LEGEND OF SIBERIAN CAT
Russia - gigantic and enigmatic. Its scope is beyond comprehension. So is its language, and the broadness of its people’s souls. Everything Russia does is beyond comprehension. It was beyond everybody’s comprehension in the past, and it remains so in the present. And, more than likely, it will stay that way in the future.
Very few people know that the huge territory of Siberia is one of the coldest places on the planet Earth. High mountain peaks rise at its southern and eastern borders, closing passage to warm and damp winds. Dry and cold Arctic wind blows far into the depth of Siberia from the Arctic Ocean in the North.
The severity of the Siberian winter is defined by its very low temperatures, which in some places can drop as low as -60 degrees Celsius. Nowhere else on Earth is winter is so cold for so long, often lasting six months or more.
But when summer does come, the cold weather goes away. Summer in Siberia is soft and mild. You feel as though your tired body has been transported to a spa resort, where it is caressed by a warm and gentle breeze.
It just so happened that at the moment of my birth, my parents were working in a Siberian town, where my genealogical roots begin. My very first Siberian winter demonstrated its severe temper to me. Everything went wrong at my birth. It was as though someone’s cold and cruel hand twisted an umbilical cord around my neck to prevent me from being born and entering this world.
It was my very first fight for life, a struggle between life and death, and between good and evil. But I was not fighting alone. I was with my Mom. A few more people were there to help us along.
But my duel between life and death did not end there for my Mom. Days went by, and her battle continued.
Only in February did the Arctic wind finally begin singing me lullabies, telling me different folk’s life stories. The wind penetrates into all of huge Siberia’s secret spots. It sees everything and knows everybody.
The story of Orey’s birth, the father of all Slavs, began in the ancient pagan Russia of far Siberia.
For millions of years, night had thrown its black hood over the Earth at the end of every day. Night is usually followed by cold, fear, desperation, and diseases.
Each of us is familiar with nightly loneliness, the black depression and a bottomless abyss of despair, which widens and deepens with every dark hour, trying to drag us into itself.
And then in the darkest moment, Dažbog, the Sun God, gets into his chariot of fire pulled by four snow-white stallions with golden manes. He grabs his fire shield and dashes high up into the sky like an arrow.
Darkness and cold disappear with the very first rays of sunlight. The Earth is warmed and comes back to life. Hope is revived.
Twice a day Dažbog gets into his boat and crosses the ocean. It isn't enough just to give a dream. It is important to create the conditions for its realization. Warmed and recuperated, the Earth must be watered with warm rain. Every seed in the soil will come to surface afterwards.
This has been the circle of daily life for millions of years. But every day is different, thanks to the great abundance of Mother Earth.
Dažbog was the third of Svarog’s four sons. Svarog is the Supreme Slavic God of fire. Dažbog was especially celebrated during the period between the summer and autumn solstice (from June 22 to September 23). Everybody celebrated God’s of the Sun Day on
September 22 for sunlight, warmth, fertility, and the rules of the universe. All the inhabitants of towns and villages went outside, lit a fire, and rolled a burning wheel of sun onto the mountain, all the while singing and dancing. Everybody participated in pre-wedding and ritual games.
And what is a Russian celebration without a feast! The traditions of Russian hospitality took shape back then, and all arriving guests were cordially welcomed! The best food was put out on tables, and a pot-luck feast was presented for everybody. Families would all dine together, sharing what everybody had cooked, praising each other’s culinary masterpieces, and together praising the Sun, Earth, and Mother Russia.
On this day warmth not only seeped into people’s hearts, but even arrogant Dažbog’s look was softened. His attention was attracted by an unusually soft luminescence. It looked like one tiny soul was trying to warm up this cold world with its warmth and love.
It was a young and beautiful girl, with an outstanding will to live, pure thoughts, a loving heart, and remarkable devotion. Her soul was like a miniature sun, whose beams evaporated the terrifying forces of gloom.
This radiant girl’s name was Valedara, which means “generous giver.”
Gods have hearts, too. Love finds everybody when their time comes. It’s a time when two hearts start beating in unison. It’s a time when any even a tiny distance between two hearts is intolerable. It’s a time when two people spend all their time together. It’s when time without your loved one doesn't make any sense.
Valedara realized how seducing pre-wedding games can be, when she noticed an unusually handsome young man with a robust posture, and a firm, straight-forward look, which never knew deception. The wind was caressing his golden locks. His looks demonstrated energy, reliability, and confidence. He appeared to radiate sunlight.
A time of happiness comes to everybody. When it comes, we tend to forget about time. It seems like it has stopped. It always seems that there is never enough! Years of life with loved ones feel like a single moment. Dažbog and Valedara shared many happy years together.
One happy year their son Orey was born. He was a miracle, with hair of gold for his mom and dad. What do our long-awaited children give us? It might be discovering a new sense of life. It might be finding out that our heart can hold even more love. Or, may be, we become more mature. We accept responsibility, becoming earnest and proud of having started a new life!
What goes through new mothers’ and fathers’ minds when they look at their child? You can never tell. But at moments like this their faces look so happy.
But there will always be people who are made green with envy by others people’s happiness.
Birth of a son makes a man more serious, responsible wanting to improve the world. Because it is the world, where his son is going to live.
Evil, understanding that it is losing its power, decided to strike a blow to the daylight. All the evil spirits divided themselves into two groups. The first and strongest group had to distract and strike Dažbog a blow when he got into his chariot to make his daily trip into this world. The darkness had to take over daylight and destroy it.
While the first group was trying to capture him, the second group of black hunters would kill the Sun God’s son Orey,
Evil is creative and cruel. Why is there so much of it? Maybe, it grows on our fears and in our pain?
Both groups began their deeds at the same time.
The first group hid near the chariot. At the opportune moment, they attacked the horses, in attempt to ignite panic and scare them. When they saw Dažbog they turned to attack him, but their strength exhausted itself as they approached him. Darkness, feeling powerless, vanished.
However, they had bought some time for the second group.
The second group has attacked Dažbog’s house. When Valedara heard the jingling weapons of running soldiers, she hid her little son and took the shape of a Siberian tiger in order to mislead the aggressive assassins. Everything would have been alright except for but one little detail: the assassin’s clothes were so dusty and smoky that the offensive odor entered Orey’s nose and tickled it. He sneezed. The assassins stopped and shot a poisoned arrow into the direction of the sound.
The outraged tigress stopped the flying arrow in a leap, but dropped to the floor fatally wounded. When Dažbog rushed into the room,
Valedara was already dead. A little Siberian kitten with robust and dynamic strength, fast and furious, but, at the same time, soft and gentle, was sitting at their son’s feet. It was fully devoted to their family and hypoallergenic, so that children would not sneeze any more.
Two thousand years have passed since then. Much has changed in our world. But, as it was in the past, during darkest time, darkness hides and attempts to attack the Sun God. Also, the forces of darkness are still dispersed by the first beams of sunlight. Darkness disappears until tonight, and the struggle between good and evil starts over again.
Exactly like it was two thousand years ago, every Russian man is obligated to start a big family, nourish and raise it, and become, in a way, Dažbog. That is his sacred duty. Each of us has our own ancestors. They are our roots. At the same time, we all have to start our own branches which in the years to come will develop into roots.
Also, a brave and devoted Siberian cat lives next to the children in Russian families. Parents always feel comfortable with them in their home and around their children. A Siberian cat will always be the best buddy in kids’ games, and will be their tender nurse. It can warm up a child with its warm fur coat. It will also be the fearless security guard of the home.
An Arctic wind told me that story. Ask for more, and it will be continued…