Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

B102A. Clouds are cows.

Clouds are associated with cattle, especially in cows (and rain is their milk).

Germans (south?) , Ancient India, Kannada, Yazgulyam, Shugnans, Avesta, Czechs, Russians (Vladimir), Lithuanians, Norwegians.

Western Europe. Germans (south?) [mystery: a black cow stands on a bridge without supports and no one can hold it (cloud)]: Rochholz 1862:52.

South Asia. Ancient India [the Rigveda says celestial waters are milking cows; rain clouds are "milk cows"]: Litvinsky 1981:93; Kannada [the elder had a riddle: someone without hands milk boneless buffalo, and someone without a mouth drinks milk; clouds are buffalo, the wind "squeezes out" rain from the clouds, the earth drinks this cloud milk]: Ramanujan 1997:26.

Central Europe. Czechs [when small white clouds float in the sky, they say that Saint Peter is herding his sheep]: Grobmann 2015, No. 178:54; Russians (Vladimir) ["In Vladimir Province, advanced rows of dark reddish, thunderclouds floating over the horizon are still called bulls"]: Afanasiev 2008:39; Russians (Yaroslavl) [Bulls went across the sky; Yesterday a goby ran, all hay soaked; etc.]: Tolstoy 2003:257 in Lauriken 2019:299.

Iran - Central Asia. Yazgulyamtsy [the cloud is a cow, the rain is its milk; at the same time, rain is the fertilization of the earth by the sky]: Andreev 1927:21 (quoted in Litvinsky 1981:93); Shugnans [at the first spring rain they put the cup under the hole in the roof and cast the spell: "Rain with milk and bread"]: Andreev 1927:21 (quoted in Litvinsky 1981:93); Avesta ["bull of heaven" is a source of moisture, whose productive power is expressed in its power over the clouds that pass through the sky before the rain]: Litvinsky 1981:93.

Western Europe.Baltoscandia. Lithuanians [sky - pasture with sheep stars, Month - shepherd; clouds - grey bulls or black cow; on a blue meadow, a white shepherdess herds sheep: sun and clouds]: Laurikene 2019:298; Norwegians [mystery: a cow stands on a wide back (sky) and roars so much that you can hear (thunder) in the seven kingdoms]: Rochholz 1862:52.