The Lake Monster & The Singing Maiden
The Lake Monster and the Singing Maiden (Озерное чудовище и поющая дева) is a legend related to Lake Lamu, known among communities of the Evsk and Moskovar ethnicities. It is one of the several folk tales from Moskova's folklore that involve a magical creature.
This tale tells the story of a girl with a special voice, a monster living in a lake and the special bond they both developed over the time. Some of the themes that can be found in this narration are:
- The importance of caring about nature.
- Appearances can fool.
- Differences are beautiful.
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Some tongues say that long time ago, among the bountiful green forests and tall greyish mountains, a small singing tribe lived. This community was known due to its beautiful singing. In this small tribe lived a little girl called Dua. Dua was a quiet girl wit a hair grey as the silver and eyes dark as the night. She liked a lot to walk in the forest alone and look at the beauties of nature while singing. She grew up with grace and beauty among the pines and the larches. When she became a teen, it came the time of testing her voice and see if she could become the prince's wife, and be part of the ritual choir. All the girls taking the test singed their delicate and thin melodies like birds during spring. She was expected to do the same. But when she tried, her voice was thick and strong like a thunder during storms. People didn't like it and mocked her, then she ended running away with her eyes full of tears. She reached a blue and big lake at the mountain's feet. She sang to comfort herself. But then she noticed that she wasn't really alone. Someone was listening to her. It was a long and scaly, fearsome figure under the water, which approached to shore. It seemed to like her song. Then she resumed to sing, and the creature approached more and more. It felt in love with her voice. The time passed by, and she used to get everyday to the shores of the lake, singing lullabies for the meandering beast. She singed at the sunrise, and she singed at the sunset. The bond grew stronger and stronger. She found a real friend. One day, some explorers from the nearest Kingdom visited the tribe. They were thirsty for money. They talked to the assembly of chiefs, saying that a monster lived in the lake. They wanted to hunt it. Dua listened to them and ran away at the dawn. She had to protect her friend. The hunters went to the lake, as well as the tribe's chiefs. But the monster was expecting for her. They threw a hunting web over it. The beast was immobilized. She appeared from behind the trees and sang her song. The serpent tried to break free. She sang louder and louder. Then, the lake woke up. The blue waters turned grey, fierce waves began to shake. Her voice made the waters roar. The waves threw the hunters away, and freed the gentle beast. The creature took the girl with it, and went out of their sight. She turned from a misunderstood girl into a guardian of the lake. It is said that both friends keep swimming eternally in the lake like if they were a single soul. And if someone dares to harm it, they feel the rage and the power of their mighty, thundering roar.
Thanks to this folk tale, the Ozmeya (how the lake monster is known) is considered an icon of the Lake Lamu among the tribes and communities that live close to it. Being able to catch the Ozmeya swimming is considered something that brings good luck to the viewer as a reward for their good trait towards nature.
Scenes from this story are seen featured in rugs, pottery and storybooks. This tale is a recurrent theme in traditional craft from the Evsk tribes and Moskovar settlements near the Western Forest and the Lake Lamu.