Tiger and Catfish

The Syr Darya has been an indispensable source of livelihoods for local tribes living along its banks. At the same time, the mighty and unpredictable waters of the river inspired artists, singers, and storytellers. For example, the local songs and legends tell about local people, animals of the Syr Darya, as well as about the river itself.

Tiger and catfish 

(a folk tale from the Syr Darya Delta)

Even on a scorching sultry day

The cold can envelop

Left to us from our ancestors,

There are many traces full of secrets

Even if the century-caravan has passed,

Preserved in the mouths of the people,

Unforgettable on the banks of the Syrdarya

Here is such, here is such a legend.

Preserved in the mouths of the people,

Such a wonderful story

How can a heart not be agitated

When you hear her.

In the vicinity of the river,

In the old days

Along the banks of the Syr Darya

There were fat-necked menacing tigers.

The tigress had two cubs,

Born only, still blind,

They were hidden from the eyes of people

Dense thickets of reeds.

When the cubs are strong

And they began to walk more confidently

The tigress led the way

Tigers to the river for a watering hole.

Leaning against the water

Mother Tigress First

Drinks delicious water from the river

And her cubs are drinking nearby.

In one moment rose from the bottom

Huge catfish

And in a moment by the coast

There was a commotion …

Striking the tail of both cubs

Catfish swallowed both

And diving under the water

Sank to the bottom again

The tigress rushed after the catfish

And chased him

Until I run out of steam

I went ashore again.

In sorrow the days of the tigress

Passed one by one

The bitterness of the tigress

She gave her no rest

The desire for revenge burned inside

And she decided to take revenge

Lay down by the river and began

Wait for the appearance of a huge catfish

It’s been three days

The sun’s rays are braided into the sunset

There is still a hungry tigress

Growl with bitterness.

And a friend silted up water near the shore

Near the surface of the water

The back of a huge catfish sparkled

The tigress jumped up, gathering all her strength

And prepared to attack

She’s a predator

Having a lot of skills

She deftly jumped on the catfish

Grabbing a huge catfish by the back

Took him out of the water

And threw it ashore!

Washed ashore

The catfish lies panting …

Syrdariya flows nearby

Sighing at the sight

As for the offspring

Have to fight fate

Here she is, she, cursed,

A short life …

All around generously pour

The rays of the morning sun

The tigress kept the catfish all the time

While he is completely dead

But she died with him

Because when she threw away the catfish

The severity of the catfish was such

That the tigress’s vertebrae were broken…