Myths and legends of Kyrgyzstan

A scary fish “Ho”- a lake “Sary-Chelek”

May, 1936 year. An expedition of Moscow geographic union. The lake Sary-Chelek. Tree scientists, two workers and a porter – uzbek Olimjon Kasymov were sitting next to a fire and drinking a tea with some dry bread (lepeshka)

An old man, passing by, came up to them. He was based on a non-polished knag from fir tree (archa). He was invited immediately to sit and drink the hot tea. It was an old wise custodian of the lake - aksakal Uychi. There wasn’t anybody for many years and the old man was happy seeing the people. A professor Ipatov – the head of the expedition began to ask him about the lake, history and the land around. Olimjon Kasymov translated the conversation. The aksakal Uychi told that there were many wild animals on the slopes of the mountains as mountains goats, bears, partridges. There was fish “marinka” in the brooks coming from icehouses and it could be caught with hands, because the fish didn’t know human hands. Even people lived for many centuries there the aksakal Uychi was the last ins his tribe but he carried on keeping the traditions and told the expedition the story about a scary fish ”Ho”:

- There was a big fruitful valley almost 100 generations ago. But once some people in clothes, made from a fish scale came from a side of China. They built a bid city “Sy Ho” on a side of a river and lived there for many years happily. They worshipped to a god “Ho” by name, who had a head like a fish and human body and lived in a marble tank of the temple “Big water”. The god taught the local people to agriculture, stock-breeding and etc by his many golden priests. Once in 100 year one of the golden priests died and others carried on a saint tradition of a God of fish “Ho”. The most beautiful girl of the valley was put by the tank and leaned over to the water. The God swam out the river and kissed the girl. After a précised period of time the girl gave birth to a child with a golden skin, who turned into a new priest of the God “Ho”. For many year people lived like that way without any disasters. But once some a big army of conquerors -hamrais burst into the saint city and began to plunder it and kill the people. The only priest survived and came to the temple to ask the God about some help. The God-fish come out of the water and made a long vibrant sound around the valley. Some rocked trembled and fell down, enclosing the way to the mountains water, which sank all valley. So that way the lake Sary-Chelek was formed where the God-fish “Ho” have been until our days”- the old aksakal finished his story.

It was late night, when everybody went to bed after the old man went away. But the young assistant of professor Ipatova - Liza signed grievously.
It is a sad story. In the morning Liza woke up earlier than somebody and went to the lake to wash herself. She applied some soup at her face in order to clean it, but suddenly she felt a touch of very soft lips to her face. In a fit of gelid horror she leaned away of the lake and saw a giant head of a big fish with sad human eyes.
Being frightened to deaf, Liza began to cry. The fish with human eyes swam from the water-side to the deep. The last part of the fish, which she saw, was the muscles human legs, swishing the water with some noise and disappearing in the darkness of the lake. Liza had a shock for along time after running across such mysterious creature and was left in a hospital in town Namangan, while the expedition went on to the Tian-Shan mountains. Liza went to Moscow only after one year and told everybody that she didn’t remember anything. After many years kyrgyz shepherds began to see the old man (aksakal) with a small golden-haired boy near Sary-Chelek lake.

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