Yu.E. Berezkin, E.N. Duvakin

Thematic classification and distribution of folklore and mythological motifs by area

Analytical catalogue

Ethnicities and habitats

M39a5b. Fish in the furrow, ATU 1381A.


The wife throws fish into the furrows or into the beds. My husband believes that the fish ended up there on its own, he is mistaken for a madman.

Arabs of Sudan, Tunisia, Egypt, Berbers of Morocco, Sardinians, Palestinians, Arabs of Iraq, Qatar, Syria, Yemen, Hungarians, Serbs, Croats, Albanians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Russians ( Gorkovskaya), Ukrainians (Kherson, Poltava), Crimean Tatars, Abkhazians, Adygs, Tatas, Armenians, Turks, Kurds, Pashtuns, Latvians, Lithuanians, Chuvash.

Sudan - East Africa. Sudanese Arabs: El-Shamy 2004, No. 1381A: 775-776

North Africa. Berbers of Morocco (Western 1955) [a woman tells the Koran teacher (maître d'école) that she can easily both destroy him and save him; when they find themselves at the well, she screams {as if the teacher was going to do something to her inappropriate}; then tells him to jump into the water and explains to the runners that she was just calling for help; asks the teacher to let her cover his cape; he leads her to the cadia and tells the whole story; woman replies that the teacher is crazy - he will still say that my cape belongs to him; asks me to place it in zindan, or he will attack it again; at the edge of the zindan hole, a millstone rattles and pours down water; the teacher believes that thunderstorm and flood have begun; in the morning asks people how they managed to escape from the streams of water; woman: well, you see that he is crazy; then {saying that the teacher has recovered} asks extract it from zindan; he promises to repay the woman with the same coin; she asks to come to her and help dig up a vegetable garden; quietly throws fish there; the teacher asks the woman to cook it for him in the evening; in the evening she only serves him bread; the teacher thinks that she ate all the fish herself and starts beating it; the woman calls for help, asks the teacher to tie up and then ask him; he talks about fish, the audience has no doubt that the teacher went crazy; he was again lowered into the zindan]: Leguil 1988, No. 15:43-55; the Arabs of Egypt [three women came to the bathhouse, each wanted to buy a sewn robe from the bathhouse attendant brocade; she promised to give a robe to the one who better deceived her husband; the first woman; when she left, her husband locked her; she climbed onto the roof, saw a young man, he climbed to her; the husband brought a melon, the wife sent him for meat; at this time she asked the young man to bring her three fish and put them inside the melon; after cutting the melon, the husband was amazed; the next day, guests came and the husband asked his wife to fry these fish; wife calls him crazy: what are the fish in the melon? it was a dream; the husband cut the second melon, there were no fish in it; the wife cooked food, and when the guests left, she admitted that there were indeed fish in that melon and that her friend had brought the fish; the husband no longer locked his wife; the second woman; the husband is away for a long time on business, the wife has a lover; the husband suddenly came; the wife hid her lover in the chest, but the husband realized that she did not run alone, found a lover and decided to take the chest to the governor; the wife replaced her lover with a donkey; in the governor's house, her husband was accused of mocking the ruler and began to knit; the wife persuaded him to let him go: these are regular people a fit of madness; since then, the husband was like silk; the third woman; the wife prepared a sheep's stomach for her lover, and when her tired husband came home from work, she hid the pot of brew under the bed ; husband lay down, found a pot and ate it; then began to writhe in pain; wife: you ate a remedy for infertility; as soon as you give birth, the pain will go away; the wife agreed with the midwife and she put it on her husband a newborn boy; congratulated her son; he rushed out of town in horror and shame; the wife lived with her lover for five years; once she saw her husband coming; paid the children playing; one shouted that was born in the year when a leather salesman was born a son; husband: does everyone know about this? he left and never came back; the bathhouse lady called all three sinners and put on her own robe]: Bushnaq 1987:334-338; Tunisian Arabs: El-Shamy 2004, No. 1381A: 775-776.

Southern Europe. Sardinians: Cirese, Serafini 1975, No. 1381A: 187

Western Asia. Qatar, Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Yemen: El-Shamy 2004, No. 1381A: 775-776.

The Balkans. Croats [the woman quarreled with the man and decided to teach him a lesson; bought carp and hid it in the furrow; her husband plowed, found carp, told him to fry him for dinner; in the evening husband: where is the fish? a scandal broke out, people thought the man was crazy; he was taken to a monastery; his wife tormented him until she thought he could really go crazy]: Golenishchev-Kutuzov 1991:272-273-275; Hungarians, Serbs, Albanians, Romanians, Bulgarians, Greeks: Uther 2004 (2), No. 1381A: 187).

Central Europe. Russians (Gorkovskaya) [Fish in the furrow: wife throws fish into garden beds and "catches" it; husband follows his wife's example and is ridiculed by fellow villagers]: SUS 1979, No. 1381B: 293; Russians (Gorkovskaya) [the girl was taken to a rich house, where she is being held for a fool; she scattered fish on arable land, her husband found it, sent her fish and told her to fry; when she returned, wife: what kind of fish? her husband was tied up like crazy; the wife told me everything; they no longer called her a fool, they began to live well]: Eremina et al. 1979, No. 28:211-212; Ukrainians (Kherson) [Pryska does not love her husband Potapa; bought fish and threw it into the furrows; P. picked up the fish, sent it to his wife, telling him to cook it; she cooked and ate it with her lover, and brought her husband barley kulesh the next day; P.: where is the fish? the wife says that he is crazy, runs home; asks his godfather to stay in the hut, otherwise her husband wants to beat her; at dusk, P. beats her godfather, cut off her braids, put her braids under her pillow, falls asleep; the godfather went to her place, and his wife changed braids with a mare's tail; in the morning she is affectionate with her husband, he believes that he beat the mare; his wife sent him to scold him, told him to give him a poke; she replaced him with a rooster herself; the elder believes that P. crazy; his wife tells P. to wrap himself in rags and carry a bowl of burning resin; tells people that P. bites everyone, we must bury him alive; the elder ordered him so; P. was thrown into a hole and fell asleep]: Yastrebov 1894: 172-176 (=Sumtsov 2015:85-88); Ukrainians (Poltava, Romensky universities) [The wife is angry that her husband is plowing and does not find fish in the furrow, as her dead father did. He secretly puts fish in the furrow, the husband is surprised that he did not notice. He collects fish, the wife fries, the godfather is for lunch, does not believe the story of the "chosen" fish, invites people and the priest to judge. Pop confesses a husband, a wife from a hole in the "wrapper" (wrapper?) sticks out the fish (loach), the husband informs the ass about this, he orders him to lie on the stove. The godfather comes and asks if he has recovered, he beats her and cuts off her braid, then the wife asks the same thing, her husband threatens to cut off her braid. This is how my wife "was dope. Overturned" (outperformed)]: Gnedich 1916, No. 1502:28-28.

Caucasus - Asia Minor. Crimean Tatars [jealous man keeps his wife locked up; she skillfully put fish in the watermelon; her husband cut it, was amazed and went to call friends; the wife hid the watermelon; when people came, she called it husband is crazy: how can fish in watermelon be; her husband began to beat her, he was tied up and was going to be sent to a madhouse; the wife begged her not to do this; when they were alone, she said that now her husband must understand that she does not think to cheat on him; but if necessary, she will make him insane]: Kondoraki 1875:128-129; Abkhazians [the mullah repeats: God save us from the hell; the wife decides to show us that the husband underestimates women; buried the fish where the husband plowed; the husband found it and gave it to his wife; the wife cooked the fish and ate everything herself; the mullah began to beat his wife, she complained, the husband was put in a madhouse; the wife Did you write him a letter? Who got into you, a damn man or a damn woman? the husband understood everything; the wife told everything and the husband was released]: Shakryl 1974, No. 57:282-284; the Adygs [husband and wife argued who was more insidious; threw fish on the field; the husband brought it home, said he found it in furrow; the wife promised to fry, ate it herself, hid the leftovers; when the husband asked where the fish were, the wife was surprised; ran to the mosque, shouted that her husband was crazy; he was tied up; his wife brought him to complete loss of strength; released when he admitted that a woman is more resourceful than a man]: Aliyeva 1978, No. 44:289-290; Dargins [husband does not believe his wife that she will always be able to spend it; wife bought and she buried fish in the garden; her husband found it and ordered it to fry; when she returned in the evening, the wife said that she had not heard of any fish; the neighbors ran to the scream, hung her husband in a bag from the ceiling; when they parted, his wife showed him fish; his husband has since prayed to Allah to save him from women's tricks]: Aliyeva 2013, No. 112:479-480; taty [Bedel treats his wife Guzel badly, she decided to take revenge; before dawn, she bought fish from a fisherman, buried it under potatoes; her husband began to dig potatoes, dug up fish; when she left, she told his wife to cook it; when he returned, his wife says that she had not heard of any fish; B. chases for G., she shouts at the whole village; people decided that B. went crazy, brought him home; if she talks about fish again, she would have to put him in a madhouse; in the evening his wife serves pilaf with fish; explains, did everything so that her husband does not laugh at her]: Aliyeva 2013, No. 58:259-260; Armenians [the wife reproaches her husband for not asking God to save him from his wife's slander; he replies that he is not afraid of his wife; then the wife buried on a field of several fish; the husband brought them to his wife; she cooked and ate them; she brought her husband some liquid soup; when he asked about the fish, the wife pretended not to know anything; when she heard her husband's story, the neighbors recognized him crazy and tied to a pole; husband promised his wife to pray for deliverance from her slander]: Karapetyan 1967:198-199; Turks [wife wants to show her husband that women are also cunning; buries on arable land fish, husband finds it; he is mistaken for a madman; his wife rescues him, telling everything]: Eberhard, Boratav 1953, No. 372:405-406; Kurds: Jalil et al. 1989, No. 209 [wife to husband: worst lie women; husband does not believe; she threw fish in his furrow, offered to collect him, serve him for dinner; in the evening he says that he does not know any fish, shouts that her husband is crazy, he was tied to a pole; the husband believes that he dreamed of it, asks his wife to untie him; when he sees fish in a bowl in the evening, runs to a pole, tells his wife to tie him; wife: now you know what a woman's lie is]: 504-505; Rudenko 1970, No. 8 [husband does not believe that his wife can deceive him; his wife has buried fresh fish in the field, the husband plows and finds it; the wife has cooked fish; the husband asks for fish for dinner, the wife pretends not to know anything about the fish; calls the people, the husband was tied up like crazy; in the evening, the wife untied her husband, showed the fish, proved that she was smarter than him]: 28-29.

Iran - Central Asia. Pashtuns [the husband tells his wife that you will not spend him; the wife replies that it is not difficult; she buried fish in the field, the husband plowed and found it; told his wife to cook it; in the evening the wife wonders what kind of fish? the husband beat his wife, the wife yelled, the husband was taken to the Kazi, who was sentenced, the wife begged him to pardon; the wife fried fish for her husband; he thought it best to never remember the story]: Thorburn 1876: 202.

Baltoscandia. Latvians [The wife buries the fish in the ground and the husband plows it. He wants fish for lunch, which he plowed]: Aris, Medne 1977, No. 1381A: 351; Lithuanians: Uther 2004 (2), No. 1381A: 187.