Digging of the Daugava river

Digging of the Daugava river

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God had already created trees, animals, birds and fish, but the Daugava river did not exist yet. The animals and birds did not have any work to do, so they started to argue with each other. The God wasn’t pleased with that, therefore he gathered all the  animals and birds to dig the Daugava river. All of the animals came and started the work. The hare was leaping in the front, whereas the fox followed in the hare’s footsteps and marked the boarders of the river with its bushy tail. The mole was digging the channel, whereas the badger made it bigger. Because the bear was the strongest, he took the soil and piled it in heaps. Other animals and birds were also working hard and soon the Daugava river had been dug. 

The God came to check the finished work. He first saw the bear and the mole, who coming back from the work, were all muddy and sooty. The God praised them for being so diligent, and wished them to wear them the same clothes to honour their hard work. The wolf had also put a lot of effort, therefore the God allowed him to keep his black mouth and legs forever. 

The most hardworking birds were the goose and the duck, so the God let them to swim and wash themselves in the river, whereas for those, who hadn’t worked as hard, only to drink the water. 

After that the God was talking with other animals, and suddenly he noticed a bird that was hopping between the tree branches. It was the golden oriole. The God asked: ‘’Why are you hopping? Weren’t you working?’’

‘’Why would I do such a dirty job, if I’m wearing my fancy clothes. I waded into the river  and wanted to start working, but I didn’t want to ruin my yellow pants, so I decided not to do anything.’’

‘’Oh, I see! It means that the yellow clothes are doing you more harm than good, but you can still keep them with the mud stains on them. But you will not be allowed to drink fresh water from rivers, springs or ponds. The only water you can drink is dewdrops on stones.’’

And so until this day the ‘’the bird of rain’’ (golden oriole) is being punished for its laziness.

Finally, the God poured some water into the channel that had been dug, indicated in which direction should the river be flowing, and named it the river Daugava. 

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