'How the Narts planned to slay Sauseriqo’s horse' Translated & Annotated by

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Historical Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic



  1. How the Narts planned to slay Sauseriqo’s horse

Hatiqoei text


Sauseriqo’s horse is clever, he knows our secrets, and is able to help his keeper prevail over us. It has become intolerable. – said the Narts in anger. – Sauseriqo is not smarter or braver, nor wiser then we are. However, the endless acclamations pronounced in his name, are impeding our success in the Nart lands.  We must get rid of his horse. As long as his horse Tx’ozchei lives, and as long as he rides on his back, we will not be able to defeat Sauseriqo.

The Narts plowed deep holes and covered them with branches and grass, but Tx’ozchei did not fall into any of them. They planted sharp wedges in front of his stable, thus he did not tread onto any of them.  The Narts went to Wserezch and asked her,

  • We need to know his weak point; we must slay Tx’ozchei in order to rid Sauseriqo.

Wserezch laughed and said,

- Sauseriqo, - she said, - will not be defeated by your swords no matter how powerful they were, and so his horse. You may never be able to discern their weak point, even if you employed all your efforts, because the horse and the knight are extremely clever.

- What do we do then?

- Go back to your homes. I shall find someone to entrust with this mission. Revisit me after seven days and nights.

Once the Narts left,

- O gnat! – Called the old crone – are you here? Where are you?

- I am here! – said the gnat, and flied over while buzzing.

- Did you hear what the guests said?

- Yes, I heard. - Said the gnat.

- If you heard what has been said, then go and fly to Sauseriqo and Tx’ozchei, you must find them wherever they are between this earth and sky. Once you find them, learn which part of their body is the most vulnerable, which can be pierced with arrows and cut by swords.

Once the gnat received the orders from Wserezch, she instantly took off without any objection. A few days later, the gnat returned exhausted and suffering from diarrhea.

- What? Did you discern the required?

- Yes I did! – said the gnat – one of Tx’ozchei’s hair strings struck me and almost slashed one of my wings, I returned herein with great difficulty by conveying the wind flow.

- What are their weak points?

- Sauseriqo and Tx’ozchei’s weak point that can be struck by swords is sited in their legs: Sauseriqo’s weak point is in his knee and Tx’ozchei’s weak point is his horseshoe.

- How did you learn this?

-  While they were sleeping, I began piercing my sharp nose into their body starting from their head to their toe. Once I reached their weak spot, they shivered. – said the gnat.

- If they had your wit, no one would have been able to defeat them in this world.

Once it was time for the Narts to meet Wserezch, they mounted their horses and journeyed to her.

- What news do you have?

- There is news for you, -said Wserezch, - but I do not know if you are able to do something afterwards.

- Once we hear the news, we will figure out the means –said the Narts- and you shall inform us how to execute.

Wserezch thought to herself and said,

-  Arrange a horse race behind the small river, and build a beautiful iron bridge over the river where the winner would pass first among the contestants. However, you must inform all the horsemen participating about the bridge. Sauseriqo and his horse are stubborn, and they will win the race with no difficulty – do you understand? And while they are engulfed within the heat of the race, raise great fires under the bridge, and let it heat until the color of the bridge turns red and blue, so when he takes a step on it, his horseshoe would melt. Once Tx’ozchei crosses the heated bridge, rest assure that he is doomed.

The Narts were determined to execute the trap invented by Wserezch and slay Sauseriqo’s horse. But do you think that Tx’ozchei was foolish to go on the heated bridge?

- He jumped over the iron bridge and took off!

(Hedeghel’e, Vol. II, p. 253)

Submitted: September 30, 2016

© Copyright 2021 Zaina El-Said. All rights reserved.

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