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Dogs have an important role in immigrants’ tribal life in looking after their cattles .
BARAZ is a story about a so-called dog and his role in the tribe that he belongs to. Unlike the european attitute of keeping their dogs at home ,the tribal dogs have to stay out and most of the time they are hungry and work hard for their masters. They make a lot of sacrifices to save their masters from any form of danger and ready to attack the enemy anytime needed. Having such attitute makes them different from their Europian counterpart and has made them so wild and strong that no body but their own master can get closer without a handeling stick to play or pamper them. Tribal dogs fear from the one who carries the stick for being threatend and punished with it during their life, and that explains why tribal people always carry a stick to protect their cattle from strange dogs passing by. Even the bravest dog can just bite the stick and avoid challenge.
A. A. Nazarpur June 24, 2000
It was night, everybody was asleep in their closed tents (Alachigh)*, left
properties and cattle out to be look after by their loyal dogs. The sky was full of shiny stars and a soft wind was blowing from the mountains toward their tents and had created waves from the bottom of to the top of their abode. Dogs were lying, guarding around the tents and were watchful of the environment with their sleepy eyes. A sharp bark of a dog broke the silence of the quarters and other dogs started barking. A group of barking sound whirrled in the near mountains, most sleepers were awakend. This happens whenever an animal or a man gets secretly closer and is a good sign of the dogs awareness and cooperation. This keeps them away unless they will confront with the dogs’ group attack. The same kind of bark was repeated but this time only some of the dogs barked with him. For the third time none of dogs joined in, it showed that there was no treat over the region. From a distance a pregnant woman was delivering, so they could sleep comfortably.
Sun rays penetrated through the small holes of the black
tents which brightened its indoors.
Ghader got up to go to the spring to wash his face. Although the smell of fresh bread which was being baked by his mother doubled his appetite, he preferred to go behind the tent to observe their newly born five little puppies. Three of them were white but the other two had some spot on, unlike the race of their tribe dogs who accompanied their forefothers hundreds of years ago from other side of the river passing through Araz (Aras) river and survived till now. They believed that their origin goes back to sybrias wolves and they had fought in the kafkaz war beside their tribal brave masters and have shown their loyality. After losing the war, they have immigrated here. Since then those new puppies who were not white were kept away or were presented to other tribes. Ghader knew that there was going to be just three puppies in the quarters, his father will give the two unwhite ones to other tribes, he also knew that his father will let him own one of those white dogs, so he checked all three and found out that one is a little bigger and one is a bit smaller and weaker, therefore he could easily choose.
After some days, Ghader knew that he had chosen wisely, because it was fast, clever and
sharp among the other brothers. One day in the absence of the mother dog, his father came to
___________ *Alachigh about a meter hight wall tent aroud the main tent that is knitted straws with colorfull strings to sorrund the tent.
(gellow)cut the puppies’ ears as customary among the tribal dogs. Father asked Ghader to choose one and he pointed out what he has chosen. Father instructed him to hold it by his ears and shook it firmly, finally both its ears were cut, the little dog fell down whining and crying, father then put a wood under the little earless dog’s tail and cut it completly with a sharp ax and put some soil to stop its bleeding. Mother dog was gaurding the cattle at that time, far from tribe quarter. Father wanted Ghadetr to give it a name,then Ghader called him Baraz. İn a very short time, the other four puppies had the same situation, they cried till night.
Ghader knew that it was necessary to keep them alive to combat with the wolves in the
future or else they will be defeated if their ear or tail be held and bitten by their enemy. On the other hand, Baraz wont be able to cover his ears or use his ears to rest without attention to the other sounds, this way, he is going to become a good gaurdian by hearing the lowest sounds.
To have sharp teeth Baraz had to eat all the trash and other edible meat given by Ghader. He
had to give all the bones from cut sheep so he would grow up faster, stronger and ready for the coming fights. Baraz’s first fight was when he was six months old. He had to fight a big dog getting closer to Ghader’s tent. Although he was severely injured, he finaly could bite the attacker dog’s neck and keep it between his teeth. If Ghader and the owner of the dog did not closeup a deal he would have killed it. It was badly injured and could not stand on his legs and was completly covered in blood flowing from his neck.
Every day Ghader kept Baraz alongside him to help withthe cattle, but Baraz was too
naughty to stay silent, he always was chasing rabits and birds and occasionally was sucessful hunting something else to feed himself. Ghader knew that this habit may make Baraz wild and cruel for the sheep or chickens, but his kindness did not allow Barak to be punished or banned from hunting.
Oftentimes, Ghader have witnessed that Baraz had brought back to safety the lazy and
wandered sheep that had not followed the cattle and was lost. Just by barking, a lost sheep would turn aroundand guide it directly home. Baraz have always responded to Ghader’s calling, it was the reason which had made Ghader to believe that not only Baraz is very clever but it is very loyal and faithful too, so he kept Baraz’s naughtiness and hunting as a secret, there was no reason to share it with others.
Now Baraz was famous for his strengh and sharp fangs which distinguishes it from other stinky dogs. It was a good and enough reason to reject fighting with him whenever there was a sign of his fangs.
Once Ghader woke up and found Baraz wounded, he was badly injured, it was obvious that
volves have beaten him, but he may have tricked with a female wolf and had followed it, but if so, how surprisingly could he survive. The same day Ghader kept the cattle to graze in the mountains where he found two dead volves and footprints of other escaped volves. Baraz’s importance increased in his sight for fighting courageously, strong and brave with wild animals. To guaranty the second attack, Ghader borrowed a female dog from his uncle to bark upon the wolves arrival and kept the cattle close to keep him awake and keep Baraz away to follow a female wolf to trap their trick.
Ghader was never worry about the cattle whenever Baraz was
guarding them. He could be
anywhere he had to without any fear of losing some sheep from theives or any wild animal
Ghader, Baraz was a professional shepherd in gathering sheep.
(walker) had come to the region and Ghader, who knew him, went closer to inspect the goods he is selling noticed the abundance of gray hair which was a sign of his old age. For a long time, he had purchased along with tribal men. He was exchanging dairy products like milk,butter,cheese and etc. with their needed goods. This was the way that he stood on, all the women and girls would surround him while ocasionally the old and young men would come to buy things they needed.so his cart would always be crowded.
Kerbelayi Hasan greeted Ghader:”hello, I heared you have got a good dog, İsnt it?”
proudly replied:”yes,thats Baraz” Kerbelayi Hasancontinued:”I’ve heard his name in all tribes talking about his loyality to you ,and his being timid, they say he only listens to you , not to your father either.”isnt it?” Ghader nodded proudly. Kerbelayi Hasan, who had spent long life among the the tribes dared: “ but I bet you that I could catch him and bring him to you”. Ghader laughed and said “never risk your life, you are our guest and I do not want to harm your. My dog is not a wild and idle dog to be caught brought here.” Kerbelayi insisted, “but with one’s help I can and bet you on a pair of trousers and a shirt.” Ghader finally accepted every body became their witnesses on their deal: a lamb or a pair of trousers and a shirt to the winner.
It was noon, a young man helped Kerbelayi Hasan in catching Baraz, they moved the cattle
to the mountains. From a distance, Baraz was barking to welcome them showing his fangs. It had no other option but to attack new comers so, he ran towards Kerbelayi Hasan, until only a few steps between them, Kerbelayi took off his hat very coolly and kneeled on the ground and slowly creeped forward towards Baraz who was playing with his hat in a zigzag form like a snake very close to ground. Baraz had experience on stone and stick training but did not have any knowlege on the hat, it was a new presentation for him. He gazed at the hat quietly, thinking that it is a new kind of weapon.
He stepped backward, not so far and barked,but after a while there was a knot of rope around
his neck, tried to escape but suddenly another rope from other side had him confined. Baraz was captured from boht directions by Kerbelayi and his helper. When Baraz wanted to go left the right rope controlled him and vice versa. This way, Ghader lost the bet and had learned a new lesson from this old man who had a lot of experiences living and dealing with tribes. Ghader gracefully accepted being a loser and knowing that the walker had not waste his time and have learned many things about wild animals attacking him. The walker had to be in another tribe for the night so he said goodbye and left the region with a lamb tied behind his cart. Suddenly in a neglected moment, just after a short distance, a sharp cry was heard from Kerbelayi. Baraz, hiding behind the shadows, sadly and quietly had jumped and attacked the walker as a revenge, bitting his leg severely . If Ghader had not interfered he would have left there with a deep hole in leg. to stop the bleeding, Ghader poured some alchol from a bottle in the tent, this was the only cure for those being bitten by an animall among the tribes. Finally, the experienced Kerbelayi had to leave the area with a sign of Baraz’ revenge on his leg.
Ghader was very sad because his loved one Yildiz was engaged to his cousine upon their
parents agreement on some money as (bashlik)*. Yildiz and Ghader were star-crossed lovers __________________
*bashlik is an amount of money which bride’s parents want from the family of the groom as payment beforehand to prepare something for new couple’s life.
and could do nothing but obey the decision until they were able to confront each other in th desert. It was the time when when Yildiz with other girls were gathering wild plants, tribal women cook delicious foods (Ash) from these mountain vegatables.
Yildiz had seen him to and planned to be with him. They had met secrately behind a rock.
They would talk to each other to solve their problems and and make plans about living together. There was no other way they could get married, after the elders decision to engage Yildiz with Ghader’s cousine. Although only one solution exists and that is, escaping from tribe and going very far, it might cause great problem between the families in their tribe, much more so that they decided to run away. When morning came, Ghader left the cattle to his brother, got some money and food, hid behind the rock and waited for her comming. It was close to noon when finally Yildiz appeared. Without informing anybody they left their tribe and went to the tribal head ‘s home.
It was close to sunset when they reached the tribe and consulted with the tribal head.
temporarily accepted them and gave them shelter but left it to Ghader’s father and uncle’s decision unless a bloody fight between the two brothers’ family may ensure. Brother may kill brother which is againest his will. He sent a messanger to inform their tribe about their leaving. The following day, the messanger came back with a message disowning Ghader as a tribe member and son. He had escaped with a girl who is already engaged and considered as a great sin. Because of brotherhood and refusal to start the spill of blood they are not allowed to come back to their tribe for ever. This was the father and Uncle’s decision and message to the head of this tribe. So the head had done his responsibility, now the lovers are safe but due to their good relationhip among the tribe and not to destroy the relationship, the couple decided to leave.
Being left with nothing, cattle, property, sheep and tent, Ghader must cope and learn how to
manage his andYildiz’s expenses. So he decided to look for a job as a shepherd to be able to live. He went far from his tribe’s area toward the Milan tribe, the closest one to their tribe, because he knew that no body would hire him as a shepherd in his own tribe being disowned by his father and uncle. Finally he was accepted as a cattle herder to an Oba , a family of a Ell tribe, with his wife as his assistant to accompany him in the pasture, so she would not feel alone for not having any relative.
One day Baraz’s barking sound was heard from a very far distance. They were surprised, it
was him, he followed them and being very tired immediately fell asleep on his back. They say that whenever a dog sleeps in a position that his legs are up, it is a good sign of loyality, happines and being satisfied and pleased with his master. Very soon Ghader and his wife pampered Baraz kindly and gave him some milk in a bowl and put it in front of him and Baraz, being differently treated from other dogs in the tribes started drinking.
Ashayeris’ keep their dogs away from their main produce, they believe if the dog gets used
to drinking milk it makes it Najes(un-clean in religion). It has been a usual practice when the dog is still a puppy, they boil a bowl of milk and put the hot milk in front of it and when it would start licking it, they would grasp it’s head from behind and put it’s nose into the hot milk so as to scare him from drinking any more milk. The dog will swallow and burn its nose and will never come closer to any container with white produce in. But Baraz was trained to fight with wolves so Ghader never taught him such a thing. Baraz could drink the milk and Ghader was happy seeing faithful Baraz following their trace and joing them.
Ghader became more comfortable having his dog again because he could spend much time
with his love. It had passed some months and their love had become deeper, they would spend happy hours together. Yildiz gathering wild vegatables and preparing Ash and food and she baked fresh bread on Saj (a big metal big dish which becomes hot by heating it on top of a fire) to eat together. They love for each other overflowed and they could not stay separate from each other in their life.
shepherd couple became popular among the people of the tribe.
shepherds’ wives she was a good listener to her husband’s words more than being a common housewife. They were two very close friends who consult all their decisions with respect of each other. Ghader was very patient and answered her happily specially when he sees that his wife is missing her home and becomes angry over small things for nothing. Therefore Yildiz always had to answer him back in his style in a short time by laughing. That was why they both feel happy and lucky indeed.
Ghader had let Baraz go hunting for birds and rabbits but recently he was coming home late
and with bloody nose. This case worried Ghader whether he would feed himself from the wolves hunts or he hunts wild goats that is scarce. It was impossible for a lonely dog to hunt
such big prey and in fact wolves never attack alone, always in group and will never let Baraz to be with their hunt. They surround, attack and kill to feed themselves, hardly ever is a dog able to do it.
One day the owner of the cattle called Ghader, he left the cattle to Yildiz and Baraz and
followed the messanger to the master’s quarter. Inside the quarters, eleven to twelve men were gathered and blamed him for keeping a wolfe among the cattle. For his master, nothing was worse than being the cause of loosing a sheep each night. It turned out that Baraz befriended a female wolf and had to feed her. Ghader was shocked and said “mine is a good dog ,you might have made a mistake ,I will never believe,unless I see it with my own eyes.”
said your dog robs a sheep from the nearest cattle, uncle Rahim’s cattle, and gives it
to a female wolfe to feed her. Although Ghader has doubt about his dog’s actions, the recent instances of seeing his bloody nose, he was sure that they are not lying. He decided to go to the place and observe. He spent a night with uncle Rahim’s cattle. He saw it for himself and could not belive what he saw. The fact that Baraz had become sheepkiller and eater. İt was after midnight that Baraz came and the dogs barked while no dog attacked Baraz in their fear of it. In the moonlight Ghader followed Baraz with a sheep and took it to the mountain to his wolf partnes in a cave to feed their kids. His wolfe mate welcomed him in the cave enterance, they cut the poor sheep into parts and ate the insides too. Poor Ghader who had no choice but to kill Baraz, his faithful dog. He went to Yildiz and after much planning, she would help him hit Baraz severely to death with their prepared clobs.
The following morning, unaware of
what would happen, Baraz came to be kindly pampered
but instead he was kicked seriously on the head. Baraz then understood, the first clob then the second and .. gradually being fully injured, covered in blood and dizzy he fainted. Yildiz and Ghader making sure that its dead, seeing it lifeless and calm. Putting their head in each others shoulders, they cried with full abandonment, They had killed the only reminder of their tribe. They left its corpse to show the people of the tribe their trustability of doing their resposibility as well as they could.
A little After Ghader and his cattle had left, Baraz
opened his eyes and noticed the crows
over his head, it was noon and the sun was in the middle of the sky. If Baraz did not show his being alive, the crows might have attacked his eyes first. He tried to stand up weakly and shook his body. Being hit on head, he could not stand straight, he was still dizzy, but was able
to reach his family in the cave with much difficulty. Baraz again fainted due to his injuries and hunger. The female wolfe could hunt for many days to feed him and their kids, but after some time Baraz became a little better. He knew that men will find his cave soon, so they immediately moved to a new shelter on top of mountains with his family.
It took two years after the event
for Ghader and Yildiz h to forget Baraz, unaware that they
are being observed by Baraz from far so as to not make any difficulties and to help them in danger. Ghader and Yildiz was a very lucky family but had just a problem of not having a child . It was common in normal tribal families in which they could not own a child the man of family would re-marry to be sure whether its his failure or not, they hardly ever get their wife to a doctor in the city. Ghader did not want to do it, he loved his wife very much and had dicided to live with her without having any children. He believed that it is God’s will and they me blessed with a child in the near future.
a wound appeared onYildiz’s lip and Ghader could not heal it with his knowledge
of traditional cure,so he had to take her to a herbal doctor, Hekim. After seeingYildiz’s condition, his immediate diagnosis is Leprosy (JOZAM). In shock, Ghader became anxious and worried about her health, the Hekim said that there is no cure for it, but Ghader insisted getting her to a good doctor in the city . According to the Hakim’s belief, it has no cure in whether he takes her ro the city or not. Just to protect himself and the others , they have better take her to the lepers’ village and leave her there. A very difficult decision to make for Ghader whether to accept it or not. He was shocked and going mad, it meant being far from his love for ever.
Every body in tribe became aware of her leprosy and tried finding the reason.as to why it
happened. To answer their curiousity, Yildiz replied that one day when Ghader went to his master about Baraz’stealing the sheep, a stranger came to me with covered face and gave me a bowl of water, I drank and filled it with milk afterwards. He told her, “your husband will bring his beautiful lover to me, and Iwill own you” and then departed. Yildiz had thought that the veiled man might have been foolish but now she knows that this was his aim, she is going there with the people of the tribe and forced to stay in the lepers’ village and be fed with that stranger and live in the same shelter. The people of the tribe convinced her and pleaded not to return to the village.
Nights have been equal to years for Ghader, he missed her every second of her absence.
father came to express sympathy to his son for the first time after leaving the tribe. Upon
learning of the event, he wanted him to go back to his tribe to have a new wife with his father ‘s blessings. He said, “you are my darling son, I forgive and forget everything, I was always asking about you from those who saw you. I could not bear hearing about your wife’s illnes, if you come back I will make you re marry to forget Yildiz little by little”. Ghader very sad, in sorrow, he answere his father, “after Yildiz I will never get married or love any one. My heart will be hers for ever”. After having lunch together, he left Ghader in deep sorrow and loneliness with his message; “think deeply my son, our arms are open wide for you and ready to hug you”.
Days passed and everything has lost its value to Ghader inYildiz’s absence, stars and sun
shine had no worth for him any more and he showed no interest in the beautiful scenery. He had no interest to countinue living. Everything had died and he often was deeply thinking, staring at a blank point in front of him for a long time to review his common memory with Yildiz in his mind, with no intention to gather the cattle he gazed.
Poverty was all around the lepers’ village,
having no facilities and depending on donations
by the people. Food shortage was common and the residents suffered from hunger. Ghader was worried about his wife’s life and reached his final decision. One day he went to his Arbab (master ) in the tribe and left the cattle to its owner and without letting any body be aware of his decision moved toward the Lepers’ village, after searching he found out thatYildiz sits nearby on a rock in a hill from dawn to sunset and watches the region where Ghader works. He got calmly closer to his formal (sharii) wife, she had covered her face and refused to look at him, she sent him away angirily saing: “you have to go back, it is contagious and you will become aleper too”, so he left her with her insistence, but in the evening when she came back to her shelter in the village, she saw him eating dinner with the other lepers, from a food he had brought. Yildiz went to him in a cry but was too late, he had been spending some hours with them touching them and being very close, for sure he has become infected.
In deep sorrow, she asked the reason why he did it.
Ghader replied, “I knew being uninfected
keeps me away, but when I am like you there is no reason for you to keep me away, I came to be with you all my life”. Suddenly Yildiz unvieled her face to show Ghader. “Did you want to see my face without some parts of it?, She had lost some meat around her lips and nose but Ghader was ready to confront such horrible face. He was full of love said, “yes ,even this face”, everybody around them cried to witness such a scene.
May be this was their destiny and they were lucky and enjoyed being together.
knew what was their inner feeling. There was a cottage where its old owner had passed away and these lovers were living there about some months in that village. The cottage had a poor furniture to live a simple life . Now Ghader had got a wound on his face in the corner of his lip too which was growing bigger and losing its meat . Many times it had happend for them to stay without food until some close villages’ settelers donate a box of bread. Reaching for the dried bread ,they make it soft it with water to be eatable.
One day, Baraz’s bark was heared by Ghader when the two lovers were sitting inside the
cottage. Hopeless about everything and hungry, hearing their dog was unbelievable because they were sure that they killed it themselves. Getting closer to the window and seeing it with a hunt in his jaw, a rabbit , realizing it was still alive elated them. In happiness, they pamperd Baraz and got the rabit to feed themselves. After a long time, with Yildiz’s help they were going to have kabab. They got energy, eating dinner after a long time of being hungry.
Baraz brought them his preys to feed them during the coming days. Yildiz ‘s life was comming to its end,
Baraz had learned how
to hunt well living with wolves, in fact not only Baraz was helping to feed them but also was showing his loyalty and accompanying them. Baraz kept their younger memories alive. in her weakness and deep weak sound begged Ghader
to forgive her. It was difficult to underestand what she was saying, with lack of lips and throat, on the hand Ghader had a similar condition, answering that he will join her in the other world. Hardly he said he will never leave her alone. That terrible night passed withYildiz’s hands in Ghader’s hands and Baraz by their feeth. Crying during the night had left no tears for him to cry any more when the villagers came in the morning and found them.
Ghader could dig a grave with help from the others forYildiz
to sleep in peace. They buried
her and for the following day, the lepers came to pray for her and found Ghader dead on the grave. So they digged another grave beside hers and buried Ghader too.
Baraz did not leave their graves and was crying and
hungry for days with no prey and food,
even he had cut his relation with his wolf friends. A leper brought him bread and water but he had no appetite and finally after three days, it died by their feet. Although he was an animal, he had felt the pain of their death, it seemed that he had no aim to live withouth Yildiz and Ghader. The residents of the village buried its corpse by their feet.
The story of their last days with their loyal dog had spread orally and kept their memory
alive and love. Their parents were informed and made them very sorry, on the other hand their love story became a symbol to every body in the region. Today when lovers want to compare their love with each other, their example would be those two lovers and their loyal dog.
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