The first people were very large, true giants. They lived carelessly, didn’t work or do anything, because they didn’t know anything – how to build, how to sow, or how to hunt.
Dense, ancient forest was for them like a field of nettle. Logs fell where a giant’s foot stepped, and where he shook sand out of his bast shoes, hills formed.
Before the giants died out, little, ordinary people appeared. Inmar lived with them and taught them how to work. The little people began to plow the earth, chop down the woods, and build log houses.
Once a young giant saw one of the little people, took him in his hand, and together with an axe put it in his pocket. He returned home and says to his mother, “Look, Mom, what kind of a woodpecker I caught! He was pecking at a spruce.”
His mother tells him, “Son, it’s not a woodpecker, it’s a human. That means soon we won’t be here anymore, only this kind of people will be left in the world. They are small but hard working; they know how to keep bees and hunt animals. It is time for us to leave. Let’s go promptly!”
And the mother cried. Where her tears fell, little rivers appeared. Many of those rivers still remain on the Earth.
The giants moved to the north.
The giants had small brains. One day they sat and warmed up by the fire. The fire flared up, started to scorch their feet. They should have moved away from the fire, but with their little brains, they did not consider it. They began to wrap their legs in clay. When the fire died out, they froze and turned into big stone lumps.
People say that in the middle of the Karil mountain is a deep cave. If you threw threw logs in it, the logs disappeared like in a bottomless well. You could hear only a distant ring long after a fall.
People say the remaining giants went down this well-like cave, and nobody saw them ever again. The giants were called Asaba (асаба), but nobody knows anymore what this word means.
When the Earth became full of people, they learned how to do everything themselves and stopped listening to Inmar. Inmar got angry and went to another world. Since then Inmar is no longer in this world, but people live well even without him.
translated from Russian by Jolanta Davis
This story is part of the first story in the volume, titled “How the World was created” but since it’s distinct from the story about Inmar and Shaitan, I decided to post it separately.
The mountain Karil is supposedly located 5 km from a town of Alnashi, near Verkhnii Utchan, but the topographical map doesn’t show any large mountains nearby.
In original Russian the story says Inmar moved “на тот свет,” which could be translated as “kingdom come,” “the other world,” “next world,” or “afterlife.” I suppose it could also be translated as “heaven” but I don’t know enough of Udmurt mythology to know if that would be the best way to translate it, so I chose “another world.”