The Horse Thief
Posted by : GEadmin@ecotournet.net on 20.May.21
Last update by : firstname.lastname@example.org on 23.May.21
The Horse Thief
Story told by Amiran Nachkebia
Village Kveda Vakha
Along with horse-breeding, horse theft was widespread in Samegrelo and was considered as an act of bravery. If an owner recognized a stolen horse and identity of a thief was disclosed, this was considered a shameful act. Therefore, horse theft required significant courage and skills. Danelia and Khaindrava from Samegrelo visited Imereti Count – Tsereteli, who had two very good horses. Tsereteli received his guests with much respect and showed them his horses. Khaindrava enjoyed how well-behaved and trained the horses were. Danelia, on the other hand, decided to steal one of the horses. Tsereteli had surrounded his yard with tall and strong fence. He also had two dogs and nobody dared to come close to them. Tsereteli claimed that nobody would dare to steal his horses. Tsereteli treated his guests, Khaindrava and fellow companion Danelia with respect. After some time Danelia started preparations to steal the horse: he knitted two large baskets and put a meat inside. At midnight he sneaked into Tsereteli’s yard and before the dogs were set free, he climbed on the walnut tree. At night the serviceman set the dogs free.
When the family went to sleep, Danelia lowered the baskets with meat from the tree. The dog, following the smell of the meat, ended up in the basket, which Danelia lifted and tied to the tree branch. The second dog shared the same fate. Afterwards Danelia untied the horse and sneaked out. Danelia hid the horse in a place, where Tsereteli could not find it. After some time Danelia told the story to Khaindrava and added that he could always steal a horse if he wanted to. Khaindrava informed Tsereteli. Delighted Tsereteli that his horse was safe, held dinner and invited Khaindrava and Danelia. Tsereteli rode the stolen horse when he visited the Count, who rewarded him. According to another version of the story the thief – Danelia – was requested to swear that he did not steal the horse. He agreed, but first went home, laid in the cradle and asked his wife to rock it. Then he went to church and said: I swear I have not stolen anything ever since I got out of the cradle.