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Such lands are haunted and avoided: people are said inexplicably to get lost there, or lose their minds Urad Mongols , or they go there to commit suicide a zone near Har Horin in Halh Mongolia, famed for this reason. One day in the s, a lorry driver was going past Zaisan in the Ulaanbaatar suburbs.

Suddenly he saw a tiny man appear from a marmot hole at the side of the road. He was a tiny complete Mongol, dressed traditionally in deel Mongol gown , hat, and boots, and carrying a knife. This little man ran across the road in front of the lorry and disappeared into another marmot hole. The lorry driver was amazed, and as soon as he got to the avtobaza transport depot he told all his friends. The story flashed around the city, was taken up by the press, and appeared as a TV news item. In the next few days, people began to flock to Zaisan to spot the little man, and schools and factories emptied as crowds went off to investigate.

Photographers stood at the ready outside the marmot hole. In the end, the disruption was such that the government had to issue instructions to people to return to school and work. First, the tiny man was assumed to be real and the driver was not credited with any supernormal abilities of perception. Second, although the incident was taken to be a bad omen — a human, but the wrong size, and behaving like an animal — the subject to be afflicted was not the driver in particular; he was merely the conduit. The resulting effect, harm in one case and good in the other , came not so much to the daughter-in-law herself as to the whole family.

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Perhaps it can be deduced that just as the daughter-in-law moves between two spatially separate families, the lorry driver has a similar intermediary role at a wider scale, since he pursues the mobile profession of moving between towns and cities. But maybe there is more to it than that.

For a start, the origin of the diminutive size can be derived from a wrongful mixture of natural elements. Illustration 6. The savdag water spirits got angry. This interview indicates the tendency to relate the unfortunate anomaly of animal-like size with the pollution buzar of one cosmic element by another. It is associated with an origin myth domog , 12 according to which the animal species originated with a man, a famous archer, who undertook to save the earth from the four suns that were scorching it.

He shot down three suns, but aiming at the last his arrow accidentally hit a small bird that happened to be flying past and cut its tail in two this bird became a swallow. Furious at himself for this mistake, the hunter cut off his thumb marmots have only four toes , buried himself underground, and turned into a marmot.

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Alternatively, the arrogant hunter hit the wing of Garuda, the mythical king of birds, see Illustration 5 top centre , 13 who was angered, cut off his thumb, and condemned him to become a marmot, to live in burrows, hibernate, and whenever he appeared above ground become the helpless prey of wild animals and hunters Potanin — Even if people have only hazy knowledge of such legends, the ordinary animal marmot can be thought of as having some kind of human aura, or at least of having had a human pre-existence. As we see, this knowledge of antecedents has a narrative form, which employs occult transformations not only as cosmic possibilities but also in the service of implicit or explicit ethical injunctions.

In the following section, I show how this can affect a human ensemble, the receiver of an omen. These appear in newspapers, radio broadcasts, blogs on the Internet, social media, and so forth, and can spread rapidly in social assemblages. They are especially popular among young people, who sit around and discuss them as extraordinary but real happenings.

Their temporality refers to something that has just happened, and the stories are always supplied with names, places, dates, and realistic starting scenes. Bolson yavdal are exciting because they tie the everyday to the unknown dimensions of the cosmos — to what really might be the case, given the strange and improbable things that happen to people.

The story of the lorry driver at Zaisan is typical of the genre, and the rush of crowds to spot the marmot man shows that many people accept such eye-witnessing as valid. Bolson yavdal bring into play all kinds of animals, ghosts, zombies, demons, metamorphoses, and transmigration of souls, but to keep some continuity in this article I now cite one concerning marmots.

He was avid for the delicious meat of marmots. It was white and striped like an African zebra. Lhasbat determined to kill it. Dolzodmaa was forced to skin and cook it, the tears pouring down her face.


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Nothing happened that day, but next morning the family was woken up by marmot squeaking. They looked round and there was Dolzodmaa sitting up, squeaking, her hands crossed over her chest like a marmot. Lhasbat slapped her cheek, but she only squealed more. And now a sound rose around their tent. Crowds of marmots had appeared, standing up, all of them gibbering and shrieking. It was a deafening, heart-breaking, ghastly sound. Terrified, Lhasbat and his sons set off on their motorbikes via Tsaidam, through Khashaat to Kharkhorin to get help.

But when they came back a day later Dolzodmaa was nowhere to be seen.

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They never found her. Meanwhile, the event also transformed the marmots. This is disclosed by the re-configuration of the marmot population into a kind of society — they are no longer haphazardly encountered game but achieve the unison of a human-like tragic chorus, bewailing their persecution.

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In , a blog on the Mongolian Internet described how a man found a beautiful black leather jacket lying on the street. This was extraordinary, for no one in their right mind would abandon such a valuable thing. The man brought the jacket home and put it on.

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His wife asked where he got it, but he lied to her, saying he bought it on the black market — he was well aware that it is not good to bring home things you just find. But then his dog started to bark for no reason. Both the jacket and the barking were omens. But the couple mistakenly supposed something was wrong with the dog and thought no more about it. Next day, the man found his dog had jumped on top of his ger felt tent.

Then his son also died.

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The man decided to go and consult a lama. He asked the lama to say a prayer to repel the spirit, went home, burned the jacket by fire, and used arshan holy water to purify his ger. It indicates that when material objects become omens, they too, as in the case of animals or birds, concentrate in one object a before and an after. It is assumed that no one would willingly leave a beautiful leather jacket lying in the road; therefore assumed that the owner must be dead, and, further, that he did not die in a good way.

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This soul would certainly take vengeance on the person who usurped his jacket. This series of deductions 17 relates to Mongolian notions of personal possession and bodily-physical attachment to things — an attachment that, according to Buddhist ethics of detachment, should be ritually severed just before a good death, because only a soul freed from such ties can be liberated to take up a proper rebirth in a different body Humphrey The fact that a valuable black jacket had been abandoned in the road suggested that this whole normal sequence had not happened.

Some unknown violence was probable.

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With a soul clinging to it, the jacket would in some sense belong to the world of the dead, not the living human world. Consider the following: the man who could not resist picking up and wearing the jacket, the lie he told his wife, the faithful dog that barks to warn the household that something is terribly wrong, the misrecognition of the two omens, the wanton killing of the dog, the disaster befalling the daughter and son, the recourse to a lama, and the use of fire and sanctified water to restore things to their proper order. The story assumes readers who will be able to decode the morality and relate it to a regrettably common family scenario with which they might identify: husbands who are thieves and liars, wives who turn a blind eye, profitless male violence.

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This is not your typical English school. Se sei alla ricerca di una scuola di lingue come tante altre, ti preghiamo di cercare altrove. Skip to content. SAT Prep Courses. What is the SAT for? How much time should you dedicate to SAT preparation? The Fatal Eggs can be described as a satirical science fiction novel. Its main protagonist is an aging zoologist, Vladimir Ipatyevich Persikov, a specialist in amphibians.

The narration begins in Moscow of , which seems to have overcome the destructive effects of the Russian Civil War and is quite prosperous. After a long period of degradation, research at the Zoological Institute has revived. After leaving his microscope for several hours, Persikov suddenly noticed that the out-of-focus microscope produced a ray of red light; amoeba left under that light showed an impossibly increased rate of binary fission , reproducing at enormous speeds and demonstrating unusual aggression.

Later experiments with large cameras — to produce a larger ray — confirmed that the same increased speed of reproduction applied to other organisms, such as frogs , which evolved and produced a next generation within two days.