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Stories from Home Series: Kurdish (Iranian) Folklore

Titil and Bibil by Masoud Mahmoudi (ESOL L1)

Once upon a time, there were two small and beautiful goats called Titil and Bibil. They lived in one of the vast and green mountains of Kurdistan. Their mother was friendly and so kind to them. She always used to go to the top of the mountain to eat fresh grass to make fresh milk for Titil and Bibil. She had a calming voice and white hooves.

Titil and Bibil were growing up, always running around and happy. But on the same mountain, a cruel wolf was eating kids every day! There was no place where the animals could ever be safe from him.

Their mother was wise and scared of that wolf, so she talked to her children. She warned, 'When I am not at home, don't open the door for anyone else.' They had never seen a wolf in person, so Titil asked, 'How should we know if it is the wolf and not you?' The mother explained,' I have a calm and sweet voice, and my hooves are white, but the wolf has a rough and scary voice, and his paws are black.'

She offered, 'Come and have some fresh milk.' Bibil challenged Titil, 'Let's jump, and whoever jumps the highest can have the milk first.' Bibil accepted. They jumped, but they were of equal strength, and Bibil suggested, 'Why are we making ourselves tired? Let's drink together.' So, they drank the milk together and went outdoors. The mother was observing them and looking after them every single moment.

In the morning, the mother went to the top of the mountain to eat grass. The wolf knew about her schedule, so he went to her house and knocked on the door. Titil and Bibil asked, 'Who are you?' He answered, 'I am your mom, your kind mom who brings you fresh milk.' They replied, 'No, you have a rough voice and black paws. We will not open the door for you until our mom returns.'

The sinister wolf went down to the plain and ate grass until his voice changed to the soft and sweet voice of the goat. Still, he had dark skin. So, he went to the mill, found some flour, and changed the colour of his paws to white. After taking all these precautions, he came back and fooled the kids. They opened the door; the wolf attacked them and ate both of them!

When the mother came back, seeing that the house door was wide open, she stepped inside and called her children. No one answered. She got angry like a bee and went to the jungle. She asked the bear and tiger, 'Which one of you ate my children? Come and fight with me.' They defended, 'This slander is enough; we did not eat them.'

So, she went to the wolf's house. She asked, 'Did you eat my children?' He replied, 'Yes, I ate them, and if you make me angry, I will eat you as well.' She spoke angrily, 'Come out. I want to fight with you.' He boasted, 'I am tired. Tomorrow we will fight in front of all the animals.'

The mother returned to her house, thinking about how to win the fight. She went to the blacksmith. She asked him to sharpen her horns to fight the wolf in exchange for yoghurt. He made her horns sharper than a spear.

At midnight, Wolf came to see the blacksmith and ordered him to sharpen his teeth. The blacksmith knew what the request was about, so he smiled, 'Your teeth are all rotten, so I need to extract them all.' Instead, he made dentures persuading the wolf that he could cut iron with them.

The day of the fight arrived. All the animals came to watch. The tiger asked them to start. From the beginning, the wolf attacked the poor goat and bit her neck, but his dentures broke, and he became toothless. He did not know what to do without his teeth. Mother goat used that time to gather herself, come back and run towards him and, with her sharp horns, tore the wolf's belly, killing him and, as a result, bringing her children back to life. All three of them returned to the house on the mountain of Kurdistan.

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