The elephant and the wolf

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The elephant and the wolf (Kalmyk fairytales)

Once upon a time there were an elephant and a wolf.

Once they happened to meet in the steppe. They both were very hungry.

Elephant, you are hungry, you ought to find food and eat, the wolf felt for him.

What shall I do? Please, show me the way to get food, the elephant asked the wolf.

There is a village not far from us. We will come upon the village suddenly. You should creep up on sheep between the dwellings at night and strangle them. Lets go together tonight, the wolf said.

I am afraid; I have never done such things, the elephant said.

Well, you choose. But you should know: if I bring a fat sheep, do not ask for it; I will not give you even a tiny piece of meat. It is not useful to feed a coward, the wolf became angry.

Having thought it over a little, the elephant said:

Are you afraid to go alone? How can I help you? I think that the brave one who attacks a hundred enemies, the very brave one, can even go alone.

You are very cunning, my friend. But you cannot deceive me. You are stronger than I. It is necessary to carry killed sheep. Winter will come soon: it is necessary to store up food, the wolf said.

Well, we will go together, the elephant agreed.

So they went together.

They approached the village on a dark night. The elephant whispered to the wolf:

It is very dangerous. You will abandon me and run away. Lets tie ourselves together with a rope so I can be sure of you, he said.

The wolf agreed and they tied themselves together with a rope around their necks. When they approached the village, dogs began to bark. The elephant was frightened and ran. The wolf grew tired from running for so long and began to be dragged along behind him.

What were you afraid of? Should you be afraid of barking dogs frightened by us? the wolf said.

The elephant did not listen to him and ran even faster. The wolf began to be strangled with the rope; his consciousness got dim.

Soon he opened his jaws and hung out his tongue. The elephant looked at the wolf and thought that he was making fun of him and laughing at him:

You are a killer, a meat-eater! I am afraid to death and you are making fun of me and laughing at me, he said and kicked the wolf, and he died.

Since that time the elephant does not inhabit our steppe because he was frightened too much.



Translated from Kalmyk into English by Danara Balayeva-Kokayeva

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