A Cossack folktale


Here is a cossack folktale picked up from Kanchan Das Gupta’s article.

A young Cossack, who was a gifted horseman, dreamed of owning the best steed in the village where he lived. So he toiled and saved money to buy his dream horse, and eagerly waited for the annual animal fair that was held in a nearby village. At last, the big day came and our young Cossack set off for the fair, dressed in his Sunday best. He inspected all the horses on sale and finally found a stallion with a flowing mane, flaring nostrils, rippling muscles and a glistening white fleece. This was the horse he had dreamt of and toiled for! The owner asked for a huge sum, our young Cossack paid the money without even bothering to haggle over the price. Horse bought, its proud new owner mounted the steed and cantered home. He rode straight to the village square where his fellow Cossacks gathered every Sunday evening for raucous drunken revelry, dismounted and called them over to show off his new horse. A collective gasp was heard as the Cossacks gathered around: None had seen a more handsome stallion than this. One of them patted the horse and praised his strength; another counted his teeth and declared he couldn’t be more than a year old; a third ran his fingers through the mane and sighed. The village elder was so impressed that he declared the stallion the official stud of the village horse collective and ordered a fresh round of vodka for everybody. Then along came the village cynic, who was also the local correspondent of Pravda and the designated Cossack ‘intellectual’. He walked around the horse, went back to where he had been sitting sipping vodka, struck a pose similar to Rodin’s Thinker, got up after a while, walked back to the horse, lifted its tail, sniffed and declared, in a stentorian voice similar to that in which judges give their final verdict, “The horse stinks.”

One thought on “A Cossack folktale

  1. The cynic’s conclusion was a plain horse sense.

    Enjoyed reading the animal short story.

    Rated – Average

    – Ninney

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