Folk tales


THE OLD MAN AND THE GOLDFISH

Description: Darijav Bembän narrates a fairy tale about an old fisherman, his greedy wife and a goldfish. One day the old fisherman caught a goldfish that asked him to spare its life and promised to fulfill any of his wishes in return. The fisherman didn’t know what to ask for, so he asked his wife who told him to ask the goldfish to build her a palace. Her second wish was to have a Khaan's throne and servants. In the end when old man’s wife asks the goldfish to become her servant and fulfill all her wishes, the fish came out from the ocean to listen to the old man’s request, disappeared without a word, and all the servants and the palace vanished as a result. This tale is a variant of a tale about “The fisherman and the fish”, written by Russian writer A. Pushkin. Pushkin’s tale was translated into Oirat-Kalmyk in the beginning of the 20th century and its text, written in todo bichig script, possibly reached the Oirats in Xinjiang.

Cite as: Altýn zaɣsýn – The old man and the goldfish; performer: Darijav Bembän, camera/ interview: Thede Kahl, Ioana Aminian, interview assistant/ transcription/ translation/ editor: Chingis Azydov, retrieved from www.oeaw.ac.at/VLACH, ID-number: jung1241CNV0001a.

TRANSCRIPTION