The Batsbi?

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from the

face of the Earth



A villager fell asleep after ploughing, and when he awoke, he saw a great Nart beside him, who was examining what he thought was a wooden stick. The Nart asked him what it was, and the man told him it was a weapon, a gun, which could shoot and kill at a great distance. The Nart was amazed that a thing like that could exist in his lifetime. He pondered the matter for a while, and then asked if the gun could kill a bull he could see some way in the distance. Without moving from where he was, the man shot the bull dead. The Nart thought that if humans had become clever enough to invent a stick like that, it would be difficult to beat them. But when the Nart said he would go to a nearby mountain, the man became suspicious. So, after the Nart left, the villager stood his bourka felt cape up in his place, while he moved out of the way to safety. From the top of the mountain, the Nart plucked a great tree from the ground, and hurled it at what he thought was the villager. But on his return, the Nart saw that the man was alive, and he admitted that “Now that Man has become wiser and more cunning and has invented such a weapon, there is no place for us.” And that is how Narts disappeared from the face of the Earth.

Found in Robert Chenciner's Daghestan, p.23.