich he got so intoxicated with his wealth and property that now he pays no attention to anyone and he’s very rude and holds everyone in contempt‚” said the messengers.

The prince shook his head and said:

“Never mind a drunk with property. It won’t last long. Sooner or later, he’ll dig a grave for himself.”

 

THE GREEDY MAN

A greedy man had never shared a crust of bread with anybody. However‚ before his death, he instructed his son to engrave a loaf of bread and a big glass of wine on his tombstone. When the irritated peasants tried to clear the engraving away, God reproached them from above:

“Don’t do that, kind people; the greedy man has left to the world the very thing of which he bereft himself all his life.”

THE BEAR THAT ENJOYED READING

A man decided to teach a mountain bear to read. So he put raisins on the pages of a book trying to teach the bear to turn over the pages when it wanted to find the raisins and eat them.

The bear liked the sweetness of the raisin so much that it turned over the pages of every book which was put in front of it, hoping to find more raisins.

Whenever the bear did not find one it would throw the book away disappointedly. That was how its reading came to an end.

WHEN THE KING SLEEPS

A peasant travelled with a loaded cart all night long. By the morning he began to feel sleepy so he unharnessed his oxen and let them pasture. Then he leaned on the cart and fell asleep. When the man woke up he saw that his oxen had disappeared. After having searched for them for a while and not having found them, he got angry‚ and went to the king and said:

“Your majesty‚ give me my oxen back!”

“What oxen‚ man; whose oxen shall I give you?”

“My oxen; they’ve been stolen.”

“Tell me how it happened.”

“Your majesty I’d been travelling the whole night and at dawn I began to feel sleepy. I decided to have a little rest. So I unharnessed my oxen and let them pasture. Then I leaned on the cart and fell asleep. When I woke up I found out that my oxen had disappeared. So I’ve come to you to take my oxen back.”

“You man! You slept peacefully and let your oxen go away. Now you’ve come and demand them from me!”

“Your majesty‚” said the peasant‚ “I thought the master and the owner of my country was awake, and that’s why I slept calmly. Had I known that he was asleep I wouldn’t fall asleep for sure, and my oxen wouldn’t be stolen.”

The King started in his seat at those words and got angry, and calling his ministers, ordered them to find the thieves by all means and give the oxen back to the owner.

Thus by the order of the king the thieves were caught and were punished and the peasant got his oxen back.

“Your majesty‚ from now on I’ll tell everybody to sleep peacefully and safely as our king is awake!”- said the peasant and took his oxen and set off for his home.

WHEN THE ACCUSED SPEAKS GOLD

A smith made a claim against a shopkeeper who had borrowed some money from him and did not give back. The judge listened to the smith’s complaints; then he asked the smith for a sharp axe to make a fair judgement. The smith gave the axe having no doubt that he would get his money back. But he had no idea that the shopkeeper, in his turn, had promised gold to the judge.

Seeing that the trial was being delayed, the smith reminded the judge of his gift.

“Your honour‚ why do you drag out the matter? Cut it with an axe at once and that’s all there is to it.”

“Oh‚ my friend‚” sighed the judge and said‚ “how can I cut with an axe when the accused speaks gold.”

THE DONKEY AND THE WOLF

A Donkey got very sick and a Wolf wouldn’t leave him.

“Brother Wolf‚ why have you left everything to stay with me these days?” asked the Donkey.

“What can I do brother Donkey? I see that you’re very ill. You may die and there may be nobody to hold your funeral.”

“Today the doctor has visited me and he has promised that I won’t die within the following three days. So if you have anything to do‚ go and come back in three days.”

“Don’t worry my friend‚ I have nothing important to do for the following three or four days. I won’t leave you alone.” said the Wolf.

THE MULLAH WILL MANAGE TO FIND THE LAW IN THE SHARIA

An Armenian had lost his cow. He was looking for it meanwhile he kept murmuring: “May the mullah not find my cow! May the mullah not find my cow!”

“Why do you pray for that?” said they.

“The mullah will manage to find such a law in the Sharia by which he eats my cow and is not guilty. But if a thief or a robber takes it, there’ll still be some hope of taking it back‚” said the Armenian.