Dashing like a winged bird,
Little orphan Moldojash,
Gave up his youthful life
For the sake of his father.
Pulling his strength together and getting ready,
The brave orphan Moldojash,
Set out with determination
In search of his father’s body.
He pulled his strength together,
And got ready like a winged bird,
Not leaving any trace behind,
The orphan boy, Moldojash,
Like a flower in the spring,
Hit the road running,
With his feet not touching the ground.
His feet were not tired of walking
On mountains with white glaciers,
On white, high, and shiny rocks,
Inhabited by arkars and kuljas.
Moldojash was heading out,
By searching every mountain,
He was determined to find his father's body,
By suffering from his father’s tragedy.
He went through the high cliffs where arkars live,
And rock faces with streaming waters,
He went through the mountains where no man can go,
Through strong winds and breeze,
Through places where the kayberen lives,
Through the open and steep passes,
Where only winged birds can fly over.
He went through mountains, instead of plains,
He went through the cliffs inhabited by tekes,
Through the thickets grown on teskey
Moldojash was traveling,
Upon learning the story from the people.
He held a grudge for EÁki,
For his brave father was killed on the cliff.
The kayberen Sur EÁki,
Left Kojojash’s bones scattered on the rocks,
The smart EÁki stubbornly lured him,
“My father was a real hunter,” he said,
“And I am his son,” he said.
People went, but couldn’t get him down the cliff,
Now he had to take revenge on EÁki.
He searched many mountains,
And had gone to many places,
He searched the black mountains,
He had been to all the mountains,
Moldojash, the only young boy.
On the rocks where mountain goats play
By hitting each other with their horns,
He also walked and played like a deer.
No one accompanied him,
The young boy, his mother’s only child.
After having been to many places,
One day Moldojash came
To a mountain cliff called Misken.
He had his gun called Almabash
Hanging on his shoulder.
One day in the evening
He reached the Misken mountain cliff.
At night when the young boy
Had been falling asleep,
He saw a dream in his sleep,
He saw an unusual thing,
A man appeared and said to him,
Coming close to his sleepy eyes:
“You’ve searched, my son,
Many mountains not leaving one,
I wish God made others’ sons,
Who are left behind, like you.
God has granted the wish
Of an orphan boy like yourself.
Tomorrow, you will find EÁki
Who killed your father Kojojash
By stubbornly making him follow her.
When you catch EÁki by chasing,
You will take her, my son,
To the place where your father died.”
In his dream, the man told the boy
And explained what he meant . . .
Being scared he woke up,
The hunter searched for him
In the Misken mountains.
In his dream the man came
And said this to the sleeping boy:
“To find your father’s body,
You went through many tickets,
And traveled in wilderness for long time.
Your mind senses haven’t developed fully,
For you are still a young boy.
She and he goats are plenty in the mountains,
You left your people behind
In search of your father’s rotten bones.
You traveled through many places, my son,
To find the cliff where he died,
You wanted to find the bones,
Of your father who died a long time ago.
At a young age you wandered off,
And suffered a great deal for him.
This place where you are sleeping now,
Is called the Misken mountain,
It’s a rocky mountain with cliffs,
No man comes to this place,
For there are many bears and tigers.
Like the traces left from cattle,
There are many tracks of arkars here.
If you take your father’s revenge,
The end of this will be a tragedy.
You never got tired, my son,
Get up early in the morning,
You will be successful now.
Among the many goats on the cliff,
You won’t be able to find the one.
The one who led your father to the cliff
Was the true kayberen herself.
EÁki, for whom you have been looking hard,
Has a sacred power,
She lured your father up
To the cliff where no man can climb.
Sur EÁki, whom you want to find,
Is a clever EÁki who has seen a lot.
She is different from other goats,
When running up the cliff,
EÁki is as fast as whirlwind . . .”
The man spoke thus to him
While he had been asleep.
He was happy about his dream,
Instead of losing hope and strength,
He became stronger and determined.
The man, speaking to him in his dream,
Disappeared from his sight,
Now listen to Moldojash’s words.
Being scared, the boy woke up,
Remembering the words he heard at night.
“What happened to me?" he said,
Moldojash got up frightened.
"I will go to Misken
And search the mountains where no man goes.
I heard someone speaking to me last night,
But there was no one when I woke up early in the morning,
I don’t know what happened.”
Very early in the morning,
The boy got up quickly, they say.
The boy remembered all the words
That he had heard last night,
And kept them secure in his heart.
The boy then ran up, they say,
To the heart shaped cave under the cliff.
By looking around it quickly [eki jagïn elengdep ]
He looked carefully inside the cave, they say.
All of a sudden about fifty goats
Came up running being scared, [urkup chïgïp aldinan ]
He got very scared, they say.
Among these goats that ran away,
Hoping to see Sur EÁki,
Moldojash looked carefully, they say.
With their pearly wool blowing in the wind,
They ran like a swift breeze.
Among them was the wrecthed EÁki,
Who got the hunter stranded on the cliff.
He took his barang and loaded it,
He thought about the words from last night,
How will I recognize her, he wondered.
About fifty goats ran up to a place
One after another  [chuburup ].
The boy didn’t regret nor he was tired,
For having traveled for many months.
Of the goats standing in front of him,
One looked quite different.
By looking at her, Moldojash thought,
“She must be the one who killed him.
She is indeed a unique goat.
By wandering in wilderness,
In his struggle to catch her
His [father’s] youth was spent in vain,” he thought,
And made an attempt to catch her.
He wanted to take EÁki
To the cliff where his father died.
He ran vigorously to catch her.
If I catch EÁki and bring her home,
People will praise me saying
“He is the son of Kojojash”, he thought.
“Although my father had died long time ago,
I will have made my father proud,” he thought.
With a great vigor, Moldojash
Began chasing EÁki.
If he ever reached her,
He could easily catch her.
He saw her in the Misken mountain,
He had an old grudge to settle
With EÁki who murdered his father.
“I set out to take my revenge.
If I ever find you, Sur EÁki,
I’ll know that you are the accused EÁki,
I can reach you if I measure the distance,
If [God] gives me strength,
This I had in my mind."
EÁki, too, recognized the boy,
She knew that he could catch her,
Sur EÁki recognized him when she saw him,
And didn’t know what to do [shahip kaldi siyagi ].
“He didn’t leave me alone,
I see, his son came after me,
To take his father’s revenge,” she thought.
She quickly got up from her place,
And made a move to run away
Sur EÁki was in a hurry.
The stride of Moldojash
Was longer than his father’s.
When the boy got closer to her,
EÁki went climbing towards
The side of a high cliff, they say.
Moldojash now realized
That she was indeed the goat
That he saw in his dream.
He didn’t touch the others,
“Where are you going EÁki?’ he said,
By separating her from the rest.
He had his father’s revenge to take,
Charging like a hunting bird,
Look at his strength,
This brave boy Moldojash,
Came closer by chasing her, they say.
EÁki knew from the beginning,
That no one could stop him,
She had no choice but let herself
Be chased by the boy who came with a special  task, they say.
By separated her from the rest,
He chased EÁki stubbornly,
By making her go through many mountains,
He was determined to catch her.
Moldojash, who followed her,
Now really believed that
She was indeed that EÁki, they say.
With no time to look back,
Sur EÁki put herself in front of him, they say.
Striking like a lion,
He gulped with vigor.
How can this EÁki, who caused the tragedy,
Escape from him now?
“Striking like a hungry tiger,
I have a revenge to take from you EÁki,
You can’t escape from me," he said.
"If I ever catch you, I’ll kill you,
I came looking for the bones
Of my kingly father," he said.
"You might have recognized me,
I won’t let you run away,
I’m the son of him,” he said.
“You will be free to go,
If you show me the body of my father, the hunter,
Who died on a cliff by chasing you,” he said.
“The Kïtay had moved here
To get the hunter from the cliff,” he said.
“My father, Kojojash,
On which cliff did he die?” He asked.
Running [? kulach urup ] Moldojash
Had been chasing EÁki.
He had been starving with no food to eat,
In order to be in shape [Suup jurgon mezgili ]
By sweating he gained more energy,
By each day he became stronger,
He had gone a long distance [baskan izi artilip ].
His heart was young and strong,
He gave EÁki, who had become old,
A very hard time in pursuit.
If Sur EÁki only knew how,
She wished to hide herself,
By tricking the boy.
Like a young speckled eagle,
He had walked a long distance.
He made the miserable EÁki
Very tired by forcing her to walk fast.
They went through black shagïl and rocks,
Moldojash drew closer
Almost catching EÁki.
Running swiftly as a hawk,
Moldojash looked resilient.
"If I just extend my hand
To the red dirt on the cliff,
I will reach and catch her," he thought.
"The time of this wicked EÁki
Will be over," he thought.
"With one attempt, I will get her," he thought.
Unable to escape, the weak EÁki said:
“I became too exhausted,
If I let the boy catch me,
The magic of being a kayberen,
Where would that power go?” She said.
EÁki began to panic,
Fearing to be killed by the boy,
She thought to run down
From the mountain to the valley.
“I thought that Kojojash was strong,
At the end I encountered
An inescapable rascal,
Who runs like smoke and
Whose legs are as nimble as a fox’s.
He is tougher than his father,
I lost a lot of energy,” she said,
“He has been chasing me fast,
Is he a human being or whirlwind?” she said.
The iron piece from the Ak barang,
His mother Zulayka,
Had taken to a smith
And had it incorporated into a gun.
He had the gun called Almabash,
Loaded with cast iron bullet.
She had it made especially for her son.
With no place to escape,
From the mountains, now
EÁki ran down to the plains.
She felt that she would be caught
By the little orphan boy.
Cutting through the bushes,
Sur EÁki came running
From the mighty, high mountain.
She ran through a bare high cliff,
Through a ravine with glaciers,
Through the shady side of a bushy mountain,
And crag where no man can go.
"During the full moon of autumn,
It would be a shame," she thought,
To flee into the people’s ayïl."
He had been coming chasing her
In the ravine of Ming-Bugu.
No matter what, the boy has a young heart,
He will definitely catch her.
Through «at-Karagay and Ayrï-Bel,
They went through many places.
The hero Kojojash was a brave man,
Killed on a cliff chasing EÁki.
As if a river was roaring,
As if he had been walking day and night,
The boy got never tired,
As if he had been riding a vigorous horse.
His gun called Almabash
Was hanging on his shoulder.
Through Tabïlgïtï and Besh-Köl,
Chasing her vigorously, Moldojash
Had been to many mountains.
The ravines of Sarï-Küngöy and At-Oynok,
Were not left unvisited.
His father should have no regret for his son
Who was determined to find his father’s body.
Sur EÁki ran towards
«at-Karagay and Kongur,
The place she was used to.
Sur EÁki then came
To the Chatkal mountain.
Sur EÁki comes running
To Kara-Kïr and Terek.
If EÁki is indeed brave,
She can escape from Moldojash,
The gift left from the late [hunter].
He had been to Besh-Köl and «ïnar,
Not a single snow-capped mountain
Was left to which he hadn’t gone.
Moldojash kept chasing,
Each day he got intense,
Gaining more strength than ever.
No mountain that could be seen
Was left unvisited.
Fearing from the boy,
EÁki began loosing energy.
They had gone through «at-Karagay and Muz-Tör,
Each day, Moldojash
Became stronger and grew intense.
Feeling almost dead, EÁki
Ran up to the hill of the Iyri-Bel.
The resentful Moldojash,
Continued chasing EÁki.
Sur EÁki began leading him:
“The place where his father died,
Is in Abletim,” she said.
“God had bestowed the wish
Of EÁki who had prayed,” she said.
“I had escaped from the old one,
But now I face the young one.
I will take his son, too
To the cliff of Abletim,
Where his father had been stranded.”
Passing through a saddle-shaped ridge and steep pass,
Sur EÁki came down,
Her two front legs were [? shïmanip]
She gathered all her strength,
But EÁki, who had become old,
Had already become too weak,
Her steps were wobbly.
He followed her down
The current of a big river,
He got quite close catching her,
The boy really gathered his strength.
EÁki now came running
Towards Ketmen-Töbö,
And pastures called Keng-Karagay,
EÁki had planned in her mind
To bring his son one day
To the cliff where his father died.
He didn’t let her reach her goal,
On the hill of Ayu-Tör,
Moldojash leaned down and
Stretched his hand to EÁki.
His hand was able to reach her,
The brave man, Moldojash,
Finally captured the vengeful EÁki!
He took off his leather belt [from his waist],
And tied tightly around EÁki’s neck.
“Finally, EÁki, you let me catch you,
You made me go to many places.
I would not have left you alone,
For I had to take my father’s kun," he said.
"You should know that Moldojash
Isn’t one of those many hunters,
Listen, Sur EÁki,
I’m not a fool who followed you in vain.
I’m one of the human beings,
I had been chasing you
To take my father’s revenge.
Leaving my mother behind in sorrow,
Although my father had died long ago,
I wanted to honor his dignity.
As soon as I left my camp,
I had thought about you, EÁki,
Now, find my father Kojojash!”
Sur EÁki then said,
Letting herself tied by her neck and
Her two eyes shone in despair:
“I will take you to the place
Where your father had died.
You are indeed a brave boy,
You finally captured your enemy.”
Letting herself be lead by the boy,
They came to Abletim, they say.
“This is the cliff where your father died,” she said,
And told everything what had happened.
He gathered his father’s bones
On the face of the rock,
Like a playful kid, they say.
“Is this snow-capped high cliff
The place where my father died?
One can ride a horse on it.
They say that he was a skilled hunter,
How could he die here?” he asked.
“Did my father Kojojash really die,
Being unable to get down,
From this cliff as high as a kerege?” he said.
“Was that really you, father,
Who spoke his words of testament to his people?
It looks as though he had died
Just to be remembered,
By people who will talk about him.
So, you are that sly EÁki
Who lured my father to the cliff,
Got him stranded and killed,” he said.
Like a hawk he walked around
On the place where his father had stood.
“He is indeed a reckless rascal,”
EÁki was very astonished.
When he ran on the rock face,
Except for his human body shape,
He looked like a talking bat.
“My father Kojojash
Had died for no reason,
It is a shame on him.
EÁki, you are indeed a smart rascal
To outwit a person
Who has got a half brain [? esi jarïm nemeni ].
"His pursuit was just a wild kid
Which had no owner,” he said.
He collected all his bones
Leaving none, they say.
He crushed them into clay,
Made a human body from it,
Wrapped it in a white shroud and buried it, they say.
“I buried my father’s bones,
EÁki, do you feel humiliated
For letting yourself be captured at an old age?
I will take you to the ayïl,
Have your head cut off,
And distribute your meat to the people.
I will ask my people to recite bata [Quran],
In honor of the hunter named Kojojash.
I had promised to myself in the camp,
And if I capture Sur EÁki,
I would bury my father’s bones,
That would turn you in, EÁki, who murdered his son,
To the hands of my grandfather Karïpbay.
That I would have your head cut off,
And cook your twelve bones
In his cauldron.”
Sur EÁki then pleaded for her life:
“I’m your true kayberen mother,
I’ll do whatever you ask me to do,
Is there any use for you
To have my head cut off?
Please come with me,
I have a daughter named Ashayran,"
I’ll give her to you.
Don’t make me suffer, my son,
At my old age.
Please follow me to my home[land]
Even though I’m a goat.
You’ll be remembered
By those who come after you,
That you had finally captured the goat
And had married the goat’s daughter.
Don’t say no, come by and see
The land of your 'mother.'
I’ll do whatever you ask me to do
For I’m guilty of what I have done.
I made her to tear her red cheeks,
And let her suffer at that time, i.e.,
Your father Kojojash’s wife,
Whom he had married a virgin.
You should return to your kinsmen fast,
Your people must be anxious
Waiting to see you again.
You’ve caught me, I won’t run away,
We should pray for our own long life,
I’ll lead the road myself.”
Saying this Sur EÁki led
The boy from Abletim,
Leading Moldojash,
She brought him to a place.
As they entered a white [gray] yurt,
Resembling a real Kyrgyz yurt,
EÁki said: “This is my house.
Everything you see in here
Is made from deer skin.”
The jenges[1] and baldïz[2]
Quickly gathered inside the yurt
Pinching[3] him and teasing jezdeke,[4]
They gave him a hard time.
“This is my daughter, Ashayran,
Introduced EÁki, and sat her
Next to the boy and said:
She will be your partner.”
Moldojash looked and learned,
They were a people by themselves
Who acted like human beings.
The food brought to him
And dishes used for food
Were made of hard deer hooves.
At first, the groom sat there thinking
That the food was too little,
And that he would not be sated.
But the food never ended,
His stomach ached from over eating,
He had too much to eat.
Until midnight, the young women
Hosted him without sleeping.
They made the boy happy
By offering her daughter she promised.
She brought her in ak örgöö
And put her in the boy’s bed.

1. Jenge is a traditional term of address for a sister-in-law. The younger siblings call their older brother’s wife jenge. The groom also calls his wife’s sister-in-law jenge.
2. Baldïz is a term referred to the younger sister of the groom’s wife. The younger sister will be a baldïz to her brother in-law.
3. It is a Kyrgyz custom at weddings. When the groom comes to his future wife’s house for the first time, his baldïz sit next to him and pinch him asking for gifts. The groom should not be offended by it, instead, he seats quietly enduring the pain.
4. Jezdeke is from jezde (brother-in-law) +ke, a suffix which turns the noun into a term of endearment, so jezdeke is dear brother-in-law.

© 2004 Elmira KŲÁŁmkulkÔzÔ