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The Story of Yasha







Father and Son


   There were once a father and son both with the name Yasha. (Yasha means alive in Turkish.) The older Yasha was the leader of his people. His people hunted game and harvested crops. Whenever they would have more game or harvest from what they needed they would give some of it to the older Yasha because they liked him and respected him as their leader.

   The older Yasha had a brother and relatives that were envious of him and the way people treated him. This envious brother and cousins of his decided to get rid of him and to have the brother take his place as leader. They plotted a plan to get the older Yasha and the younger Yasha to go against each other and kill each other.







This tells us that when someone treats us good it is most likely that there will be envious people. It is in the human nature fora person who sees another person getting good things to want to have the same good things. Then when that person can't get to those good things they feel jealousy and envy.


The Plot


   One day the older Yasha’s brother went to the older Yasha and told him that he had disturbing news to tell him. The two brothers sat together alone in a separate Chum (tent made by Siberian Turkish people). Other than the two men and some small birds sitting at the top of the Chum there was no one there. The older Yasha’s brother told him that his son was going to kill him and take his place as leader. He added that his son, the younger Yasha is getting support from his cousins envious of him the older Yasha. The older Yasha believed his brother. He then asked him if he knew anything more if he knew anything more bout that. His brother told him that the younger Yasha was intending to shoot him with an arrow next time they go hunting. The older Yasha thanked his brother. The two men got up and left the Chum and went separate ways. When the older Yasha came back to his family and entered the Chum his wife and son greeted him. They were happy to see him because like all the people they also liked him. Happy to see his father and looking forward to go hunting with him as usual, his son asked him when they could go hunting. The older Yasha was worried but he agreed to go hunting with the younger Yasha the next morning.



Here we learn that when people are envious they can make very harmful plots.


The Hunt


   It was morning when the older Yasha and the younger Yasha went hunting. The older Yasha was careful not to lose the younger Yasha from his sight. He was wondering and waiting for the younger Yasha to shoot at him from the bow and arrow. Then the younger Yasha saw a deer and showed it to the older Yasha by pointed to it without making a sound. The older Yasha thought to himself that the younger Yasha would now take the opportunity to shoot him instead of the deer. He told the younger Yasha to go in front of him and get closer to the deer and shoot the deer. The younger Yasha went in front of the older Yasha and got closer to the deer. The older Yasha drew his bow and arrow and shot the younger Yasha. The arrow hit the younger Yasha in the arm and he fell to the ground close to the deer. The older Yasha said to himself: "It’s done my worries are over." He went to where the younger Yasha fell, but before he could get to him the deer dragged away the younger Yasha. The older Yasha couldn’t find any trace of the younger Yasha. From that he knew that he got away wounded. He turned away and went home.

   Yasha was wounded and couldn’t walk. The deer that dragged him out of the place of danger put him on its back. Yasha was riding on the deer till they came to a cave. When they got into the cave the deer put Yasha on a grass bed. Yasha fell asleep on the grass bed.



Here we learn that good people can fall into making great mistakes by listening to people that they trust. Then if the ones they listen to and trus plot evil things, great harm can be done.

The owl in the Turkish culture is the messenger of death.


The Cave


   Yasha woke up lying down on the grass bed in the cave. He saw the deer that he was hunting standing and looking at him. He said to the deer: "I was hunting when an arrow hit me, what happened?" The deer said: "Yes the older Yasha hit you with an arrow, then I brought you here so that you could heal and so that you will be safe from the men plotting against you and your father." Yasha then asked the deer: "Who is plotting against me and my father and why did my father hit me with an arrow?" The deer then explained to him about the whole plan everything that happened. Yasha was surprised and he asked the deer again: "Tell me where did you get to know that?" The deer then replied: "I heard it from the birds who heard your uncle and your cousins talking about that and after that the birds heard your uncle talking to your father." The deer then added: "All the animals in the taiga (forest) know about that and are talking about that because everyone heard the birds sing about that." Yasha then said to the deer: "My mother must be worried about me; tell the birds to go and tell my mother that I’m fine and about what happened to me." The deer agreed and went to the owl because the owl always brings the messages of when death approaches. The owl agreed to visit Yasha’s mother.



Here we learn that the animals are out friends not our enemies and that we should treat them kindly.


The Owl


   It was getting late when the owl flew towards Yasha’s home. When the owl came to the Chum where Yasha’s mother was it was already late evening. The owl made a call, and another and then another. Yasha’s mother heard the owl. She said to herself: "The owl is saying that my son isn’t coming back from the hunt and that he is dead." The owl heard that and made the noise: "No, no." Yasha’s mother heard the no and then said to herself: "The owl says no, then my son must be alive but in a misfortune." To that the owl said: "Yes, yes." The owl then flew away.


In Turkish culture mothers are highly respected.


The Mother


   After the owl visited Yasha’s mother the older Yasha returned home. When Yasha’s mother didn’t see the younger Yasha with him she knew from what the owl told her that the younger Yasha was in trouble with the older Yasha. She patiently greeted her husband and prepared him dinner. The older Yasha was silent. Then she asked: "Where is our son?" The older Yasha said: " I don’t know; he was going to shoot me instead of a deer, so I shot him, then he disappeared." Yasha’s mother asked: "Why would your son want to shoot you?" The older Yasha replied: "Because he wanted to kill me and become leader in my place. My brother warned me yesterday and he also heard him talk to our envious cousins." Yasha’s mother said to that: "Now I understand what the owl told me and what happened." The older Yasha looked at her and asked: "What did the owl tell you?" Yasha’s mother then explained to him saying: "Your envious cousins want to see you and your son kill each other and they want to have your brother take your place. Your brother agreed to that and is plotting with them. That is why he came to you and told you that our son wants to kill you. Then you took him hunting and shot him. Your son loves you and respects you like all the people and he never said anything about taking your place. His heart is good and you were not able to kill him. He got away safe. The owl came and told me that besides all the danger around our family our son is alive and well." The older Yasha listened closely and then said: " Now we have to find our son and mend what injustice has been done." It was night and late. The older Yasha and his wife agreed to go out in the morning to find their son.



Here we learn that we can't believe anything we just hear but we have to listen carefully and see if what we hear is true or not.



The Return of all the Things


   In the cave the deer was tending to Yasha and he was getting better from the arrow wound. The owl entered the cave. Yasha and the deer greeted the owl. The owl returned the greeting and said that it told Yasha’s mother that he was alive. The deer then turned to Yasha and told him that in the morning they had to go to his home.

   When morning came, Yasha was feeling better and he walked out of the cave. The deer was next to him and they headed to Yasha’s home. On their way the owl joined them. As they were going more and more animals joined them. By the time they got to Yasha’s home all the animals of the taiga were with them. The older Yasha and his wife were outside getting ready to go look for their son. When they saw him with all the animals they rejoiced. The older Yasha quickly called all the people.

   Everyone gathered and the older Yasha looked for his brother. When he saw his brother he said to his brother in front of all the people and all the animals: "You wanted me and my son to kill each other and to become the leader. Here I forgive you and I want you to be the leader." His brother looked to the ground and said: "My brother, me being the leader won’t accomplish anything. You are a great man that everyone loves and respects and you are a better man than I am. You should be the leader. Forgive me." Their envious cousins like all envious people hid themselves from all the people and all the animals. All the people then cheered praising both the older and the younger Yasha and again peace came back to the taiga. From that day on, all Turkish people say Yasha (alive) when they cheer.





One of the most important virtues that this story teaches is to forgive and persons who admit their mistakes.




The Story of Iyash (a Turkish Story) Prepared by Miighan-Kurt Co.

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