Two Mothers
by Aziza Jafarzade (December 29, 1921 - September 4, 2003)

From the book "My Mother's Tales"
Baku: Ganjlik, 1982

Gulyaz was gathering greens on the green plains of Kudru. A little farther on beyond her, she had set down her baby in the shade that the clouds cast over the field. The baby was sleeping quietly.

Suddenly, a racket was heard in the distance and attracted Gulyaz's attention. She looked over and saw a herd of gazelle coming out of the valley and running towards her. The leader of the herd saw Gulyaz, stopped for a moment and changed direction. The sensitive mother's heart let out a cry. The gazelles would trample her little baby...The baby would be torn into pieces under their hooves. She started running. For some reason, the herd of gazelle suddenly stopped before they reached the swaddled child. Gulyaz saw a baby gazelle stumble and fall flat on the ground.

"Ah!" she screamed. The herd circled the fallen gazelle and the sleeping baby wrapped so tightly in swaddling clothes. When they saw Gulyaz approach, they got scared and darted off. But the baby gazelle couldn't get up. He turned his head towards the herd and bleated for help.

One of the gazelles lagged behind the herd. She was the mother. She was also bleating for her child.

Gulyaz stopped when she saw this. Now both babies were lying there between Gulyaz and the gazelle. The woman didn't take a step forward because she felt pity for the gazelle. The baby gazelle was bleating and calling for its mother. The mother gazelle couldn't come any closer because there was a human there, but nor could she abandon her baby. So she just bleated quietly.

Then the baby gazelle got up and started walking towards its mother, dragging its scraped leg. The mother gazelle took heart and came closer. Then she started suckling her baby, looking back at Gulyaz and keeping a watchful eye around her.

Gulyaz came closer to her baby, too. Looking at the gazelle, she picked up her baby and unbuttoned her blouse to offer milk to her child, who had been awakened by all of the noise and commotion.

They were both mothers.

Translation from Azeri: Gulnar Aydamirova
Editor: Betty Blair
Webmaster: Aynura Huseinova
Launched on February 2003

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