Firuz Mustafa is a well-known writer, dramatist, philosopher and essayist. He is the author of more than 30 books published in different languages. In the theatres tens of his plays have been staged. His narrative of “A sea nomad” deals with the mutual harmony and tactful determinist connection between nature and human.
In the narrative -preacher which has strained plot, the happening events replace one another like a rapid film sequence.
We are sure the narrative that has been addressed to a number of booklovers will be read by all, from 7 to 77, not depending on ther age.
A SEA NOMAD
( narrative –preacher )
He who does good deed, will be endowed for it, he who does harm, will be punished for of his harm.
Koran - Kerim, Al-Zelzele, 7-8
Be devoted till death …
Apocalypse : 10
A flower complains to the dawn sky which has lost all of its stars: “ I have lost my dew drop”
Of course, you know languages of animals; birds, fishes, and you can talk with them. You can even have a talk with grass and flowers too. But what about people around you? Can you understand their language? And also do you believe that those people feel and understand you? Why do you keep silence? Why don’t you answer?
This unusual event isn’t a made up story. I heard it from an old fisherman.
…. but there was not a piece of news from Tuqay till that time.
The woman didn’t know what to do.
Still it was daytime. But it seemed thee woman that it had already became dark.
The sun had set before its time.
The woman was frightened. Firstly, in a whisper, then loudly she began to call her son: “ Tuqay, my son…” Her trembling voice seemed strange even to herself too. As if this voice was coming from far, from the bottom of a well.
Time passed without being felt, within silence. As if the silence had created a cold curtain over everything, a curtain which was impossible to be seen with eyes; which could be felt only by the heart.
There was not a piece of news from Tuqay.
“ Tuqay, my son….Where are you? “
On the outskirts of a small village there were two small houses the yards of which were adjacent, the roofs of which were covered with red tiles. While looking from afar, the roofs of the houses looked like a pair of rabbit ears. In one of those houses there lived a young boy by the name of Tuqay, with his mother. The inhabitant of the other house was a girl in the name of Shahla. About her a bit later. …Still let’s continue our talk about the village and Tuqay.
The inhabitants of this village , mostly were engaged in fishing. It is true, the sea was much further from the village; even from there the sea wasn’t seen. But smelling of the gigantic sea, its smelling of dampness and seaweed was clearly felt. The people usually did their work according to the direction of the wind that blew from the sea; they tried to go to fishing at a suitable time.
That day was one of the ordinary days.
Tuqay’s mother went out to the yard, put her hand above her eye and looked at the sky. From far there were seen grey clouds. When mother saw that the grey clouds were becoming dark, she was upset. It appeared that the clouds were gathering above the sea. According to mother, Tuqay should have returned from the sea. Her heart was full of anxiety: “ I wonder, why is my son late? Maybe there is a storm in the sea? Maybe no fish fell into a net? Maybe something has happened? Maybe… “ The eyes of mother stared at the road. But there was not a piece of news from Tuqay.
The boy who had lost his father when he was little, had seen much difficulty of life; if needed he helped the neighbors together with his mother. Though the family consisted of only two persons, life was impossible. In the village the number of those who lived good lives was few, was a few. As if the God had forgotten forever the gigantic sea which was near, and the small village near the giant sea, and the inhabitants of this small village. “ No, it appears that we have forgotten our God, my son…God never forgets people. Not everybody understands that in order to live, it is necessary to toil much. God values all the toils of people, my son… “ Tuqay’s mother often used to repeat these words.
Tuqay wasn’t afraid of working much. The prayers said by his mother at times in a whisper and at times loudly, increased his love for work.
Recently, Tuqay had made friends with the fishermen. Sometimes he went to the open sea to fish even at nights. Most of the fishes that fell into the nets were sold. At times, some little fishes given by the old fisherman with whom Tuqay went to fishing were brought home by Tuqay. At such times mother was very happy seeing that her son could earn his living.
The woman knew very well that her son doesn’t earn his living easily. She also was aware that her son was a witness and a participant for some time the fight of the fishermen. Of course, the struggles of those old fishermen who fought for the possession of area of the sea which were rich with fish , those who wanted to “ divide” the sea, like naughty children, were both funny and sorrowful. It is obvious that during the fight of those rude “ sea people” some merciless fishermen found a chance and attacked Tuqay too. But Tuqay never said to his mother about their fighting; the woman had heard about the fight from the other neighbors, and in the bottom of her heart she was pleased with his son’s being able to keep secrets and had said to him in her heart : “ Well done, my son!” . He who can keep secrets, his character is also distinguished from others for good.
There was not a piece of news from Tuqay.
“ Tuqay, where are you, my son? “
It wasn’t only mother who was worried because of Tuqay’s being late. The dog which was fussing in the yard, stared its big and lackluster eyes at the far skylines. It always knew beforehand when its “ friend” would return from the sea. That is to say before Tuqay’s return from the sea, the dog used to wait at the gate silently and stare at the road. In fact, not only mother and the dog were waiting for Tuqay. The other “ friends” of Tuqay- the eagle and fish were also fussing in anxiety.
Tuqay loved animals and birds very much. In the yard he had made good places for his “ friends” . The dog lived in its small shack made of mud and canes, the eagle lived in the roof of the house, and the fish lived in the pool. The dog, the eagle and the fish not only were friends of Tuqay, they also made friends with one another. The nearby neighbors who were aware of the solidarity between them, were astonished; how can it be? From morning till evening the dog and the eagle spend the time together. And it isn’t still all! On hot days the dog and the eagle visited the pool in which the fish lived; during that time three of them, the dog , the eagle and the fish jumped up and down in the pool, they made noise even like naughty children making jokes with one another. Mother and Tuqay who firstly gave no attention to their acts, now didn’t doubt that the animals had already found a common language to speak to one another, even to speak like humans. These strange living beings which are not friends by the nature’s lap had been the real friends in this yard.
Tuqay had also given names to his “ friends”. He called the fish, the clever eyes of which shone brightly, as Yaqut, he called the eagle which spread its wings widely, Ayqut, and the dog walking in the yard Qayut. If you pay attention, all these names had been formed from Tuqay’s name. The most interesting and strangest of all was that all of them understood their names very well. While Tuqay called “ Ayqut”, the eagle flew, came nearer to him and perched on his shoulders. When the dog heard its name, that is to say, Qayut, within a twinkle it would come near Tuqay and sitting on its hind legs it would bark. Yaqut wasn’t indifferent to the calling of its friend too; as soon as the fish heard its name from Tuqay, it used to go out of the water and jump up, after drawing arch in the air used to plunge in the bottom of the pool.
At times, when there was nobody in the yard, the “ friends” gathered around the pool and “ had a talk” in their own “languages” for a long time.
Sometimes Tuqay also joined them and used to listen to their “ talk” . If somebody looked at them from aside, would think that they were speaking about
There were separate episodes as to how Tuqay became acquainted with each of his “ friends” .
The dog was presented him by one of his far relatives . The matter was that Tuqay’s relative had once found a dog in the forest, then he domesticated that dog; then he wanted to get rid of the puppies of that mother dog, and put them into a bag and brought to one of the far hamlets; from there he had returned his home. After some days, one of the puppies had traveled the lengthily way and found its owner. Though that man tried to mislead that puppy for some times, there was no result; the sage puppy had returned back from all the ” journeys”. When the owner was sick of it and tried to arrive at a final decision on how to do away with it, Tuqay had come to them as a guest. Tuqay who listened to the
“ bravery” of the puppy had put it into his bag and brought it home. The puppy which was bounded with a chain for some days then was accustomed to the yard. Soon it was untied from the chain. And its wish to leave this kind family had disappeared forever.
Tuqay’s friendship with the eagle also had its own story. One day while Tuqay was returning from the sea, he heard rustling from the rocky place. Firstly he thought that it could be a snake. That was why he wanted to go by an other road. But after some time as soon as seeing a huge bird at the bottom of the rock, he stopped ; the eagle which had taken shelter in the bottom of the rock, the eyes full of malice and hatred stared at Tuqay. It appeared that “ the sky tiger “ was wounded. For some time Tuqay and the eagle remained face to face, eye to eyes. Then the boy came nearer to the eagle carefully; he stooped and smoothed its head carefully. The bird wanted to stretch out its head and open its wings. Just only at that time Tuqay saw that one of the wings of the eagle couldn’t be opened. Then Tuqay saw that under the wing which couldn’t be opened there was dropping blood. He wasn’t mistaken. The eagle stretched out one of its legs and put its talon on the shoulder of Tuqay in a friendly way. Tuqay considered such “ an act” as a sign of the future friendship . He stooped and took the eagle, and brought it his home. Tuqay’s mother put some oil on the wound of the eagle and banded its wing. Soon the eagle recovered. But it appeared that it wasn’t going to leave the yard. Even once Tuqay took the eagle and brought it to the place where he had first seen it, to the rocky place at the seashore. When the boy returned home he saw that the eagle had come back home before him; it was already in the yard and was having a “ talk” with the dog which it had already made friends.
Tuqay had found the fish from the inside of a fisherman’s net and brought home. Usually different kinds of fishes fall into the nets. But neither the experienced fishermen nor young Tuqay had seen such kind of fish in the waters; it was a silvery, graceful and fine creature. The strange acts of that creature which Tuqay called afterwards “ Yaqut” drew his attention ; it jumped up and down like the best dancers and quickest sportsmen. How? It stood on its tail upright and revolved round either to the right or to the left, like a roller, and played funnily like clowns. Tuqay was pleased with himself for he rescued that fish from the greedy fishermen and brought it home. Firstly, mother couldn’t be accustomed to the fish. But then she liked it and became accustomed to Yaqut; the woman who wasn’t tired of watching the dancing of the fish in her free time, at times, couldn’t help herself from laughing, she used to laugh heartily.
There was not a piece of news from Tuqay. The noise of the “ friends” wasn’t heard either. Shahla who used to visit mother during this time wasn’t seen from some reasons.
Mother who was worried because of Tuqay’s being late was also upset while seeing the sorrowful appearance of these animals having no tongue to speak. But what had happened to them? Maybe they had felt anything? Maybe they knew anything?
- What is the matter with you? Why don’t you “ speak” ?
These words of the mother, said unexpectedly surprised herself too. But whom was she addressing to ? The eagle? The fish? The dog? It is interesting, were they able to understand anything from the words of mother?
The woman was much surprised. So, the “ friends” which heard the appeal of mother gathered round the pool and began to “ speak” firstly in a low voice then loudly and began to discuss something .
Then there was again silence. The dog went out of the yard all of a sudden. Only just then mother remembered that once there had happened such an event; at that time Qayut had “ found” Tuqay who was late. It became clear, that day there had begun a storm in the sea and for that reason Tuqay had spent the night together with his fisherman friend in the shack of the guard of the forest. Afterwards Tuqay said that the dog had caught by the hem of his coat and brought him the home, to his mother. Maybe Tuqay again spent the night in the forest, in that shack? Maybe the dog again will find its friend and bring him home?
But this time the dog returned too early. It was to say that Tuqay wasn’t near. Because mother knew very well that the dog’s talent of sensing , by inheritance can’t deceive the dog.
As soon as the dog returned, the eagle came nearer to it. The eagle spread its wings widely and stared at Qayut for some time. The dog began to bark. Yaqut which heard the sorrowful, hoarse barking of the dog began to flounder in the pool. The eagle screamed loudly and flew into the air and spreading its wings went round above the house for some time.
Just at that moment a girl entered the yard; yes, she was the neighbor, Shahla. As if that girl had come to the village from the world of tales. She was a shy, slender girl. How to say she can be compared to the Moon or to the sun. Shahla had got only a mother in this world. How strange, as if the God had created the mother and her daughter on the contrary; the mother was unsociable, the girl was charming…
For a while the woman as if awoken from a dream ; she went towards the girl, and welcomed the neighbor girl who had come to the yard as silently as a shadow.
- How do you do, aunt?
- How do you do, my daughter?
- I have come hearing the screams of the eagle. Has there been any accident?
-Accident? …No… But Tuqay hasn’t returned from the sea. I am very much worried, my daughter….
-If God pleases, he will return, my aunt. Don’t be worried.
For some reason the girl’s voice was slightly trembling. In fact, Shahla tried not to show her secret anxiety; but it appeared that she couldn’t. Her anxiety had its reasons. The last night Shahla had watched the twinkling stars while lying in her bed, at the window. She had fallen asleep while watching the stars in the endless and secret sky; as if the stars were dropping “ hints” to one another. Towards dawn the girl had dreamed. Tuqay’s small boat was sailing forward in the waters. In the waters there were a lot of endless various flowers. The most surprising was that the bed on which Shahla was sleeping , to tell the truth the wooden bed , was sailing in the lap of waters after the boat of Tuqay. Tuqay was waving his hands smiling, and at times was sending her “ air –kisses ”. As if Shahla’s bed had turned to a boat. The scent of the various flowers spread on the colored waters had made Shahla faint in her dream. And Shahla could be able to use the chance and brunch some of those flowers. The water drops from the bright petals of the flowers splashed water on Shahla’a face and throat. Because of some reasons those cold drops had scorched Shahla’s face like heat. When Shahla woke up, she was astonished while wiping the drops of rain dropping on her face through the open window; my God, those drops of rain were as hot as the drops she had dreamed of; the drops were hot. It appeared that the warmth of the “ air-kisses” of Tuqay had been soaked into those cold drops. Shahla raised herself in the bed, closed the window; through the glass of the window a beautiful girl was looking at her. The feeling of admiration inside of her heart increased drop after drop and turned into hot water; she could hardly know herself.! She was already brought up. As if during those moments, an outsider was watching her. Nevertheless, she was sleeping in her bed lonely as before. The cheeks of the girl blushed.
Still the girl was under the influence of her strange dream. Still she could feel the scent of the flowers she had dreamed of. “ I wonder, has anything happened with Tuqay? “ Shahla was frightened while thinking about fearful events. But she could pull herself together.
Mother knew that one of those who missed Tuqay was the neighbor girl. Mother could feel it from her pure eyes, like the water of spring, from her anxiety of her trembling voice:
-See, the eagle returned.
Shahla who had raised her head, said those words.
Really, it was the eagle. The eagle drew a circle in the air and perched on the pool. The fish reached out its head and looked at the eagle. The dog also came nearer to them. Shahla paid attention to the acts of the “ friends” .
-As if they are having a “ talk”, – she said in surprise.
Mother smiled sorrowfully:
-Yes, you are right, they are having a “ talk”
Just at that time an event took place that made both mother and Shahla dumb struck.
Firstly, the dog rushed towards the gate like an arrow let from a bow and disappeared. Then, Yaqut as if heaved the silent water of the pool like a sword and jumped up. The fish as if was frozen in the air, then it directed to downwards and plunged to the bottom of the pool. That strange act of the fish was repeated for some time.
The girl shrugged her shoulders and watched the floundering fish:
-What is the matter with it?- she asked.
- Maybe it grieves for Tuqay too, - she answered sadly.
It appeared that the fish wasn’t going to be silent. It either jumped up and down, or floundered in the water, or struck itself against the cold walls of the pool. The eagle which was watching the fish spread its wings and flew, as if it drew some circles above the pool; the eagle snatched the silvery fish quickly and screamed taking it to its talon.
Within a moment the eagle disappeared.
Mother and Shahla were astonished; At last Shahla, who had come to herself, said:
-Surely, the eagle will tear the fish…
Mother whose eyes were still staring at the sky, as if speaking to herself:
-No, it can’t be, - she said and then she added. – Because they are close friends.
-If it is thus, why did they leave?
- I am also surprised at them. To tell the truth, recently when Tuqay wasn’t at home, I used to spend my time with them; I used to consider Tuqay to be near by. But they… I wonder, are they disloyal like this? Maybe they left because Tuqay isn’t at home. It is a pity… But I believed them, and accustomed to them. It appears that I am mistaken. Hi, my daughter, now even the people aren’t devoted. Why do we call these “ mute” animals to be disloyal. … Shahla, my daughter, maybe anything has happened? … Maybe my son is lost in the storm in the sea? Maybe my son came across a seal ? Maybe…Maybe…
Though Shahla heartened mother, it was in vain; soon the tears of the woman were “ washing” her faded cheeks. Shahla felt that mother was upset not only because of the reason of Tuqay’s being late in the sea journey but also
“ disloyalty” of the “ friends “ of Tuqay:- the dog, the fish and the eagle; their sudden disappearance made mother upset.
Really, what had happened to the “ friends” ? Why did they suddenly leave the native hearth? .. Maybe they used the chance of Tuqay’s being late and wanted to leave ? Because they had also their own homes; the home of the fish is the sea, the home of the dog is a forest, the home of the eagle is the sky.
Mother was lost in the thoughts. But Shahla still was consoling mother.
A sudden storm caught the old fisherman and Tuqay in the middle of the sea. Within a twinkle the weather got dark. The heavy waves were shaking their light boat like a leaf. After some time inside of the boat there was a small pond of water. Tuqay was holding the paddle with both hands tightly and wanted to direct the boat which was shaking in the waves, towards the seashore. The old fisherman tried to empty the water with an iron mug. But it appeared that the efforts of both of them were useless. Because the waves were pulling the boat into the depth of the sea. From one side the water which had filled the boat was increasing instead of getting decreased.
The salty, severe waves were striking their faces like slap.
As if the hoarse voice of the old fisherman was coming from the other world.
-Tuqay, Tuqay! Hold the paddle tightly!
The begging voice of the old fisherman who was counting his benefit from the next fishing before the storm began and at times shouting at Tuqay and giving him an order (“ turn the boat to the left”, “speed up”, “ give the handle of the paddle to me when you reach the net” ) was becoming weaker little by little like a wounded bird struck by the strong wind. Though Tuqay didn’t like that unkind, cruel and greedy man he felt pity on him. But what could he do? Would the storm demonstrating its power to all around, listen to his begging? The heavy waves were coming towards them as dreadful landslides of the unapproachable mountains giving a roar .
Little by little the groan of the old fisherman wasn’t heard any more.
Now there was seen neither the shore nor the sky. As if the water whirlpool which had brought misfortune together with it, was rotating all around, even the sky, like the huge stone of a mill.
A strong and sudden attack of one of the next heavy waves threw the old fisherman into the raging sea.
Within a moment the old fisherman disappeared; as if there wasn’t such kind of a man in the world.
Though Tuqay lost himself, he reached out his hand towards one side of the boat; the paddle in the hand of the old fisherman had also disappeared together with him. It appeared that there was no hope to escape from that mill of hell.
Really, was all in the past? Before his eyes enlivened instinctively a dreadful view; in the lap of the water an alone boat turned, a paddle, and lifeless dead body which can be feed for the fishes…No, he didn’t want to die. It is true, usually the adults tell that death is inescapable and all the humans who live in this world will pass away on one of the days. But such kind of meaningless death… Tuqay would never think that his short life could be ended so tragically. No, he couldn’t meet such meaningless ending so cold-bloodedly. He wasn’t defeated yet.
All of a sudden among the heavy waves, through the waves raging as dreadful dragons, the kind face of his mother enlivened before his eyes. There was a girl near mother; she was Shahla. Both of them, mother and the girl, were
praying reaching out their hands towards the raging heavy waves. Mother was calling the sea for help.
As if suddenly one unseen hand pulled the boat, which was as if it was going to sink in the whirlpool, and lifted it onto the sea. The boat shook a bit and waved inside of the sea.
Tuqay looked around the sea. All around was surrounded with grey, turbid waters. Neither the shore nor mother was seen.
The fish which was too thirsty, was floundering between the talon of the eagle. Even, at least it would slip, fall on the rocks and would be torn into pieces. For the eagle it was impossible to carry the fish to the far sea. Alongside with the far distance of the sea, Yaqut was out of breath. The eagle felt that its friend was sick of the thirst. During those moments water was life for Yaqut.
After some time hoarse murmuring was heard from below. At last, it was a river! River! It could easily feel the smell of pure water flowing downwards through a valley. See, the eagle began to fly down, above the river! The fish floundered and freed itself out of the talon of the eagle, it went round in the air and threw itself into the mountain river flowing so fast. For some time the eagle went round the head of its friend and then it screamed madly. The fish raised its head through the water and looked up; as if the fish wanted to say good-bye to its friend. Only the God knows, when they will meet again. Seeing the fish, the eagle spread its wings more widely. It meant that Ayqut wanted to fly to the expanse of the height, to the depth of the sky.
The stupefying smell of the water kind of made Yaqut faint. But its pleasure didn’t last much. The fish which had spent most of its life in the great waters, the fish which had firstly tasted the ocean, then the expanse of the sea couldn’t feel itself comfortable in a mountain river.
The fish once, had accidentally fallen into the net of a fisherman. When it was thrown into the pool in the yard of Tuqay, it had felt like this. Firstly, the warm, sweet water of the pool seemed to the fish a bit strange. Then little by little it was accustomed to the smell, taste of the strange water. Now Yaqut believed that it could be escaped. Because just inside of this mountain river it could smell the pleasant taste of the native water coming from far; it was gigantic water. It was salty sea water and Yaqut wanted to plunge into that gigantic, salty, familiar water. Without doubt, this mountain river inside of which the fish was swimming downwards, at last would join to that gigantic and salty sea. The fish was sure about it. That was why the fish was rushing forward passing near the small fishes, tadpoles and frogs. In this mountain river there wasn’t seen such kind of big , strong fish. Though the sharp, strong “ wings” of Yaqut at times were caught by the submarine grasses and the roots of trees, it didn’t want to return. Spreading its wings it was beating off all that was in its way, and swimming confidently forward. From far it could feel the pleasant salty water of the native sea.
It was getting dark But the dog had no wish to stop, to rest for a while. It wanted to find even a trace of its friend. The smell of Tuqay was as if in the nose of the dog. If Tuqay was near these places the dog would easily find its friend. But here there was no trace of Tuqay; there wasn’t any smell of Tuqay.
The dog approached the rocky places at the seashore. The heavy and dreadful waves were howling like rabid dogs and were struck against the huge flat stones. There still was no trace of Tuqay . If Tuqay was in those places, the dog could easily define his place, and would run towards his friend, even it would frighten a bit him too. Because Tuqay and Qayut would make jokes specific only to them.
Once there had happened such an event like now; Tuqay who had to return from the journey to the sea, hadn’t come home. At that time mother was worried like now. When it was getting dark, Qayut couldn’t wait any more, it left the yard and went to search for his friend. That night there was a storm in the sea, and it was raining heavily. But the dog had already felt the smell of its friend; its friend was somewhere in the forest! That time the dog rushed into the forest, the thickness of the trees. Well, it appeared that Qayut wasn’t mistaken; in order to escape from a sudden raining Tuqay had hidden himself in the forest guard’s shack. Seeing his friend at the shack Tuqay was firstly surprised, then he choked with joy and embraced the dog that was wet under the rain. After some time they, the dog and Tuqay returned home together. Upon seeing the “ friends” return home safe and sound mother was very glad!
But now….It didn’t feel the smell of Tuqay here. Now the dog had no intention of returning home without Tuqay. But mother was waiting for the
“ friends” return home together.
The eagle went round above the mountain river flowing downwards for the last time, then it spread its wings widely and flew towards the open sky.
All remained in the past; the house of Tuqay, mother, Shahla, the fish, the mountain river carrying the fish downwards. However the dear friend of the eagle, the dog was far away. But there was the sea in front. The shores of that sea were rocky places. Once the eagle was met by the bullet of a hunter and was wounded here. In order to escape, it had hidden itself behind these grey rocky places. At that time Tuqay had seen the eagle and sleeked its head kindly, then brought it home and had fed it. The oil put by his mother soon had healed the wings of the bird. But after being recovered, the eagle didn’t leave the yard. The eagle was warmed in its heart, it was accustomed to this hearth, to this home.
Now disappearance of Tuqay all of a sudden had also shaken it, Ayqut, like all. The sorrowful faces of both mother and Shahla were before the eyes of the eagle. No, it couldn’t bear anymore. Three of the “ friends” had gone to search for
Tuqay; without doubt, they would learn something about Tuqay. They did how they wanted; they decided to go in the direction that Tuqay had gone. The
“ friends” could understand each other without any word. … Tuqay had gone to the sea. But the sea was endless, it had no bounds.
The eagle could feel the smell of the sea from far. Its heart began to beat fast. See, there, at the seashore there were rocky places and just behind those rocks once it was shot at. If the eagle saw its enemy now it would rush towards him and would take vengeance on him; the eagle would either pull out the eyes of its enemy or would tear him into pieces after scratching.
There was nobody in the rocky places. Usually if Ayqut felt a breathing nearby, there was a strange trembling inside of it. As if during those moments
“ waves” were passing through its heart. The strangest thing was that each had its own “ wave”; the “ waves” of the dog, the fish, mother and Shahla. In the stream of these “ waves” Tuqay has his own “ wave” too. If now Tuqay was at the seashore, around these rocky places, the “ waves” inside of it would obviously be felt, would warn it beforehand.
But the “ waves” were as if sleeping. The waves of the sea were striking the rock at the seashore.
The eagle perched on the top of one of the rocks.
The sea was singing its eternal song. The cockleshells were listening to the song of the sea.
- Shahla, my daughter, during all the night I begged the sea. I ask the sea to feel sorry me. I told it that with difficulty I brought up my son. Hi, sea, let me hold his wedding, let me see my grandchildren. Maybe the sea can feel what mother’s heart feels, my daughter. I always wished goodness to all. My son Tuqay also always helped everybody, he gave a hand to all who needed. He rescued the fish that fell into the net, he rescued the dog which was mislead by its owner, he recovered the wounded eagle. …See, my son is such a kind boy; mild, kind and gentle. … I think, the sea will hear my voice, my daughter. Because they say that sea also has ears, it is able to hear.
All what was happening seemed to Tuqay as a fearful dream. In the bottom of his heart there was such a belief that all the misfortunes that he had met across with, will soon come to an end; Tuqay will return to the seashore, his home, he will see his “ friends”, he will make his mother and Shahla glad seeing his coming. But still all around was lost in darkness. Though the storm had already subsided, fearful drones were heard from far. At times, near Tuqay, just at the end of his boat, dreadful living beings of the sea were jumping up and down.
He had lost direction. It was impossible to move with one paddle. How to say, the boat was sailing without foresight in the direction that was driven out by the waves. He wondered where would he go in this way? How much could he move?
Just all of a sudden he remembered the word of his mother: “ My God” : mother usually used to use this word when she was in trouble.
Suddenly on the waves which were falling on him and wanted to wind round his throat like the thick cord of a ship, there fell a piece of light. As if just at the same moment the ” knotted cords” began to be untied; the storm was going to come to an end; as if one unseen hand “ ironed” the raging waves. The boat began to shake on the waves like a hammock hung from endlessness. That piece of the light shining on the waves which were as dark as tar, “ slipped “ and fell on the boat, on Tuqay.
“ My God!”
Maybe it was the gift of light sent by the God?! Maybe God had come to assist, to rescue him?!
“ My God!”
He was astonished; now it wasn’t only he who was calling God; the voice of mother had joined his voice. Tuqay could be able to know easily this voice in the midst of thousands of voices!
“ My God!”
Maybe God had heard his call and come to assist him ?
The huge, heavy raging waves had disappeared like a lion disappearing into its cave.
When it was dawn, Tuqay felt that he was tired because of sleeplessness. He lay in the wet boat to rest a bit. Soon he fell asleep.
He dreamed strangely. He dreamed that he was having a talk with mother in the yard. The eagle and the dog were on his knees. At that time the gate was knocked. No sooner had Tuqay raised himself there was seen a strange creature at the door; it was a gigantic fish which was walking on its tails! The most surprising thing was that the fish could speak well like a human! The fish jumped up and asked him furiously:
-Where is my baby?
Surely, the baby of a fish must be a fish too. Maybe it was the mother of the fish in the pool, the mother of Yaqut? Maybe the mother searched for its baby and at last it had come to Tuqay’s home.
Mother came forward and said:
-Your baby is in the pool.
The huge fish jumped up and looked at the pool. Then it cried angrily:
- But where is it? ..The pool is empty… Where is my baby?
Mother and Tuqay looked at the pool. It was really, empty. Inside of the pool there was neither fish nor water.
The gigantic fish began to strike its tail furiously against the wall of the pool. Because of the attacks of the fish not only the pool but also all the yard began to shake. As if there had happened an earthquake. The dog and the eagle rushed at the fish paw in paw, mother and Tuqay hand in hand went towards the gigantic fish. The gigantic fish was paying no heed to them, it was shaking its tail furiously, was attacking the wall of the pool and the ground.
Tuqay opened his eyes. Really, near by there was heard tapping. He thought that he was in his own yard. Even he wanted to get up and to open the door which was knocked hard.
But after looking around he remembered that all was a dream. Only the tapping voices were real. He caught the paddle tightly and looked round.
“ My God!”
The strange familiar creature which he had dreamed, was striking the end of the boat with its big and blunt head. It looked a bit Qayut. The wild giant as if felt a strange breath and moved off; then it jumped up and again it plunged into the water.
Now the sea was very silent.
The boat was shaking in its place.
Tuqay gave a push to the water with the paddle that he had caught with both hands. The boat as if drew an arch. The dreadful head of the gigantic beast of prey again was seen on the water.
Tuqay was dumb struck.
The cold and puzzled looks of the giant was stared at Tuqay’s eyes. Suddenly the beast of prey jumped forward and began to strike against the boat with its skull . Drops of water were spread all around like the fiery small-shots erupted through the barrel of a rifle. The boat shook in its place. Tuqay raised the paddle up with all the power he had and struck at the head of the giant. But his attack didn’t have any effect; because the shark was moving forward instead of moving off, it wanted to push under the boat.
Tuqay again raised the paddle above his head and wanted to strike again; as if a miracle happened at that moment: the beast of prey jumped up and snatched the paddle just in the air; the crashing of its jaw was clearly heard.
Tuqay caught more tightly the handle of the paddle and pulled it towards himself.
The small mountain rivers rushing about downwards of the valleys joined and gradually turned into a strong stream. The fishes of the rivers , which stopped as soon as reaching the plains, were growing little by little like the rivers themselves. But the big river inside of which Yaqut was swimming now didn’t attract it. It is true, it had become easy to swim. Because it wasn’t swimming in a small mountain river but in a big river. The main point was
that the smell of the sea was approaching little by little. The changing of the taste of the water was clearly felt.
Yaqut skimmed quickly near the small fishes and was swimming towards the sea more confidently. The fishes living in the sea had their own songs. As soon as Yaqut would reach the sea, it would also sing its own song.
Still Yaqut was swimming by joining to the waves of the rivers flowing along the plains. Surely, all the fishes living in these rivers had their own songs too. But now Yaqut didn’t hear the songs of the river fishes. In fact, its ears couldn’t hear anything at those moments. It had only one wish: to reach the sea early, to find the native voice among a number of voices and to go towards that voice! The owner of that voice had once rescued Yaqut from the net of a fisherman, to tell the truth, from death. Afterwards the fish had become a friend of its rescuer. Now it had other friends too; those friends, the eagle and the dog also were on the way of searching for their rescuer. They intended to look for Tuqay, if it needed to save him from the misfortune he had come across.
While the smell of the salty and native sea water was felt, the heart of the fish was beating worriedly. Soon it would sing its own song! Its far and close friends would also sing together with it in chorus.
Hi, native sea! Mother sea! Sea, the baby of the ocean! Listen to me, I am coming! I am looking for my friend. Now there are a lot who are waiting for him. Both the eagle and the dog are also searching for him. We must rescue our friend. Hi, kind sea! He had also once liberated us. Let your waves bring his voice to me. I can know and differentiate his voice among the thousands of voices. Hi, mother sea, native sea! Just now I am smelling the taste of your salty water.
The cold water of the river which was becoming tumultuous little by little threw the fish on the lap of the waves. Firstly, as if its ears could hear nothing, then it tasted the salty water . Then everything was in order: now it was easy in the native waters. Soon there was heard the native songs coming from the waters.
The sea had opened its arms to Yaqut.
The howling of the dog echoed on the mountains.
It was night.
The Moon was still was washing itself in the lap of the waves. Qayut went out of the rocky places and began to go along the seashore. It could feel the smell of the sea, the rocky places, sands, seaweeds, cockleshells, the nearby forest, the fishes in the sea, in one word, it felt the smell of everything all around. But it couldn’t feel the smell of its friend, Tuqay.
Suddenly it perceived smell of something rotten. It looked around attentively. The heavy smell was coming nearby, from the place where the sea and the seashore were joining.
The dog went carefully towards the side that smell was coming. At the seashore, on the sands washed by the waves there was one man. In the hand of that man there was a big wood; he was griping it tightly.
Qayut rushed towards the man. Maybe he was Tuqay? No..
It looked once more attentively at the face and eyes of that man. The dog
recognized him. Once the dog had seen that man near Tuqay. He was an old and imposing man. The smell of that man was familiar to Qayut since that time. But now there was no sign from that smell. All around was smelling heavily.
The dog waved its head and moved away from the dead body of the man. With the help of instinct it could feel that Tuqay was somewhere near by. Because surely, he had gone to the sea together with that stern, old man!
Of course, the dog didn’t want to see its owner like that old man, lying on the ground. The dog wanted Tuqay to call it by its name “ Qayut”; then stoop and smooth its head, and tell it some fine words. Though the dog wasn’t able to understand the meaning of the words that its friend said, seeing the expression on his face it could realize how his mood was: he was out of humor or he was well-to-do. The dog could easily define the moods of its friends, the eagle and the fish. The dog could even feel the moods of mother and neighbor Shahla too. When mother was angry Qayut tried not to be seen by her eyes. Because during that time mother either shouted at the dog or threatened it with a piece of wood in her hand, drove it to the water-melon plantation. Till that time neither mother and Shahla nor Tuqay had struck the dog. In fact, the dog didn’t give them a chance to strike it. Yes, it was a dog, an animal. But it knew very well how to behave. The neighboring people used to set Qayut as a good example to their dogs. As if it was the beloved of all.
The dog stopped suddenly. Its nose had felt the familiar smell. It was Tuqay’s smell! The dog couldn’t be mistaken. The dog gathered all its power and rushed forward.
Now no power could be able to make the dog return back.
Firstly, the dog began to bark, then to howl loudly. There wasn’t any answer. It showed that Tuqay wasn’t near. But, in any case, he was safe and sound! Qayut was sure of it. The dog had already felt the smell of its rescuer.
The dog sped up.
Though the expanse, that it parted with long ago, the thin clouds flying near it, shook and awoke the bird’s memory, all its attention was afar. During those moments it felt itself so lightly in the lap of the sky but as if there was heaviness in its heart; as if a stone was hung in its heart. Its friend hadn’t returned home. Surely, Tuqay was in trouble. Now the eagle was flying in order to escape its rescuer.
The sensitive “ waves” in the heart of the eagle at times made it stop flying and look around. Now the eagle was feeling in its heart the “ waves” of sea-gulls, crows, sparrows even the “ waves” of giant sea animals. Only “ the wave” of Tuqay couldn’t reach the eagle. In previous times the eagle could feel Tuqay’s coming home beforehand; it used to spread its wings widely and used to soar in the sky, even at times it used to scream and frighten mother too. At those times mother used to be angry and drive it out with a broom in her hand, and used to mutter pigheadedly to herself…
The light “ waves” of the voices heard from far as if dispersed the thoughts of the eagle, made it fragile. The eagle began to fly towards the direction from where the voice was heard. It knew its close relatives from far: they were eagles! The sky fighters!.. Father and mother eagles were teaching their babies how to fly. The parents were teaching their babies, the small birds the secrets of how to spread wings, how to attack, how not to be defeated.
For a moment Ayqut remembered its babyhood years. Once its parents had taught it how to spread its wings, how to fly just in this way. Its father and mother even had taken it, the nestling on their wings and were making it to rejoice. At times its parents used to leave it in the sky alone and kept aloof, and used to look at flying of the small bird from far. During those moments the heart of the small bird was beating anxiously; it used to think that it couldn’t keep its balance and would fall on the ground and will be divided into pieces. Its legs were trembling, its mouth was dry. Even it used to close its eyes because of being frightened. But its case didn’t last much: mother and father within a moment used to come above its head, again used to soar taking it on their wings, used to go round in the sky and scream.
Afterwards it was accustomed to flying lonely. .. It loved to go hunting alone too. The high mountains, the pointed tops of the rocks, the open sky were the places where it could be happy and comfortable. It was mad about high places! As if the great God had created the sky just for it. Recently, it had
taken shelter in Tuqay’s yard. Alongside it would plunge into the expanse of the sky as soon as it had a chance. Surely, one day it would die in the sky too.
It was flying along the line where seashore and sea joined. To watch joining of ground and water from the sky was too interesting for the eagle. In old days it had flown in that direction many times. But during that time it didn’t pay attention to embracing of the sea and the seashore so much; they, the sea and the seashore, were seen nice together! The waves moved away after kissing the sandy places which looked like ambers, after having a bit rest in the arms of the sea they were returning again to the seashore. Each new effort, was a new kiss!
Ayqut’s sharp eyes saw a black spot below. It pressed its wings to its sides and began to come down the ground. It appeared that somebody was lying in the place where the sea and the seashore were joining. The heart of the eagle began to beat quickly. Maybe…No, It was impossible! Its rescuer would never yield himself to death so easily!
The eagle came nearer to the black spot. Though the face of the man who was lying on the sandy place, whose feet were washed by the gentle waves of the sea, it was resolutely sure that he wasn’t Tuqay!
It screamed and spread its wings more widely.
Through its heart strange “ waves” began to pass.
Maybe Tuqay was near?
The eagle sped up.
It was already getting dark.
Mother who was tired of shedding tears, was sitting in one corner of home. The heart of Shahla, who wanted to show herself gladly near mother was depressed with sorrow. While the girl was thinking that she may never see Tuqay any more… She was horrified.
The departure of Tuqay’s “ friends, the eagle, the dog and the fish, from home, had influenced the girl from another side. Now the yard looked like a mill the water of which had already been over.
Before the eyes of the girl Tuqay’s image enlivened. Just some days ago when Shahla was calling mother, Tuqay had welcomed the girl himself. Mother had gone to visit one of the neighbors. Tuqay who was rarely seen in the yard, had changed so much within a short time; the girl who was face to face with the tall and slender boy, was confused for a moment; but she was able to pull herself together. She greeted the boy and then she bade him good -bye hurriedly. At that time, Tuqay came nearer to the girl and looked at the face of the girl attentively; as if he saw Shahla for the first time. In the twilight of the evening, the bright, grace pearls round her throat, the necklace was shining brightly; they were the most valuable keepsakes of her grandmother. Shahla felt shy and moved off, she wanted to turn and return back. At that time as if a miracle happened: the friends- the eagle and the dog which were keeping silence for some time, began to make noise together. The most interesting for Shahla was that even the fish jumped up in the pool and began to make some strange noises. The girl wondered what had happened to them.
Tuqay explained the wish of his “ friends”:
-See, they also object your leaving the yard. If you don’t return they may take other measures.
Shahla asked mechanically:
Tuqay said smiling:
-For example, they may organize demonstration of objection.
Both of them laughed at those words said in joke.
Shahla returned back again.
The “ friends” kept silence seeing the girl’s returning. As if a stone was thrown into the frogs’ pond; all around was silent.
Tuqay and Shahla took hand in hand and approached the pool. Soon the “ friends” also gathered round the pond.
When mother returned from the neighbor’s home the Moon had already risen. Mother faced towards the sky and said:
-Hi, the owner of the earth and heavens , let my children be happy!
It was interesting, whom was mother meant while saying “ my children”? Because she had only one son. The heart of the girl felt something…
Now those pleasant moments remained in the past. Tuqay’s sudden disappearance had made mother and the girl grieve much.
Shahla raised her head and looked at the sky. Now the Moon wasn’t seen there. Shahla whispered:
-Hi, Moon, Moon, why aren’t you seen?
Why don’t you show your moony face?
Spread you beams above the sea..
Let Tuqay see you;
Show a way to his boat!
Let his face be lost in light of you!
Support his friends!
Feel sorry for his mother!
Let my sorrow be lost!
Why aren’t you seen, hi, Moon?
Show your face!..
As if the heavens heard the voice of Shahla. All of a sudden there was seen the Moon, the sky was lost in the light.
Shahla saw that the Moon was swimming in the pool. The beauty of the heavens looked not like the Moon but an incomparable fairy. The girl stooped and looked at the pool: in the pool there was looking round a moony girl alongside the Moon. Shahla winced seeing her reflection in the water.
At that time mother was seen at the door. Mother reached out her hands, faced the sky and began to whisper a prayer. Shahla was sure that the heavens heard the voice of mother.
The infuriated giant rushed forward and wanted to snatch the paddle from Tuqay’s hand. Surely, this furious beast of prey was a shark. Really, in old times Tuqay had seen sharks in the sea. But this one didn’t look like the sharks that he had seen before. Because, firstly, it was clear to Tuqay that the stature of sharks are the same height as their bodies; but the stature of the wild one that had attacked all of a sudden, was longish. From other side sharks would plunge into the depth of water seeing any boat, feeling that humans might harm them. But this one which belonged to a kind of sharks wasn’t going to leave to anywhere.
During the pause between the fights Tuqay once more cast a furtive glance at the uninvited guest. Precisely in the middle of the yellow-grey waist of the giant there was a pointed wing resembling a sword; on one side of the belly of the giant the sharp endings of those wings like sword were shining. The sharp teeth of the shark like a saw, its wide jaw, its stern eyes, hard tail made it resemble not a fish but an armed fighter attacking the enemy. The acts of the water beast of prey were so decided that Tuqay had to hesitate in himself for a while: I wonder what does this “ fighter”, shark need: - the paddle? the boat? or Tuqay?
As if the enemies of a thousand years had come face to face all of a sudden in this endless water. Why didn’t that scoundrel, wild beast of prey give him up? He wondered whether was it impossible for it to get food in the expanse of the endless sea? Maybe among fishes and humans there was the history of old hostility, the reason of which was unknown to Tuqay? Maybe just one of the fishermen whom Tuqay knows, once had caught the mother or the baby of this cruel shark? Maybe, simply, the giant wanted to demonstrate its power to the strange guest that it had come across with? … Because, how to say, these places were the home of it, the home of the shark. The home of Tuqay was on the seashore, on the ground.
Because of the anger the boy didn’t know what to do.
From one side he was sick of thirst… Tuqay took a drink of water which was in the bottom of the bottle. He breathed lightly. As if he had gathered power, he pressed the handle of the paddle on his breast. When the sharp teeth of the beast of prey cracked Tuqay felt cold “ waves” in his body. Through his broad waist, through his neck and throat were falling drops of sweat mixed into the salty water of the sea.
It appeared that the shark wasn’t going to give up Tuqay.
Now Tuqay consoled himself with one point that the seashore could be seen though it was covered with a grey, rosy “curtain”. But he knew very well that it was impossible to sail towards the needed direction with the help of one paddle.
The attacks struck on the head of the beast of prey had made it more furious. It went round the boat, did a manoeuvre , as if it wanted to chose a suitable situation to rush towards him. In the eyes of the beast of prey there was clearly endless anger.
Surely, from the experienced fishermen Tuqay had heard something about the sharks. Now there was strange thoughts in the heart of the boy who had come across that furious sea animal: “ It appears that as humans eat fishes, fishes also eat humans . Only God knows how many dead bodies of humans “sleep” at the bottom of this endless waters. How many lives of humans did the water attacks put an end? Once, when he was a child, Tuqay heard much from his mother and from other old people of the village, about the water attacks, about the villages and cities that remained under the water as a result of water attacks; he could easily remember the legend about the ship of Huh which wasn’t sank in the water that made all the world remain under it. .. It appeared that since the beginning of life, fishes and humans didn’t understand one another or didn’t want to understand. Maybe since the time water and dry lands were created, there was merciless war among the fishes and humans.
Surely, the conflict between Tuqay and the shark was the continuation of the old hostility among the sides in the new situation; though the dynasty of water had at least one border but the hatred of them, humans and fishes had no bounds. It appeared that the beast of prey which had gained an unexpected chance, wanted to take vengeance on this helpless man that it had come across on the open sea.
Tuqay whose eyes often stared at the furious eyes of the shark was also feeling that still his rival didn’t hasten to rush into the boat, to tell the truth, it couldn’t dare to . Maybe the reason of it was in that point that with instinct the shark could feel the result of rushing into the boat; the “ pleasure” of attacks that it had already “ tasted” made it be more carefully. But it wasn’t going to give up its valuable game that it had come across in the lap of the sea. How long did the shark have to deceive itself with small fishes? Its sharp teeth wanted to taste new meat. Its large , big stomach demanded delicious food
The furious shark was behaving in the lap of the water like a real hunter; it was waiting for a suitable chance to attack Tuqay all of a sudden. The beast of prey squeezed itself under the boat and had struck heavy attacks on the firm wood of the boat. Though it was difficult with one paddle to keep balance of the boat that was taking a hit , Tuqay achieved it though with difficulty. During those moments if the boat capsized, or he fell into the water, it meant the end of everything. That was why he was trying to keep balance of himself and the boat.
Though the beast of prey was strong, it appeared that it wasn’t going to arrive at a final extraordinary decision; at times it was cracking its teeth, and was choosing an unexpected tactics of attack; it even tried to use new ways to defeat its rival: the methods of psychological pressure. Tuqay who was alone face to face with the shark and watching this wild animal with continuous looks, at times wanted to smile bitterly: the beast of prey was behaving not like a water animal but as persistent and fighting seaman. But what to do? This living being which was fighting against him openly, wasn’t a human but a shark. It appeared that the dynasty of water has its own lofty, boasting owners like in dry lands.
Tuqay was afraid to be mistaken. That was why in order to make sure he tried to keep the paddle in his hand; he wanted to reply to the attack with an attack and to respond to any strike of the wild animal. During those moments he who arrived at a final decision in a hurry, would lose.
Tuqay had much experience in fishing. He had heard much from the old fishermen about the attacking methods of the sharks against their enemies, including the attacking ways of humans against the beast of prey. He even had information about how a shark was caught with the help of a sharp spear. But on an open sea it was the first time that he had met face to face with a beast of prey. Though Tuqay understood that it was difficult to fight against the wild animal with a paddle, at least, with bare hands he couldn’t imagine the ways of how to escape from the misfortune he had come across. He wasn’t going to yield himself easily to this strange creature the furious eyes of which resembled an erupting volcano.
It felt light, free in the lap of the sea the water of which was salty not in the river water of which was as pure as tears. But it knew very well that even the sea inside of which he was living wasn’t native to it. Because Yaqut had come to life in an ocean. The chances had thrown it into the lap of the sea. It didn’t come to life from a spawn. The problem was that the fishes which used to come to life from a spawn would have neither a mother nor a father. But Yaqut knew its mother very well; the mother who had given her a life, who cared for her. Its mother didn’t disappear like other fishes after giving life to it. Mother had taught it how to swim in the giant ocean waters. Mother had explained to its baby the ways of how to escape from the sudden attacks of ocean fishes, the ways to hide itself in the dynasty of submarine.
Since babyhood Yaqut was naughty . In secret, without informing to its mother, it used to plunge into the holes of submarine rocks, it would hide itself among the seaweeds. The most strange point was that though the baby used to swim far into the ocean, its mother used to find it easily . Yaqut itself also could easily swim to its mother, and find shelter under its strong wings. After it was a bit grown up, the endless waters of the ocean tired it. On one of the days it hid itself under the “ wings” of “an iron fish” - under the wings of an old ship and went a far journey. The old ship brought it to the lap of this salty sea. Though
the first days it missed in the strange sea its mother and native ocean, little by little it was accustomed to the strange waters. Even it could feel that the sea was much superior for some of its features. The matter was that Yaqut was considered one of the small fishes in the sea. The sea had giant beasts of prey, giant whales. Here, in the sea Yaqut was one of the distinguished fishes. Maybe Yaqut was the only ocean fish living there, in the sea. Even Yaqut could feel that the beasts of prey passed near it carefully. Thought its pure silvery color of it attracted the attention of most of the fishes, none of them could dare to attack it. Surely, the sea animals, like all the living beings of the world, didn’t dare to have dealings with that which has not been tested. At times Yaqut used to see the old ship which had hidden it under its “ wings” and had come to the sea. That ship which had become much older would never have a chance to return to the ocean once more; because in the ocean there were usually sailing much stronger, firm, new ships that are able to bear the storms. But the color of that ship was grey, faded; The “ iron fish” that had once become a guide to Yaqut often used to be repaired, then it used to be taken on tow and again was put to the sea.
Yaqut could recognize “ its native ship” from far. In fact, there was no special need to know it. Because submarine “ waves” were spreading all around the hoarse sound of the motor of the old ship. Yaqut’s sensitive ear could feel those “ waves” within a moment. For some reason Yaqut considered the old ship to be more close and native to it. Because Yaqut had taken shelter under the “ wings” of just this ship and had come to the sea from the ocean.
The fish would often dream about a big, gigantic water basin; those places once were its native home. It used to wake up from its sweet sea dreams and after going out on the sea it used to look at the far places. But the way leading to the ocean was far, too far; it was also dangerous. On this way the fish might come across beasts of prey. Here , in the sea none of the fishes touched it. Because it didn’t look like the fishes of the sea, most of the fishes were careful with Yaqut . The sharp “wings” of Yaqut, which looked like a sharp knife, its bright silvery skin frightened most of the fishes in the sea. Even the big, wild animals that Yaqut saw in a submarine, changed their direction as soon as they saw it; none of them wanted to fall victim because of boasting. In fact, Yaqut didn’t want to fight against any of them. It wanted to live freely in the lap of these salty waters. But it appeared that freedom has also its life and own borders. On one of the days Yaqut fell into a net of a fisherman and came face to face with the danger of death. A fine chance saved it from the net of a fisherman. A young fisherman begged the old fisherman and rescued the fish, smoothed the slippery, silvery body of the fish and carefully put it inside the boat; then let it into the pool after bringing it his home. Even afterwards, its rescuer gave it a good name: Yaqut! Now a terrible accident had happened : its rescuer hadn’t returned home from his next journey to the sea.
See, Yaqut is already in the sea too!
The fish could see the big net far, under the water. But now it wasn’t the former naive inexperienced fish. Now it was clever, careful Yaqut!
The fish changed its direction and rushed about passing just near the net of a fisherman. The blunt noises of cracking brought by its “ waves” made it stop swimming; it turned on its back inside of the water and began to pay attention to everything around: as if somebody was striking at a ship or the sides of a boat. Yaqut began to swim in that direction. At times it jumped up in the air and looked at far distances. Though it saw nothing around , the sensitive , unseen “ waves” coming to it under the water made the fish become very worried.
Yaqut sped up. .. At last, it could see the black spot on the water: it was a boat! Tuqay was in the boat! Yaqut was sure that it wasn’t mistaken. Its eyes, ears, specially its heart never deceived Yaqut.
The fish plunged into the water and rushed forward.
When Yaqut reached the black spot, it decreased its speed; because a gigantic water animal, that looked like a stump, was raising its head furiously and was waiting for a chance to attack the boat again Surely, it was Tuqay in the boat! Yaqut stole out of the water and jumped up the air like a rocket. Tuqay turned back and he was struck dumb; he recognized Yaqut glittering on the turbid waters! The boy couldn’t hide its admiration and cried worriedly, in a hoarse voice:
The fish once more plunged into the water and went out again. It appeared that the shark was confused; the beast of prey had never seen such kind of a fish in the waters that it dominated. The beast of prey and the ocean fish remained for some time face to face, and glanced at each other. As if for the furious children of the endless waters time was frozen during those moments; as if they had forgotten all what was around, even the human being, Tuqay!
Tuqay threw the paddle into the water and began to pull its handle towards himself. The boat rotated in its place. Drops of water splashed around.
Yaqut jumped up into the boat.
-Yaqut! Is it you?
Tuqay was astonished. The boy stooped and looked at the eyes of the fish. Really, at that time the shining bright eyes of the fish looked like a real ruby.
As if somebody was watching it from aside. Qayut decreased speed and began to look around. Nobody was seen .
The seashore was covered with thick bushes and trees. Qayut went towards the trees with the help of its instinct. Here was cold and damp. As if the beams of the sun couldn’t reach there. The dog felt breathing behind its throat and turned back. A pair of dreadful eyes stared at it confusing the dog. It was horrified. The dog wanted to bark. But because of some reason its voice wasn’t heard. As if its throat was dry.
Their looks crossed again in the same point. The heart of Qayut began to beat anxiously; it was strange, the dog itself looked like a bit to the owner of the furious eyes. For a while they stared at each other with testing looks. As if the owner of these thick bushes and trees resembled that uninvited guest to one of its forefathers. But the dog couldn’t be late. The dog began to run towards the seashore, and could feel that it was followed . It began to run fast. As if Qayut wasn’t running in the sandy seashore but it was flying in the air. At times it turned and looked back. The owner of the furious eyes was following it still.
Hearing the voice of scream Qayut slackened. The dog thought that it didn’t hear the voice, but it remembered. But the owner of the familiar, native voice was following the dog. The dog stopped and turned back, looked around. It couldn’t believe its eyes; Ayqut was flying above the owner of the furious, dreadful eyes spreading its wings like an umbrella.
The eagle felt that Qayut had already seen it, that was why it rushed about quickly downwards. The beast of prey which was following the dog on its heels was confused.; it howled furiously and jumped into the air; as if it wanted to snatch the eagle that was flying above its head, so wanted to put out its anger and fury. As if the eagle was making a joke, it was jumping up and down just at the nose of the owner of fury and at times it was screaming. The beast of prey became furious. Look at this boastful one ! The furious beast of prey changed its direction and ran towards the thick shrubbery. As if it was going to deceive the eagle and make it return back. Ayqut pretended as if didn’t understand the trick of the beast of prey and began to fly in that direction. The dog was confused: now the eagle was perching on the waist of the beast of prey. It appeared that Ayqut was going mad! Was the eagle making a joke? But the beast of prey might tear it into pieces!
The dog changed its way without being felt. It didn’t want to infuriate the wild animal, didn’t want it to feel. That was why the dog was running slowly; the dog wanted to make Ayqut return back. When the eagle reached the shrubbery it spread its wings and screamed; it jumped from the waist of the wild animal and began to fly in the direction of Qayut. Though the dreadful owner of the furious eyes retuned back and ran after them for some time then it stopped; whining it returned to the shrubbery; maybe those places were its home.
The eagle went round in the air, then flew towards the dog, screamed merrily and perched on its waist. The dog howled loudly. Their voices with mixed each other. The old friends could understand each other very well.
After the warm, kind meeting, the eagle raised in the air again. Because from that height both the seashore and the sea could be seen easily. Now the dog on the ground, and the eagle in the air were moving towards the familiar smell.
Firstly, the eagle saw the waving black spot in the lap of the sea. Its sharp eyes could see even a small thing; that black spot was a boat! Tuqay was in the boat! The eagle also saw that Tuqay was striking at a gigantic sea animal with a paddle in his hand. The eagle screamed. The dog understood the anxiety of its “ friend” from its screaming. The dog also began to howl. After some time the eagle began to flap its wings above the sea.
When the dog reached the direction of the boat, the eagle had already reached the fighting area. Qayut raised on its back legs and began to howl with all its power.
Tuqay cried mechanically:
-Ayqut! Ay -qut!
Hearing the howling of his devoted “ friend”, Tuqay raised the paddle in his hand and replied:
The dog moved off and suddenly moved forward and jumped into the air like an arrow. Then it rushed forward. The gentle waves were licking the breast of the dog. Cold “waves” passed through the heart of Qayut. Seeing its “ friends”, the fish jumped into the sea from the boat within a moment. Now Yaqut and Qayut were in the water, but Ayqut was in the air. Tuqay had pressed the paddle in his hand against his breast.
The wild animal as if had gathered power, it cracked its teeth and jumped forward. Though from the different flanks hard attacks were struck on its head and tail, even to its sharp “ sword”, the beast of prey wasn’t going to move off.
In the sea there was continuing a bloody fight.
It was interesting, did the heavens hear the voice of mother?
But what about the sea? Did it hear mother?
Mother didn’t know what to do. She couldn’t find any place to calm herself. Today mother was in trouble. She was pressed as if by hard sorrow. As if her heart was breaking. Shahla was near mother, wherever mother went Shahla went together with her. The girl often consoled mother:
-Don’t miss, mother! Don’t tire yourself! By God, I am sure that soon Tuqay will return home safe and sound.
But mother couldn’t bear any more. She prepared her packing and came nearer to Shahla:
-My daughter, I can’t bear any more! Be on the alert with the house!
- My aunt, where do you want to go? – Shahla asked mother in surprise.
- To search for my son.
-My aunt, if it is thus, I also will go with you.
-My daughter, stay at home!. Maybe after my leaving home, Tuqay will return, not seeing me at home he may be worried.
Though Shahla didn’t agree with her in her heart, she obeyed her willingly or unwillingly; mother left, the girl stayed at home. Shahla threw water after mother.
Mother began to go towards the sea. From far, the splendid rustle of the sea could be heard. Mother was praying in a whisper, she was begging the sea to help her only son, Tuqay.
Sea, you are also a mother
You also have children.
Feel pity on me, sea
Don’t let my son pass away.
Mother reached the seashore. The sea-gulls above the sea were cackling all together in horrible voices; surely, it had its own reasons: usually the sea-gulls cackle when there is a storm in the sea. Mother looked around choking with sorrow. She went towards the narrow road lying along the seashore. This road led to the place where the forest and a strip of seashore crossed. On soft sandy place mother could see the traces of an animal. Mother stooped and looked at the trace attentively. My God, it was the trace of Qayut! Mother made sure that the dog went just on this road. As if in the sorrowful heart of mother there settled mildly. The light of her eyes, the power of her knees increased.
At times the traces of the dog were not seen. But mother wasn’t going to return. She was sure that the road will at last lead her to the place where her son was.
Mother who had found the trace of the dog again, as if suddenly she had been struck by thundering. In the joining place of the seashore and the sea, on the wet sands there was lying a dead body. Mother groaned loudly. At last, she came nearer to the dead body weeping. It was the dead body of the old fisherman. Mother knew very well this old fisherman whose dead body was thrown to the seashore by the waves. Tuqay usually used to go to the sea together with this old man. But where was Tuqay ? Maybe he is also here? Maybe the waves have already “ swallowed” her son? Maybe he also died like this old man? Mother began to groan: “Tuqay, my son, where are you? “ While shedding tears she was lapping on her head or on her knees.
At last, mother could pull herself together. She took the paddle which was near the dead body of the old fisherman: it was Tuqay’s paddle. Firstly, the woman pressed it against her breast, kissed it and then she dug a deep ravine in the sandy place. She gathered all her power and threw the dead body into that temporary grave. She covered the “ grave” with sands so that the wild birds wouldn’t eat the dead body. Mother prayed in a low voice to the spirit of the old fisherman, she raised her hands to the sky, did salavat. On one of the sides of the “ grave” she put a piece of a stone like a mark; because it was necessary to remember the place where this old wan was “ sleeping” . When returning to the village after finding her son she would show the “ grave” to the relatives of the old fisherman. And his relatives would bury his dead body in the graveyard in the village.
Mother washed her hands and face with salty water of the sea after
“ burying” the old fisherman. Then she began to continue her “ journey”. Now she was carrying the big paddle on her shoulder.
The road wasn’t going to come to an end.
The sea animal which firstly was attacked from different sides and different flanks, gradually could be able to pull itself together and was going to begin to fight. It appeared that the shark was infuriated seeing that all the power was gathered and was going to kill it . It moved off a little; after gathering all its power under the water, it had arrived to the resolute decision: to destroy the enemy power which was strange to the sea.
As if Tuqay was pressed between hard sorrow.
Now irreconcilable representatives of the land and water were face to face. Maybe in the base of all the misfortune happened in this world there are eternal wars between water and land? Because they say that once all the world consisted of only water. Maybe at that time fishes and humans lived in the same place , in the same waters together. Afterwards land and water parted with each other. The reasons of it was unknown to the people, including to Tuqay. Maybe the shark knew the reason why they parted of ? Maybe once humans had betrayed fishes. Maybe because of that reason the shark wanted to take vengeance on a human?
The sea animal wanted to demonstrate its power. It looked like a reasonable revenge than an accidental danger.
For the shark, all of them there, which were just near its nose, were strange. Even that silvery fish which at times jumped up and struck at it with its “wings” had nothing to do with the waters! Because the shark had come to life in the sea and it was familiar to all the animals under the water. It was for the first time that the shark saw such kind of a strange fish in the sea. At times it wanted not to miss the chance and take vengeance on this boastful fish. But still there wasn’t a suitable situation; because that scoundrel, cunning fish jumped up into the air as soon as feeling about its intention. If the shark jumped up into the air after the fish, the eagle going round in the air would pick its head. The situation of the rival of the shark, the man in the boat, had become much better after his fighting friends came; now that rival was reaching out the paddle in his hand, as if it wanted to make the shark become more furious; the shark which became so furious was attacked from the different sides; the shaggy creature, Qayut rushed about the shark. Even for some time the sea animal and the dog had to be head to head. It was strange; the longish and dreadful faces and sharp eyes of both of them- the shark and the dog looked like each other. Simply, all the body of Qayut, that is to say, the dog, was lost inside of hair; But the animal was without hair from head to the legs, and it was as slippery as a soap.
Till that time the shark wasn’t defeated by any animal. It always tore its rival and killed it. To fight against the enemy till the end had been soaked to its blood.
During the next fight the strong attack showed its result; this time the sharp talon of the eagle could wound the thick skin of the sea animal. Soon on the sea there could be seen spots of blood. Tuqay couldn’t believe his eyes that only one sea animal could have so much blood. But what to do? Everything was before the eyes; the spots of blood were becoming much little by little.
The sea as if went round the shark; dark red, heavy waves were coming towards it . Though the shark neighed furiously and jumped up towards the eagle there was no result; because at the height Ayqut flew its wings , was simply unapproachable. Just only at that time the shark regretted for the first time in its life for why it wasn’t able to fly. But then it consoled itself; though the eagle is in the height its friend is just near. The sea animal cracked its teeth and rushed to the dog. The eyes of the sea animal went dark after the next attack; because alongside with its attacks there were strike attacks from other sides. The attacks of the man in the boat and the attack of the fish under the water made the shark move off. But the difficulty didn’t come to an end with it; the shark which was going to go out of the water and to choose a new fighting method, felt pains on its back; this time the shaggy rival of it, which looked like just it, had bit it.
The spots of blood were increasing on the water little by little.
All what was happening around seemed to Tuqay like a fearful dream or a miracle; the appearance of his “ friends” in the sea all of a sudden, their attacking the shark, their choosing “defending position”. It was impossible to realize what was happening. But all was before his eyes; the fish which was considered by all to be mute, the dog and the eagle as if had come to the sea from the dreams of Tuqay. As if all what was happening was the continuation of Tuqay’ dreams. But all these weren’t happening in dream, but in life, and just on lap of the bloody waters. At times a human has to live the misfortune and danger which even he
( or she) didn’t live in a dream.
Tuqay’s belief to be rescued had increased much. His devoted
“ friends” – the eagle, the fish and the dog were around him. They cracked their teeth furiously and attacked the shark from under the water, from the front, from behind and from the air.
Now for Tuqay it was a bit easy to fight against the beast of prey, to return its attacks. While the shark was busy fighting against the “ friends”, the number of the attacks of paddle had increased much. The sea animal could feel with instinct that its real enemy was the man in the boat; that was why it wanted to tear into pieces this quick, angry man. But there was no result of its attacks.
In this bloody fight none of the sides wanted to compromise, to move off. To yield himself to the beast of prey, to be seen weak at it was worse than death for Tuqay; yes, his belief in himself was increasing little by little; he was sure that he could escape from this difficult test only with the help of his mind. Though Tuqay was a quiet, noble man, now inside of him there was malice, fury and anger. How to say , he is a human, having mind, hands and feet. He had to strike this wild animal which wasn’t going to give up to move off him.
Tuqay began to abuse himself firstly in his heart, then he abused loudly his enemy:
- Hi, demon, dressed like a fish! You won’t be able to tear me into pieces! God damn you! Demon! Devil! Satan!
Though in life Tuqay hadn’t seen any Satan or Devil , from the tales of his mother he had heard much about them. Now he was face to face with that dreadful, fearful, cunning, wild Devil in a dangerous place- in the lap of the open sea. As if this fish had come from the tales wanting to kill him. But he wouldn’t be defeated!
“You won’t be able to kill me! I am stronger than you! “ No, such kind of satisfaction wasn’t good. He could fall a victim! He had to fight again. A difficult test was waiting for him.
Though the shark moved off and was unseen in the lap of the waters Tuqay was watchful. Even when he wanted to have a rest he put his paddle on his knees and held it tightly.
Tuqay felt that he is tired of because of sleeplessness and fatigue. He wanted to have a rest but while thinking about how dangerous it was, he winced, he washed his hands and face with the salty water in the boat so as not to fall asleep.
Tuqay raised his head and looked at the skylines which were becoming grey. It was strange: the shark wasn’t seen, it disappeared all of a sudden. Maybe the sea animal moved off because of being tired? But his “ friends” were near him. It seemed that they also were tired of fighting against the beast of prey; they wanted to have a rest. Tuqay who felt the intention of his “ friends”, called them:
- Hi, Yaqut! Qayut! Ayqut! … Come here! Come here and have a rest! Hi! Come!
The “ friends” came near Tuqay. Now all of them were together. The faces, bodies of them were covered with blood and water. Tuqay got touchy. He choked with sorrow. The “friends” were together after the hard sea “ fight”. The boy smoothed the heads of Qayut and Ayqut: he began to speak in a low, plaintive voice:
-I can’t believe my eyes. Really, are you here? How could you find me? Yaqut, Qayut, Ayqut… My dears! Was my mother aware of your leaving the yard? …But what about Shahla? Was she aware of your sudden leaving? Well, why don’t you speak? Why do you keep silence? Do you hear me? Of course, you hear! I shall be your friend till the end of my life!
We shall be together in the future too. Isn’t it? What? Do you understand me? Of course, you understand me! My dear friends… My close “ friends”!
Tuqay began to slumber while having a talk with his “ friends” . During the short slumbering the silhouettes of mother and Shahla were seen before his eyes. He saw his home and the pool in his temporary dream. . Then he dreamed that his “ friends”, the dog, the eagle and the fish left the yard and were coming towards the sea. Tuqay began to call his “ friends”:
“ Hi, Yaqut, Qayut, Ayqut…”
Just at that moment there was an earthquake. The ground slipped under the feet of Tuqay.
Tuqay opened his eyes and jumped in the boat; it appeared that the sea was waving not the earth.
The boat shook for a moment. The shark had attacked again. Tuqay’s “ friends” rushed to a new fight. The bloody, foamy waves were striking against the sides of the boat.
Tuqay raised the paddle and struck it on the slippery back of the sea animal. The shark gave a hiss and moved off . The dog bit the back of the shark, sharp the point which Tuqay had struck a moment before. The blood erupting from the back of the shark spread all around; on the sea, on the boat and on the dog. Though the beast of prey lost itself because of the pains, it wasn’t going to move off: it attacked Tuqay’s head with its tail and again it jumped towards the boat. The boat went round and as if it drew a circle.
Shahla couldn’t absolve herself to let mother go alone. She should have to join the mother and go to the unknown address together with her. It is true, the woman had charged home to Shahla and while leaving she had asked Shahla not to go anywhere. But now what was the use of staying in the yard all by herself?
After thinking over and over Shahla decided to go. Before leaving she said her plan to her mother, she swept the yard, put everything in order, ironed the washed clothes.
Well, now she was ready to go after mother.
The thick and black shawl that she tied round her head made her resemble not a young girl but an old woman. The stick in her hand kind of completed the appearance of this “ old woman” .
Shahla once more glanced over the yard and house, then she locked the door. She began to think about which direction to go. At last she decided to go towards the sea. But the sea wasn’t near. The girl was resolute in her intention; that was why she left the village confidently.
Shahla was brought up in neighborhood of Tuqay. When they were little children they always used to fight or argue with each other. But
after the time passed because of some reasons they began to behave shyly. None of them understood the reason of shyness. While seeing each other they blushed and greeted by nodding their heads and hastened to go. As if they were mute in those moments. In fact, the girl and the boy wished to see each other. At times Tuqay climbed up the roof of their house and looked from there to the yard of the neighboring yard; may be Shahla was in the yard. Each time when he saw the girl as if there was a pleasant feeling in his heart; it was difficult to explain those feelings.
Shahla also missed the neighbor boy if she didn’t see him often. Sometimes she used to sit in the porch and watch the neighboring yard; it was very interesting for the girl to watch Tuqay while he was playing with his “ friends”. Even when Tuqay wasn’t at home she visited mother and played with the “ friends” . Like mother as if Shahla also got the smell of Tuqay from his “ friends” . The “ friends”, that is to say, the eagle, the dog and the fish were accustomed to the girl.
In this small village Shahla didn’t have any close friend or a native relative. That was why she used to miss if she didn’t see the “ friends “ of Tuqay. Even if mother didn’t see the girl only one day she also missed her like the “ friends”. At times mother glanced at the girl in secret. Though it was difficult what mother was thinking about, she could feel that mother wanted to see her and to hear her talks every day.
The girl who was going after her neighbors suddenly wanted to cry. Only God knows what is waiting her in this dangerous journey; would she see Tuqay, his mother and “ friends” any more?
The girl raised her hands towards the gloomy sky just like mother and began to pray: My God, help me! “
As if God heard her voice. No sooner had Shahla finished her praying than the gloomy clouds in the sky disappeared in the expanse. Within some moments the sky became blue, all was lost in brightness. The streams of brightness covered the earth too. As if a bit of that brightness fell on her ways and heart too.
Shahla began to go quickly towards the sea the rustle of which could already be heard. The girl again began to pray like Tuqay’s mother. “ Hi, my mother sea, my spirit sea! Tell your waves not to be furious! Tell your wild animals not to touch Tuqay! Tell your ships to escape Tuqay! Feel sorry us, mother sea! Hi, kind sea! Do you hear me? “
She wondered whether the sea heard her prayer or not.
Tuqay took off his torn shirt and threw to one of the corners of the boat. The sweat of his body was mixed with the dark red blood; it was surely, the blood of the shack.
With instinct Tuqay was feeling that the shack which had become much furious after the wounds, was going to attack again. It is true, the shark wasn’t seen yet; after the next wounds he was hiding itself in the depth of the sea. Without doubt it was temporary. It was obvious, after some time the bloody fight, the fight of death or life would begin again.
Though the boy rotated the only paddle for some time, there was no result; as if the boat had been adhered to asphalt or something like it. It was impossible to make the boat sail. The “ friends” were so tired and they gathered in the boat. They were looking at Tuqay sorrowfully, as if they were hoping for a new advice from him. It was difficult for the boy to arrive at a decision. What could he do? Though the seashore could be seen from where they were but it was impossible to sail there. No, the main problem wasn’t only to sail that distance; the main difficulty was that at any moment the shark might attack them again. They didn’t have to believe the
“ friendship” of the shark.
It is true, the “ friends “ could go to the seashore. But it was clearly seen that none of them was going to leave him.
It was hard to make that damned boat sail!
From one side thirst…The water which Tuqay had laid aside was already over. He had thrown the iron bottle to one of the corner of the boat; it was empty. It was both funny and tragic to be thirsty while all around of you was water.
At times he watered his cracked lips with the salty water, but it didn’t help. He was so thirsty as if his breath would stop.
Though Tuqay was glancing at his “ friends” on the wings of dreams he flew far away. He couldn’t forget mother and Shahla. Now he could imagine how his mother and Shahla were sad. He wanted to return home soon; he wanted mother and Shahla to be glad. After returning home he would see off each of his “ friends” to its own “home”. Let the fish live in the sea, the eagle fly in the sky, and the dog bark in the forest! Because the home of each is dear to it! He wondered whether his “ friends” will agree to part without him or not? No, they won’t agree with him. Tuqay knew it very well. Oh, only the great God knows he will return his home safe and sound or not. Only God knows what is waiting for him and his
“ friends” in the future.
A sound resembling the hiss of a snake dispersed his dreams. When the wounded skull of the shark appeared on the water, all in the boat began to act; the eagle flew into the air screaming, the dog and the fish jumped into the water. The shack jumped up like a bird and directed towards the boat. It was the first time that Tuqay saw its enemy nearly; as if their noses touched to each other’s. The boy moved off and wanted to strike the paddle in his hand on the head of the shack. The shack caught the paddle with its teeth within a moment and jumped back. Seeing its white, big and sharp teeth Tuqay cried mechanically:
-Yaqut, Qayut, Ayqut!
The sea animal plunged into water after snatching the paddle; as if he wanted to hide the paddle, this fearful arm, in the sea; under the waves.
Really, the shark appeared on the water and jumped into air after hiding
“ the fearful arm” under the water; it appeared that the beast of prey understood how easy it was to fight against the armless enemy. But as soon as the shark appeared on the water the eagle thrust its sharp talon into its skull . Just at that moment the paddle which the beast of prey had
“ hidden” under the waves was seen on the waters. The dog rushed at the paddle and began to sail towards the boat.
The fish plunged into the water quickly and struck aslant the breast of the shark.
The dog whirled its head for some time and threw the paddle, which it was pressing between its teeth, towards the boat. Tuqay caught his “ arm” just in the air.
The shark as if had lost itself. But it was impossible to defeat it so easily; it wanted to fight, to take revenge on its enemies, and tear them into pieces. It wasn’t so easy to defeat, to beat, to kill the giant owner of the great waters. No, it wouldn’t reconcile with its defeat so easily!
The shark gathered all its power and jumped towards the boat. It had already made exact that its main enemy was a man in the boat who had a paddle in his hand! The beast of prey was sure that if it did away with that
“ armed” man at that time his “ friends” would easily yield themselves. The eagle spread its wings again and rushed about, and it thrust its talon on the back of the shark. The sharp teeth of the dog shaved the tail of the shark. The fish jumped up and with its head it struck the beast of prey. Tuqay moved off and rotated the paddle in his hand and then struck it at the head of his enemy. But.. But… It was late. The shark had already fallen into the boat; it clicked its teeth and rushed forward furiously. Tuqay jumped back mechanically, he fell over his heels and fell into the lap of heavy, cold and salty waves; because it was useless to fight against the furious sea animal . Such kind of fight was like to risk one’s life.
The shark was leaning its “ armored” wings against the wood floor of the boat and looking at its enemies floundering in the water. As if it was laughing and mocking them: it wanted to inform them that all was over . The clicking of its teeth was obviously heard. It appeared that the shark understood that its main enemy, the man a paddle in his hand, couldn’t be able to remain in the lap of the cold waters much; after floundering for a while he will drown, and will be delicious food for it! It will be easy to do away with the rest of them if its main enemy dies!
Tuqay was floundering in the lap of the waves. During those moments it was dangerous to reach out his hand towards the boat, to seize from one side of the boat; because the shark was waiting for a chance to thrust its teeth into his body!
Now all the friends were in the sea. The cold waves were jolting them like a leaf.
It appeared that the beast of prey was enjoying the victory it had gained; it raised on its tails and began to glance at its enemies; as if endless darkness had settled into dark the black, furious eyes of the shark. It seemed to Tuqay as if the darkness erupting from the eyes of the beast of prey was coming from the bottom of its heart. It appeared that between fishes and humans except hostility there was also likeness; within some of them are full of light, but some of them with darkness. Without doubt, not only fishes and humans but the world itself was kneaded with darkness and light. Because in one part of the world was ruled by darkness, in other part there ruled light. Both light and darkness can never be together and surely, they won’t be together any more.
Now light and darkness were face to face.
It appeared that different from the “ friends” floundering in the sea, confused because of the danger they faced to, firstly the eagle accepted the resolute decision; Ayqut, the tiger of sky, the eyes of which were full of fury and malice, after raising to height spreading its wings rushed downwards and from there rushed into the boat, to the beast of prey. As if it thundered in the sea.
The road lying along the seashore led the woman through the impassable rocks and the woman reached the grey place where small sands were placed like hills. In these places there was neither a trace nor a footprint. The traces of the dog had already disappeared. Mother leaned the paddle on the sand hills and looked around. Everywhere , the sea, the seashore, the sky were dark grey.
How good, all around was silent. If the wind would begin to blow the sea would be shaken, and the heavy waves would demonstrate their skills. Mother faced in the direction where the sea and the skyline crossed and she began to beg the wind in a low voice:
-Hi, wind, I beseech you,
Stop for a while, don’t blow!
Don’t hasten to spread your wings
Because my dear son can be met across
With your fury.
His boat can be lost in the waters.
He went to the sea, but hasn’t returned home yet
But my heart tells me that
He is in the lap of the waters-
And he is safe and sound.
My Tuqay is such a boy
He is able to bear troubles.
His friend, the old fisherman
Died in the sea storm.
My son is alone in the sea,
Feel sorry for my Tuqay, my son, hi, wind!
Then mother directed her face towards the Sun, the sea, the sky in the same way and began to pray. Mother didn’t forget the sea-gulls forming a circle in the sky; she requested from those free, happy birds of the sky if they were aware of the place of his son, inform about her, to mother.
Mother took the paddle on her shoulder after finishing the praying. Just at that moment as if somebody gave her a sign to turn and to look behind. And mother turned back anxiously and looked behind. One black spot was coming towards her quickly. Mother was so astonished as if she was struck dumb. The black spot was coming just towards her direction. Mother got frightened. She wondered who that black spot could be. The black spot waved hands to mother. Maybe the black spot coming towards mother would tell mother terrible information about her son.
When the black spot, that tied her face with black shawl, came nearer to mother, she knew her from the eyes: She was Shahla!
Mother cried mechanically:
The girl always called her “ aunt” ; it was for the first time that the girl was calling her as “ mother”.
They embraced each other . Then both of them took hand in hand and began to cry bitterly; as if one music was sounded in a double string; this was a secret mood made of by an unexpected delight and sorrow.
Mother didn’t question the girl much. Though from one side she was angry for Shahla followed her, from the other side mother was glad. It meant that the girl loved mother. It appeared that Shahla was ready to any difficulty on the way of Tuqay! That was to say Shahla was a girl worthy both to mother and Tuqay! …
They took hand in hand and began to continue their ways.
In the far, in the place where the skyline and the seashore were joining, there were seen black spots, mother and the girl stopped and began to watch the sea.
Mother said worriedly:
-My daughter, do you see those black spots in the lap of the sea?
-Yes, I do. I see, mother.
-I think it is a boat.
-Yes, it is, mother!
-But why does that boat is silent in the middle of the sea? …Maybe.. Maybe my son…
Mother was choked with anger. Shahla put her head on the breast of mother. Now the hearts of both of them were beating like the fish fell into net , floundering.
It was blowing cold breeze from the sea towards the seashore.
The furious shark which was frightened from the attack of the eagle was going to attack again; it leaned its tail against the floor of the boat and stooped its head forward; it wanted to thrust its sharp teeth on the wing of its rival, to make it go down, then to tear up it into pieces. As if the eagle felt the insidious intention of the enemy; it changed its attacking direction within a moment; that time Ayqut thrust its talon not into the head of the beast of prey but sharply into its eyes. The shark staggered and fell onto one side. But Tuqay felt that his “ friends” didn’t want to finish the “ operation” with it. Because while the shark stooped onto one side of the boat , Yaqut which was waiting for a suitable chance, jumped up out of the water and attacked aslant with its tail on other eye of the shark.
As if like Tuqay himself , his “ friends” also felt that the decisive moment of the fight had reached; now both the number and the power of the attacks were increasing. Maybe if their attacks would weaken all would be resulted on the contrary of their wishes and will. That was why they shouldn’t have to give a chance for the merciless and strong enemy take cunning measures; the “friends” were striking an attack after another.
Without doubt, the beast of prey, the eyes of which were not able to see, was floundering furiously and wanted to jump onto the water, onto its devoted “ trench”. Tuqay helped the shark . He caught with both hands from the wooden side of the boat and pulled it towards himself. The boat rocked and stooped on one side. The shark fell into the water splashing water around and floundered in the water; it wasn’t going to yield itself to the enemies.
Tuqay who had already soothed inside of the boat, raised the paddle and struck at the body of the shark which wasn’t going to give up its fighting against its enemies.
The beast of prey that had lost both of its eyes as if had become more furious. Now all around seemed her as darkness. Inside of darkness, it was moving forward the mixed voices and tried to define the direction of its next attacking.
The shark intended to struggle, to fight against its enemies. It didn’t have a feature to move off, to refuse from a prey that it met across with. It was accustomed to attack. It always used to tear up into pieces its game. It was sick of fighting against, and to kill those which were weaker than it. For a long time it wished to face with strong ones, to fight against them. Well, the rival that it wished to fight against was at the shark now! Even with a group… The shark gathered all the power it had, and rushed about the boat the black spot of which it could hardly see; with its skull the shark struck attacks on the sides of the boat. Its sudden attack was met on the contrary attack; the attacks of the “ friends” were falling on it like raining.
… While the number and power of the attacks were increasing the body of the sea animal was becoming weaker, its power was decreasing. Little by little as if it was estranged with its body, and was falling into the fearful depth the bottom of which wasn’t seen . Now its passion of to tear up and to kill its enemy was also weakening, and was melting after mixing the waters.
At last, a sudden attack of the dog put an end to everything. Qayut thrust its sharp teeth into the throat of the shark and drew it back a bit. The beast of prey which was snorting furiously, the fury of which was endless, snorted breathlessly and turned on one of its side. The waves were shaking the shark, there was no sign of its fury; as if it was falling asleep deeply. At times the tail of the breast of prey was trembling.
After some time the shark was absolutely silent. The waves again turned the shark on its other side. The eagle tensed its wings and perched on the middle of the back of the shark, on the wing that resembled a sword. But now this “ sword” was not so sharp as before.
The dog and the fish were jumping up and down joyfully. But their joy didn’t last long. Because the boat was still on the open sea and it was impossible to sail it to the seashore with the help of one paddle. In this case the boat with one paddle looked like a bird with one wing. How long can a bird fly with one wing?
As if suddenly there happened a miracle: the eagle flied into the air screaming. The dog ran towards the seashore barking. And the fish began to swim after the dog jumping up and down quickly in the water.
Tuqay was greatly surprised. He began to cry:
-Hi! Yaqut! Ayqut! Qayut! … Stop! Where are you going?
It appeared that either the “ friends’ didn’t hear him or they didn’t want to hear him. The attentive looks of the boy directed firstly in the direction of they were going , and from there to the seashore; there were two black spots at the seashore; it was felt from their clothes that both of them were women. One of the women was waving a kerchief in her hand. In the hand of the other women there was a strange tool; as if it was a paddle; a paddle of a boat.
Tuqay’s heart began to beat worriedly.
The shark was lying on the shaking waves. The sea was waving its wild child gently, as if it was mourning to it in its own language. At that time Tuqay felt sorry on the shark, his heart grieved for it. Even he was moved into tears too.
The God is witness that Tuqay didn’t have enmity with this furious, pigheaded sea fighter. The shark itself wanted to tear up him and his “ friends” who came to escape him. In the bloody fight in the sea one of the sides had won the fight.
The sea “ fighter” was a victim of its own obstinacy.
Tuqay whispered : “ Hi, my God, if I am guilty, forgive me”
Returning of the “ friends” didn’t last long. The fish came earlier than all of them; it was jumping up and down in its “ hammock”, in the lap of the native waters. Then the eagle was seen. It was spreading its wings like an umbrella, then it threw from there the big shawl which it was catching between its teeth, into the boat like a marksman. Tuqay could know the shawl: it was Shahla’s shawl. After a while the dog returned. It twirled and threw the paddle, which it was catching the handle of it between its teeth, towards the boat. Tuqay could catch the paddle in the air. He looked attentively; it was his own paddle.
Within a moment the “ friends” rushed into the boat.
It had already got dark.
By paddling Tuqay defined the direction of the boat.
The women at the seashore were calling them:
-Hi, Tuqay! My son! Do you hear me?
-Tuqay! It is me, Shahla! Turn the boat towards the sea!
-Hi, don’t be afraid of! We are here! We are together with you!
The boat that was struck against the seashore touched the sandy place and gnashed.
Tuqay jumped to the seashore and ran towards the woman who was standing like a statue.
Mother was weeping because of her joy.
Shahla was dropping her eyes.
After a moment the woman began to go towards the boat waved by the water.
The boy and the girl glanced at each other secretly. The dark black hair of the girl, like the night, was falling on her breast as bright as daytime. The rosy, fine lips of the girl were quivering.
During those moments Tuqay looked like a facet statue made by the waves for years; his coarse, waving hair was on his back; in the depth of his eyes glanced at the girl with interest there could be felt an innocence of a child. The bright drops of sweat on the broad forehead, on the muscled arms and on the broad breast were glittering like the pearls of the necklace round the neck of the girl.
Both of them were tall, slander, and good looking. At those moments they were the happiest of all.
The “ friends” going round the boat formed a ring round the woman.
Shahla and Tuqay also came nearer mother.
The waves were licking the seashore.
The boat was waving like a hammock.
All of them stood together and began to watch the silent sea. At last mother’s whispering was heard. The woman was praying the sea. Soon a gentle wind was blowing. Mother whispered a bit louder and addressed the wind:
-Hi, wind, you returned my son to me
I am thankful to you.
I am obliged to you.
The croon of mother turned to a fine song little by little. Shahla and Tuqay also began to sing together with mother. Then as if miracle happened; new voices joined to their voices: Yaqut, Ayqut and Qayut were singing together with them. After a while the blowing wind and the joined them too. Each was singing this song in its language; but in this “ chorus” everybody could understand each other very well…
In this universe each living being and mood has its ( his or her) own voice. As in unhappiness , happiness has its own voice too..
Now happiness was singing its song.
The Moon had already risen. A boat was rushing about in the lap of the sea. Firstly there were three men in that boat: a woman, a girl and a boy. In a distance of that boat, at the wide ground, along the seashore a dog was running.
Above that boat an eagle was spreading its wings and flying forward.
Just side by side with that boat a silvery fish was swimming and as if that fish was showing the way to the boat.
The devoted and trustful “ friends” were observing and accompanying the boat and those in the boat , from the ground, air and water.
The bright Moon was washing itself in the lap of the waves.
After some time the “ friends” , the eagle, the fish and the dog rushed like an arrow shot out of bow, and got on the boat. Now there were six living beings in the boat: Tuqay, mother, Shahla, Yaqut, Ayqut and Qayut. All of them were the members of the same family, of the same hearth. All of them were tired, and had become listless. But it was not only their bodies that was tired: in fact, at those moments they were celebrating a holiday. This holiday was in their hearts.
While the paddle was moving slow, secret whispering of waters was heard. The bright” stars” on the small waves as if were jumping up and down because of joy.
It was silent in the boat. Because of somehow reason all were keeping silence. If somebody gave attention from aside would think that maybe the “ friends” are lost in their own secret “ worlds” . Tuqay was trying to think over and over about the answer of the questions that had already engaged ( “or conquered” ) his mind: he wondered whether on one of the days they would go their own homes or not: that is to say the eagle to the sky, the fish to the sea, the dog to the forest. What was waiting for these devoted “ friends” in future? Parting or …
Tuqay stooped and looked at the faces of his “ friends; in the moonlight the eyes of all of them were shining brightly. The boy was surprised; the eyes of these brave children of nature looked like the eyes of worried, preoccupied of the humans!
Tuqay was lost in thoughts. During his short life he had got a lot of “ attacks” from humans. The shark wanted to strike him the last attack. But his “ friends” had come in time. He was much pleased with his
“ friends”. His “ friends” even were more devoted than his friends who were fishermen He had seen much the persons who fought for nothing, or didn’t reconcile with each other. Among his friends who were fishermen there were a lot of such kind of persons. But they… Tuqay’s “ friends’ …Tuqay would love his friends all his life. His “ friends “ were dear him as his mother and Shahla.
In the sea Tuqay was the witness of how death and life fought against each other. He had come to a final decision: it appeared that among humans and other living beings there wasn’t great difference; even the animals which are at first sight are seen like “ not being able to understand” in reality have the feelings of justice and kindness. It appeared that in order to realize the existence of justice and it is just justice for all, there isn’t any difference who and what you are. Not only humans realize justice! Now Tuqay was absolutely sure that all the events happening in the universe are connected with one another; even the universe itself is ruled from somewhere. In order to realize the existence of being that rules the universe, there is no need to live long; at times truth appears within a moment. In the world everything leaves traces after itself; everybody is endowed with what he did in the past, what he is doing and what he will do in future. Harm causes rise to harm, goodness rises to rise goodness. They say that be so kind throw a fish into the water, though the fish won’t value this goodness but the great God will do! But how to say, at times, everything becomes the contrary; it appears that those which you free, which you save only they may be your rescue. Those whom or what you killed may appear once and can do away with you, can send you to the other world. The life of all the living beings look like one another. Surely, in this endless universe, everybody, or everything lives obeying the same rules. But though a human is too strong he isn’t able to do everything. Tuqay made sure to himself that in order to save the world from all the misfortune only it isn’t enough the friendship of humans; it is possible to save the universe from any kind of misfortune and disaster only in one way, the solidarity of everything in the world- humans, animals, what exists in the world. In one word, the world can be set free from misfortune by the solidarity of all that exists in life. But he wondered whether the number of those who had seen or felt this solidarity is much or few? Only just at that moment it was known to Tuqay that in this world everything is animated; all what is in the world must not be divided into animated or inanimate; like humans a stone, a tree, a grass even the wind have their own secret world. A human isn’t familiar to this world yet. Flowers have a talk on the earth, in the sky the stars have a talk with one another; just like humans. … Without doubt, the time will come the animated and inanimate will find a common language to speak to one another; they will be aware about their cases: like Tuqay and his “ friends” .
“ Thanks to you, my God! “
Like Tuqay who was paddling the boat and was “ swimming “ in the sea of thoughts, his boat which was as tired as Tuqay himself sailing forwards rushing the heavy waters of the gigantic sea.
Those which were in the boat as if had fallen asleep.
Tuqay glanced at his mother who was slumbering sweetly: the light of the happiness in her heart, that can only be felt by the heart, had been spread on her face in the bright moonlight.
Then mechanically the eyes of the boy stared at the face of Shahla whose throat was just like a fine violet . The dark hair of the girl was falling on her face; as if the clouds covered the Moon. Tuqay reached out his hand shyly and smoothed the perfumed, soft hair of the girl, and “ combed” this hair. The girl was smiling in her dream, she also smoothed the horny hands of the boy and pressed his hands on her breast.
Yaqut which was slumbering in the water inside of the boat raised itself in its place and began to open and close its eyes. During all his life it was the first time that Tuqay saw a fish which blinks its eyes; because as he heard, the fishes don’t close their eyes even while sleeping under the water.
Ayqut spread its wings and then closed them again.
Qayut stirred its tail gently.
Mother was still sleeping; now she was dreaming one of her best dreams; she was dreaming that on the gigantic sea two persons were running hand in hand towards the seashore. Mother was at the seashore: she knew them from their silhouettes: they were Tuqay and Shahla. Mother was surprised, she was astonished; it was strange though the boy and the girl were running on the sea they didn’t drown in the water. As if they were not walking on the waves but were spreading wings and flying above the waves. But mother was worried. She was praying in the dream too: “My God, help them..! “ The boy and the girl, even God as if heard the prayer of mother; soon Tuqay and Shahla approached the seashore and embraced mother and began to kiss her. How happy mother was !
Tuqay stooped and looked at Shahla’s face; the girl was still smiling in her dream. At those moments Shahla was dreaming the continuation of her dream some days ago; which was unfinished. She was dreaming that many colored flowers spread on the bright waters now were running after Tuqay’s boat. In this strange dream Shahla was putting her head on the shoulder of Tuqay and was weeping for some reason. As if the stream was flowing out of the eyes of the girl; maybe those tears were the tears of delight. Well, usually the dreams are explained on the contrary.
The golden Moon was languishing looking at its reflection on the water.
Now this endless dynasty of water was resembling a giant desert, in this desert the boat was moving forward like a tired camel which was left behind the camel cades . The light waves that were at times kissing the sides of the boat looked like hills of sand on the grayish desert of sand.
As if a small nomad was returning from a hard journey. It looked like a nomad of pilgrims returning from pilgrimage to the sacred place, from Kaaba.
This was the sea nomad..
After some time the Sun would rise.
The sea migration was sailing towards the dawn.
The sea was slumbering too.
The unusual story which I was going to tell you at last came to an end.
To tell the truth, this story was told to me by another person, by an old fisherman. We got acquainted with him while fishing at the seashore. For some reasons I thought that this story had happened just to him. Because.. When I was going to say goodbye to him he reached out his hand as big and firm as the paddle, and said his name in a low voice:
I parted with the old fisherman.
Since that time that sea nomad is hung before my eyes like a picture painted by an unknown, unseen painter.
Well, in this world there is a sea nomad too.
Translated by Sevil Gulten
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