The Warrior Well - an ancient Mongolian story to teach kids good behavior (retold by Lin Donn) Illustration

The Warrior Well
Ancient Mongol Myth of Good Behavior

Once upon a time, a long time ago, a woman was watering her sheep. Her husband had reminded her to be sure and cover the well tightly when she was done as water was scarce.

But when she was done watering the sheep, she forgot to close the well. Soon, the well filled and the water poured out. It flowed and flowed, and flooded the grassland at the bottom of the hill. The sheep bleated in fright.

The woman tried to stop the flow of water by covering the well. But the water was moving too rapidly. It tossed the cover into the air, and poured even more forcefully out of the well.

Just then, a warrior came riding by.

"Can you help me?" the woman cried. "I cannot stop the water!"

The warrior shot an arrow into the tallest mountain, splitting it in two. One part fell onto the well and stopped the water from pouring out.

The woman turned to the warrior, eager to thank him and to offer him food to eat when suddenly something occurred to her. She blurted, "But how will I get to the water again? It is under a mountain."

The warrior only bowed and smiled and went on his way.

When the woman realized that she had not offered food or greeting, she hung her head in shame.

Same myth illustrated, in PowerPoint format

Ancient Mongols

The ancient Mongols taught their children good behavior by using stories, myths, and legends to make a point. The story above is one we created that is loosely based on an ancient Mongol myth.

What do you think this story might teach an ancient Mongol child about his or her own customs?

To learn more about the ancient Mongols, great gers, two-hump camels, whistle arrows, horse head fiddles, well-wishing, salty tea, and the magical Shamas, click on the links below.

Meet the felt tent people. Welcome to ancient Mongolian daily life!

Mongol Customs & Etiquette

The Mongols for Kids Index