Love on the Mongolian Prairie

Bo ZhuDecember 5, 2021Love

As Mongolians, we are born on the prairie, we grow on the prairie, and we pass away on the prairie. The horses are jumping across the river, and the cows and sheep are eating the fresh green grass. The prairie is our home and our animals' paradise; they are part of our family. We rely on each other and we love each other.

Once, I went to visit my grandmother, who lives in a rural area in Mongolia. When I got there, the sheep came back from grazing. A little lamb caught my attention. He rushed to our house, while other sheep kept going to the sheep pen. This lamb was not afraid of people, and he even sat down near my grandmother. I looked at my grandmother with a mixture of curiosity and confusion. I said, “Why doesn’t this lamb go back to the sheep pen, and why is he so close to people?” Grandmother explained that some mother sheep don’t feed their lambs after birthing. Usually, shepherds sing the mother sheep a special song, called the Trol Song. Trol is an onomatopoeic word. Shepherds will sing this song while playing Morin khuur, a traditional stringed instrument made of wood, and the string is made of horse mane. Morin means horse in Mongolian; there is a horse’s head shape on the top of the Morin khuur, and that’s why it gets its name. The magic part of singing this song is that animals, like sheep and camels, will weep and feed their children. The teardrops of mother sheep fall from their eyes, and they lick their children gently with their tongues and take care of them for the rest of their lives.

However, it doesn’t always go well. This lamb was an example; his mother wasn't touched by this song, so my grandmother let the lamb live in our house and fed him. I was allowed to feed him this time. As I put the milk into the bottle, the lamb was excited when he saw the bottle. As I sat down, the lamb jumped into my arms and sucked the milk. It was an amazing experience. Although I was little, I felt the warmth inside of my heart, and hugged him harder. After finishing, the lamb leaned on my shoulder, and sometimes licked my cheek.

Mongolians treat their animals like their children. We cherish them, take care of them, and love them more than words.

Jovjin Bo Zhu is a 17-year-old living in Beijing, China. She is a person with many interests. She likes reading books, and Gone With The Wind is her favorite book. Jovjin is also writing a fiction novel about an anti-utopia. Moreover, she has joined the frisbee club at school and plays frisbee with her friends almost everyday. R&B and rap are her favorite genres of music, and she has started writing her own music.