Tale about Mother’s milk

The bright and beautiful summer day was enjoyable for all the living world. In the distance, cheering hurrahs of warriors sounded faintly and the horizon became covered with grey dust.
Two soon to be mothers young women were in the agony of childbirth clutching at the latticed walls of the ger1 , with muffled cries. The first of them was an Oirat2 princess, Sharbaatar`s younger khatan (queen) named Nasan. She was on the same side of the ger but outside because she had been captured recently. Just yesterday she saw before her own eyes how her husband, the brave hero of Khalkh, had fallen under the sharp sword of Sharbaatar.

In Mongoljin`s ears rang how the Oirad prince ordered, “if the captured woman has a girl her baby will survive, if a boy he will killed right away. But, if my queen gives to a son to inherit the throne I will stop the war with Khalkha”
As the pains grew closer together and more intense, the queen’s eyes were dazed with terrible pictures of battle and her ears deafened by the shouting of frantic horsemen furious in bloodshed, and the groens of the wounded.
Nasan bit down on her lower lip and her thin summer robe became wet and clung to her body.
Two slave-girls were in guard outside near the captured woman to watch which baby she would have.
At one moment as another scream, “Oh, mummy!” echoed around, two new-born babies starte crying simultaneously, Just after their cords had been tied, Nasan looked at the baby of the captured woman. “The queen sat up, and took her baby in her arms and called in a week voice, “Mongoljin”.
Mongoljin raised her head and looked at the queen suspiciously. With a sigh, Nasan said, “Both of us became mothers together  through the agony of broken flesh and blood! Take my girl and give me your boy! There is on other way to save your baby’s life apart from this. Love and bring up my baby as though she was your own.”
“What are you saying? What will happen if your husband knows…?” Mongoljin shook her head with wonder. But Nasan answered insistently “Be quick. Don’t let anyone be suspicious”. As the captured woman was getting ready to say something else. Nasan let her baby fall lightly to Mongoljin’s breast; through the latticed walls of the ger. Mongoljin exchanged her boy in the same way.
… In the field tent Sharbaatar was deep in thought. When his adjutant knelt down before him, he asked seriously and fiercely “Did you say that my queen gave birth to a boy and the captured wife had a girl? Who asked you to tell me about it?” The answer followed, “Your younger queen Nasan her self!” This word made Sharbaatar’s heart beat delightfully fast. “I will see with my own eyes”, said he quite calmly, raising his eyebrows, and ordered “saddle the hourse!”.
He galloped at full speed, not giving his horse rest and after midnight, came to same gers sited far away from the battle field. In a high tone he asked the slave-girl who came out of one ger with a bowl of water, “Where are the newborn babies?”
She replied, “Over there” and pointed to a small dismounted and stepped roughly into the ger. He found there two tiny infants sleeping peacefully alongside what happened around them. He slowly came near to the babies with such feelings which nobody could guess: amazement or jealousy or doubt. When he pressed his stubby hand over his heart, it skipped a beat, his throat pulsated and his legs trembled. He started at the babies like a hungry hawk at its prey and muttered “Do you see! An offspring of my enemy who can shoot me down was born”. As he grasped tightly the hilt of the sword at his belt, biting his lower lip, his heart pulsed strongly and he felt a splitting headache. His face paled and he jumped out of the ger in anger and rage.
As Sharbaatar rapidly approached the ger where his queen slept, a slave-girl with a teapot in her hands came out and said begging, “The queen feels worse”. But he passed in front of her, ignoring her words and burst in to the ger. He took a deep breath willing his hands to stop shaking and addressed the queen in a complaining and brusque tone “Why did you try to fool me?”
The exhausted queen turned her head tiredly at the sound of her husband’s voice. Her sparkling eyes weakened and clouded over with tears. Her face looked pale like the moonlight and the flame in her cheeks cooled. She said in a clear but quite calm voice, “Forgive me, I am tired and exhausted by this war against brothers of the same tribe. My heart is distressed and my eyes darkener at seeing so much blood and tears. I have lost all my patience. I may die. Please fulfill my patience. I may die. Please fulfill my last request! Save the baby boy’s life, please! You can save! Save!” She repeatedly begged “Save!” and, suddenly, breathed her last. He knelt quickly and took her outstretched hand in his. The Queen’s wide-open eyes bore a trance of her last words… While Sharbaatar closed her open eyes slowly with the palm of his hand, drops of milk appeared on the nipple of the queen’s breast and flowed down along her armpit as tears. As Sharbaatar felt distraught, regretful and not knowing what to do, as of he had lost his way in a fog, those happy days they had spent together instantly rose up his mind. Then he sobbed deeply and his ruthless eyes filled with sadness in a flash. He softly kissed the Queen’s forehead barely concealed with her beautiful dark hair and pulled the covers over her head.
Standing unsteadily near the felt door of the ger for a moment, Sharbaatar ordered in a trembling voice “Make an announcement. My wife gave to birth to a boy” and staggered out.
In the distance from the east horizon the bright break of day started to shine across the heavens.
1. A traditional Mongolian felt dwelling with spherical shape. Until the middle of 20th century, Mongolian mothers used to give birth while sitting against the walls of the gers or leaning against dung baskets, and mainly on the south west side of their gers. Such a birth is called the “traditional” Mongolian birthing way.
2. West Mongolian people in 16-17 centuries.



Далбаа тоологч

Total Pageviews