The Three Orphans

A id and a lamb became orphans. One day they went for a walk and met a calf. He was an orphan, too. The three of them decided never to part.

One day, they came across a tiger skin lying in the road. They picked it up and put it on the calf and went on their way. Soon they saw a cave and the kid and the lamb went in, while the calf (dressed in the tiger skin) waited for them outside. Inside the cave a tiger, a bear, a wolf and a fox were having a feast. The kid and the lamb greeted them, but stood by the entrance.

“Hello”, they said.

“Oh, hello! Look, meat has come to us!” said the tiger, the bear, the wolf and the fox.

The fox rose from his seat and said in a sweet voice, “Come in, dear guests. You have arrived just in time,” and then to his companions, “Let’s drink to the health of our dear guests!” The fax was the owner of the cave and, as the host, did his best top entertain the company. He sang and accompanied himself, playing on the Komuz.

The kid took the Komuz from the fox and sang:

We’ll make a lovely hat out of the fox,
We’ll make a long warm coat out of the wolf,
We’ll make a nice soft rug out of the bear,
And the tiger will adorn out bozoi.

“That kid must have great strength” thought the fox to himself, and he quietly went out of the cave quietly – he saw the calf in the tiger skin and ran off.

The other animals waited and waited for the fox, but he never returned. So, the wolf went out to look for him. He also saw the calf in the tiger skin, took fright and ran off. When the wolf did not return either, the tiger turned to the bear and said, “Go and fetch the fox and the wolf!”. The bear got up, went out of the cave and saw the calf whom he took to be an unfamiliar tiger and he rook fright and ran off. The tiger himself came out of the cave and seeing a strange tiger thought to himself, “He must have eaten up the fax, the wolf and the bear” – so he too ran off.

The three orphans finished what was left of the feast and continued on their way. Suddenly they met the same tiger, the same bear, the same wolf and the same fox. They were all angry. The orphans were very frightened and climbed a tall poplar tree. The kid got to the very top, the lamb settled below him and the calf sat on the lowest branch … with much difficulty.

The tiger, the bear, the wolf and the fox were quarrelling amongst themselves. The tiger cried angrily: “You are bad comrades! Why did you run away? Let’s go and fight those babies. But this time I am going to tie you all together so that you don’t run away.” The tiger tied them all together and led them to the tree, and they started walking round and round the tree.

The branch on which the calf was sitting suddenly broke and he fell noisily to the ground. “Catch the tiger” shouted the kid from the top of the tree, and the tiger, the bear, the wolf and the fox were more frightened than ever and, breaking their bonds, ran away in different directions.

After that, the kid, the lamb and the calf went up into the mountains. They drank the pure water of the mountain springs and grazed on mountain pastures without fear.