Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

C3. The serpent plugged the hole in the ark, A1853.1, (ATU 825).



serpent (eel, frog) saved Noah's ark by plugging a hole in it with its body.

Catalans, French (Upper Brittany, Landes), Romanians, Croats, Bosnians, Bulgarians, Macedonians, Russians (Kostroma, Penza, Tula, Orel), Ukrainians (Hutsuls, Rivne, Chernigov, Kiev, Zhytomyr), Belarusians, Karachays, Abkhazians, Megrelians, Armenians, Latvians, Finns, Chuvash, Mari, Kazan Tatars, Nogais Karagash, Bashkirs, (Udmurts), Kyrgyz, Uighurs, Altaians, Khakas, northern Selkups.

Southern Europe. The Catalans [the mouse gnawed a hole in the ark; God advised Noah to plug it with a viper; she had a big head; Noah hit the viper head forward, the head became smaller with a V pattern, viper - less dangerous]: Albert-Llorca 1987:164.

Western Europe. The French (entry 1, Landes) [the first time God destroyed the world by the wind, several people escaped in caves; destroyed the second time by the flood; warned the righteous man, ordering him to build an ark in secret; the devil noticed this man's absence; asked his wife to pour out all the water so that when he returned from work, his husband could not wash his hands {incomprehensible}; he first washed his hands in the night pot, but the next evening and it was empty; the devil found out where the ark was being built, began to punch holes in the bottom; man plugged them with a pin every time; after 7 years, it rained and the last hole remained open; but the eel covered it with his tail; when the waters came down, they left behind lakes, valleys and mountains; before the flood, the earth was as flat as a table; when God decided to destroy the earth a third time, he would do it with fire; the sun will rise not from the east but from the west, stay in the sky until 10 am and then fall; after that no one will be left]: Delarue, Tenèze 1985, No. 825:270-272; the French (Haute-Brittany) [when the ark swam, Noah found a leak, the rats gnawed through the hole; God told Noah not to be angry with them, but to plug the hole with a viper in it; since then, the vipers have a flat head and Figure V on it, meaning that The Lord protects]: Kabakova 1998, No. 47:62-63.

The Balkans. Romanians: Beza 1928 [The devil entered the ark and gnawed a hole in the form of a mouse; the lizard plugged it with its tail, we should be grateful to her]: 132; Brill, Ispas 2005, No. 11366 (Muntenia) [Ionescu, Legende, 32, translated by N.G. Golant; The bottom of Noah's Ark was gnawed by a mouse and water came through the resulting hole. The snake plugged the hole on the condition that they give it something. After the flood, she asked for the best (tasty) blood, and the mosquito was sent to look for it. When he came back to say that a person had the most delicious blood, the swallow cut off (pulled it out?) his language. Since (the mosquito) could no longer speak, he pointed to his mouth and to the swallow. The snake wanted to swallow the swallow, but could only grab it by the tail. The feathers from the middle of her tail have remained in her mouth, and since then the swallow has an incised (jagged) tail]: 227; Bosnians, Croats [the snake plugged a hole in the ark that the mouse gnawed at; for this, she received the right to eat human and poultry meat (Bosnia, Mostar district) or drink human blood (Croatia, Karlovac district); when the Swallow learned about this, told Snake that it was necessary to have a good language, to eat human meat, she asked to show it; as soon as the Snake stuck its tongue out, the Swallow pecked at it, it remained split (Bosnia, Mostar District)]: Gura 1997:282; Croats [Noah's Ark began to sink because the mouse gnawed through the hole; God ordered it to be plugged, and the snake volunteered to shut it up with its body if it was allowed to drink human blood; after the flood, the serpent came to God and asked for the promise to be fulfilled ; God told her to wait a while; then another; she ran into shepherds and they threw her into the fire; fleas appeared from her ashes, still biting people]: Eschker 1992, No. 72:250-251; Bulgarians: Belova 2004a: 269 (Rhodopes) [Georgiev 1906:175-176; the mouse began to nibble on the bottom of the ark, the cat ate the mouse, so cats should not be tortured or killed; the snake in the ark was hungry, sent the beetle to find out whose meat in the ark is the sweetest; the beetle found out that it was human, but the swallow pecked his tongue so that he could not tell the snake about it; therefore it is a sin to destroy the swallows' nests], 271 [the snake plugs a hole, gnawed by the mouse {in the ark}, with its tail and allows St. Nicola cut off a piece of her tail, but in return demands that a nightingale be eaten by her; St. Nikola sacrifices a mouse to a snake instead of a nightingale]; Macedonians [a mouse gnawed a hole in the ark, the snake plugged it with its body, demanded a reward, Noah blessed her to eat mine]: Belova 2004a: 269.

Central Europe. Western Ukrainians (Hutsuls) [first dwarfs with long beards (lectobeards) lived on earth, followed by giants of great power; they did a lot of evil and God decided to exterminate them 40 days of rain; God told righteous Noah to build a ship, but the hell broke the ship; Noah made a new one, sailed; hell became a mouse and gnawed a hole in the ship; the snake plugged it with its tail, and then Noah hammered the plug ; the unicorn bird said that it did not need a ship, it would be able to fly for 40 days; but it fell and drowned; a horn sailed on the water and two people on it, from them today; over time, people will grind and become like dwarfs]: Kindl 2003:130-131; Eastern Ukrainians (Kyiv region) [God sent a flood on sinful people; Noah's wife did not want to enter the ark, Noah swore, Come in, Satan! She came in, the devil came in with her, made a hole, and then plugged her; God sent a dove to search for land, the dove came back with nothing; sent a dove that brought a flower; after the flood he asks to be paid in blood; God sends a mosquito to find out whose mosquito is sweeter, he said it was human; God asked again, and the wolf began to shout that it was a toad; for this, the wolf was assigned one cattle out of ten]: Belova 2004a, No. 578:270-291 ( similar variants from Chernihiv, Zhytomyr, several from the Rivne region); Russians: Andronikov 1909 (Kostroma) [God decided to send a flood and ordered Noah to build an ark; but the mammoth did not enter it: I will swim out myself; the others came in, but the cat was not there; the devil taught Noah's wife not to enter until he was angry and said, "Go, devil! After these words, the devil became a mouse and whizzed into the ark after Noah's wife; the mouse gnawed a hole in the ark; he plugged it with its tail; but the mouse began to gnaw in the other corner; the lion sneezed out the cat, which ate the mouse; therefore, the cat's snout is filthy, and the coat is clean, and can go to church; but the dog has the opposite: that skin is diabolical and cannot go to God's temple]: 20-21; Belova 2004a, No. 567 (Penza) [while swimming the mouse gnawed a hole in the ark, and even plugged the hole with his head, for which he was awarded a golden crown], 576 (Tula, Doukhobors) [the devil "dukhobors" in the corner in one corner... then the horror lowered its tail, plugged this one hole], 579 (Oryol, Tambov, Saratov, Nizhny Novgorod) [already plugged a mouse-gnawed hole in the ark with his tail, for which God awarded it a golden crown]: 264, 270, 272; Belarusians: Belova 2004a , No. 577 (Brest) [Noah made an ark, and people asked his wife where Noah was, they made a hole in the ark; when the ark swam, Noah began to feed everyone - the snake did not; it turns out that he plugged the hole with his tail; therefore, you can't kill anymore]: 270; Gura 1997 (Polesie) [He plugged a hole in Noah's Ark, which was pierced by a fish (Rivne region; author's west), licked by the devil (Brest region; author's west) or gnawed by a mouse , for which God rewarded him with yellow and red "temples"]: 282.

Caucasus - Asia Minor. Karachayevs/Balkarians [a knot fell from the board in the bottom of Nuh's ship; the Serpent agreed to plug the hole, Nukh promised her the blood of the animal she would choose; the Serpent sent Komar to find out whose the blood is sweeter; he found out that it was human, said it, the Swallow heard it, chased, tore off his tongue; the mosquito mooed "Ah-ah" (Adam), and the Snake realized that "makah" (frog); the Snake bit the Swallow's tail, with since then he has been split]: Dzhurtubayev 1991:50-51 (=2007:10-11); Abkhazians: Chursin 1956:138 [1) Kodori County; Noah's ark was damaged, the Serpent plugged the hole for promising to allow it to eat what she would find more delicious; sent Noah the Beetle to say that she was human; the Swallow asked him to show his tongue, pulled it out, told Noah that the Snake liked frogs best; for this, the Snake snatched the Swallow tail; 2) Lykhny; God asked the Snake what it wanted to eat; the snake tasted the meat of different animals, chose a person; sent a Beetle to tell God about her choice; The swallow asked him to show his tongue, tore it off; God cursed the Beetle and the Serpent, the Serpent ate frogs for food; the Serpent pulled out the Swallow's tail; The Swallow is a friend of man]; Shakryl 1975, No. 93 [after learning about the flood, the prophet Nyah agrees with four carpenters to build a ship, everyone wants a daughter N. for work, he has only one daughter; the forest wears adaui; agrees to say before eating, God forbid, his mercy, food does not run out; God turns a donkey, a dog and a cat N. in girls; by their behavior after marriage, N. guesses who is who; takes a real daughter and son-in-law on the ship; The mouse gnawed a hole, the Snake plugged her tail, N. agreed to give her what she wants ; The Eagle did not return, the Raven eats carrion, the Dove tells us where the earth has hardened; The Serpent sends the Beetle to tell N. that he wants to eat human; The Swallow managed to snatch the Beetle's tongue, the Serpent knocked out her feather with its tail from the tail; N. tells the Serpent to eat frogs; after the flood, a neighbor who fed the carpenters escaped]: 400-407; Megrelians [a leak formed in Noah's Ark, the Serpent promised to stop it if it feed delicious meat; N. sent Beetle to determine whose meat tasted better; the Beetle found out what was human, told Swallow; she asked her to taste her meat, in return, stick out her tongue to determine the taste of Beetle's meat; bit off his tongue; before Noah, the Swallow answered for the Beetle that the Snake should eat frogs; the Snake grabbed her tail, tore out the middle]: Mashurko 1903:78-79 (=Virsaladze 1973, No. 103:158-159); Armenians: Ganalanyan 1979, No. 770 [there is a hole in the ark, the snake promised to shut up if Noah gave his blood to drink; when the water came down, N. threw the snake into the fire, told him to become a flea to drink blood; the snake's ashes turned into fleas] 785 [Satan persuaded Mher to compete with God; an angel chained him to a rock, said he would not die, but a raven would eat his giblets, a crow and a magpie pecking his liver]: 246-247, 252-252; Lalayants 1904, No. 2 [the mouse gnawed a hole in the ark; Noah offered to plug the hole, only the snake could do it; after the flood, N. offered the snake a reward, which stuck out its tongue and demanded human blood; swallow rushed, bit her tongue, since then he has been forked; one drop of blood from the snake's tongue fell on N., turned into a louse; the second fell on a snake and became a flea]: 203-204 (=Harutyunyan 2007:37).

Baltoscandia. Latvians: Pogodin 1895:434 [there was a hole in the ark; the Serpent covered it with her body for promising to allow it to eat whatever meat she chose after the flood; the mosquito flew to look for whom blood tastes better; on the way back, he answered Swallow that the man had; she asked again, pulled out half of his trunk, the Mosquito was just squeaking; the Swallow told the Snake that the Mosquito had found the most delicious blood in the frog; The serpent has covered the middle of Swallow's tail; since then, snakes have been hated and swallows loved], 435 [Noah forgot to drive a nail into the hole, and the ark leaked; the serpent plugged the hole with its tail, God rewarded it the right to choose food; the Snake sent the Mosquito to find out whose meat tastes better; Komar said that a person, but his tongue was confused, only Man and Swallow understood; The Swallow tells Komar that he has a splinter in tongue, pulled out her tongue; The snake lied as if Komar said that a frog had the most delicious meat]; the Finns [Noah took the snake into the ark to plug the nail hole with its tail]: Aarne 1912, No. 107:19.

Volga - Perm. Chuvash: Vardugin 1996 [(=Sidorova 1979:20, =Eisen 1993:12); The mouse gnawed Noah's ark, the Serpent plugged the hole; grateful Noah sent Horsefly to bring food to the Snake; he brought human blood The swallow had time to bite off his tongue when Horsefly was about to talk about his impressions; the Snake bit through the middle of Swallow's tail]: 249; Egorov 1995 [Tour ă reported in a dream The righteous old man was told that there would be a flood to take a couple of living things on the ship; Shuittan taught the elder's wife not to board the ship until he swore, Get on, Shuittan! S. in the form of a mouse snuck onto the ship, gnawed at the hole; he shut it up with his head; after the flood, the ship landed on Mount Ama Tu; T. decided to reward the snake with delicious food; they sent a mosquito to search for it; he I tried the blood of all animals, decided that the human being is sweeter than everyone; I wanted to tell T., but the swallow managed to bite off his tongue; he attacked the swallow, managed to pinch off the tip of his tail]: 132; marie: Akzorin 1991, No. 9 [Oia (hell) persuades the old woman to give her husband a beer to tell him where he goes all the time; the old man says that there will be a flood, that he is building a boat; when it rains, the old man invites the old woman into the boat; she sits down only after he curses; that's why Oia sat down; the mouse made a hole in the bottom, the cat plugged the hole with its tail; the old man sent a crow, another bird, to search for land, but only the dove returned with grass in its beak; the old man's boat stands on Mount Ararat]: 41-43; Yuziyeva 2016 [archive; village. Kairakovo; One man survived the flood, sailing on a boat. There was a hole in the boat, where he put his snake's tail down. A mosquito flew in. A person asks who has the most delicious blood. The mosquito says it's human. At this time, a swallow arrives and grabs the mosquito by the tail. At this time, the snake grabs the swallow by the tail. The end of the swallow's tail breaks off. Thus, the swallow's tail became forked]: 141; Kazan Tatars: Gilyazutdinov 2015, No. 281 [when the flood began, Nukh and his wife sat down in the ark and took a couple of each living creature with him; the mouse gnawed at the bottom of the ark; the snake curled up into a ball and closed the hole; asked N. for provisions for the favor and said she wanted delicious blood; N. sent a crow first, then a mosquito, but those did not return; then he sent a swallow; she met a mosquito returning; he said that he did not find blood tastier than human blood; the swallow pecked out his tongue; when they returned, the mosquito squeaked, and the swallow explained that he had recently told her: "There is nothing tastier than frog blood"; N. punished the snake to eat frogs; it attacked the swallow, pulled out part of its tail; so it was split]: 276-278; Gilyazutdinov 2015, No. 281 [when the flood began, Nuh and his wife sat down in the ark and took a pair of every living creature with them; the mouse gnawed at the bottom of the ark; the snake curled up into a ball and closed the hole; asked N. had provisions for her service and said she wanted delicious blood; N. sent a crow first, then a mosquito, but they did not return; then he sent a swallow; she met a returning mosquito; he said that he did not find blood tastier than human blood; the swallow pecked out his tongue; when they returned, the mosquito squeaked, and the swallow explained that he had recently told her: "There is nothing tastier than frog blood"; N. punished the snake there are frogs; she attacked the swallow, pulled out part of its tail; so it is forked]: 276-278; Nogais Karagash (Astrakhan Region, 1974) [the prophet made a boat; put those who agreed to become Muslim in it; also took cattle, a mouse, a cat, a wolf; one day the boat was supposed to sink, but the snake lowered its tail into the water and dammed it; after This boat landed on a big mountain; the prophet said, "Serpent, we should have drowned, but you saved us, what do you want?" ; she replied: "My desire is that whose blood is sweeter, I will drink from him"; the prophet sent a mosquito to find out whose blood is sweeter; the mosquito tasted from everyone, found out that the sweetest blood is human; swallow asked him whose blood tasted better; the mosquito stuck out his tongue, the swallow pulled it out; the mosquito flew to the prophet, began to buzz; the swallow said that it understood the buzz; to free the man from the snake, she said that the most delicious blood is frog blood; the snake got angry, tore off part of the swallow's tail; the tail remained so]: Arslanov 1992, No. 12:94-95; the Bashkirs [Nukh Paigambar built during the flood a huge boat, took each creature in a pair; The mouse gnawed a hole in the bottom, the Snake plugged its head; grateful N. sent Komar for food for the Snake; the mosquito bit everyone, found out that the most delicious blood at the man; opened his mouth to report it, but the Swallow tore off part of his sting; the mosquito began to buzz incomprehensibly, the Snake rushed to the Swallow, having managed to bite off its middle tail]: Barag 1987, No. 110:98; (cf. Udmurts [(recorded from the Russians, but perhaps learned by them from the Votyaks); the flood begins, Noah's wife hesitates to enter the ark, he says in his hearts, Go rather damned; because of this, follow his wife The devil came in; he entered the mouse, began to gnaw through a hole; the lion snorted the cat out of his nostril, it ate the mouse; therefore, the cat's tongue is unclean]: Vereshchagin 1996:136).

Turkestan. Kyrgyz [the mouse gnawed a hole in the ark, the snake plugged the hole with its body, Suleiman allowed her to ask for any reward; the Snake always wanted to drink the most delicious blood; S. sent Horfly to find out whose tastier; flew back to say it was human; The swallow asked for her to try, tore off Horsefly's tongue; Horsefly could not tell Suleiman anything, the snake began to take revenge on the Swallow by eating her chicks, Swallow began to nest near human habitation]: Broodny, Eshmambetov 1989:369-370; Uighurs [padishah gathered animals, sailed with them on a ship; The mouse gnawed a hole; the Snake plugged the hole with his tail, the padishah promised her any reward; the Snake asked for permission to taste the sweetest blood; sent Komar to find out whose blood was sweeter; on the way back, Komar told the Swallow what was human; she asked him to show him her tongue, bit off; announced to the Snake that the Mosquito was squeaking, trying to say that the frog had the sweetest blood; since then, snakes have been eating frogs]: Kabirov 1963:200-202.

Southern Siberia - Mongolia. The Altaians [the snake covered the bottom of the raft, which was gnawed by a mouse; there were people and animals on the raft fleeing the flood]: Tyukhteneva 2009:71; Khakas [the righteous knows that there will be a flood , has been building a ship for forty years; Damn persuades his wife not to enter the ship until her husband curses, Well, damn it, let's go! The flood must last forty years, the Raven and the Mammoth say they won't drown anyway; The devil turns into a Mouse, gnaws a hole; The cat caught the Mouse; the Raven escaped, the Mammoth drowned at the last moment when Sinitsa sat down; God commanded the Cat to have a satisfying life; her mouth is filthy and her hair is clean]: Radlov 1907, No. 184:274-276 (retelling in Troyakov 1995:13-14).

Western Siberia. The Northern Selkups [people flee the flood in a boat; an evil spirit drills a hole in the bottom; a frog (a sacred animal of the Selkups) plugs it with its body]: Prokofieva 1976:118 (retelling in Khelimsky 1982:400).