The Huntsman and the Fairy: Lovers in Summer
In Gilgit lived a famed huntsman, Kiba Lori. He was said to never return empty-handed from a single one of his hunting trips. Often with him, there used to be a fairy. It was rumoured that they were lovers.
One day, during summer, the fairy asked Kiba to refrain from hunting during Barda, which means Seven Days of Summer. These are the hottest days in Gilgit Baltistan. The huntsman promised to obey her as she vanished, warning him not to follow her or he would die.
However, fascinated with the fairy, our love-struck Kiba couldn’t stand being parted from her for so long. On the fourth day, he packed a rucksack, picked up his gun, and set off into the wilderness, hoping to meet his beloved.
He crossed a mountain range to reach a plain and was astonished to see all sorts of birds and animals in one place, for he had never set eyes on so much game before.
His eyes found what they were craving: his beloved. She was milking a Markhor, collecting its milk in a vessel made of silver. Kiba moved slightly, but the noise he made startled the animal. The Markhor kicked its hind legs, hitting the vessel and causing the milk to spill.
The fairy looked up. To her dismay, it was her lover. He had disobeyed her! She walked up to him, reproached him, and struck him right across his cheek, leaving it smarting.
Despair took over her heart as she cried out in great pain, “Now Kiba must die within four days.” Before she left, she told him, “Shoot one of these animals so people don’t say you returned without a kill.”
Kiba returned home crestfallen, with the game, as always, but this time, he had lost his beloved. He crawled into his bed, where he stayed, until four days later, he also lost his life.