Одна из причин пристрастия людей к порочному – безделье. Когда б он возделывал землю, занимался торговлей, разве мог бы он вести праздную жизнь?
Абай Кунанбаев

18 марта 2015 1110

Auezov Mukhtar «Name of Her Father-in-Law»

Язык оригинала: Имя свекра

Автор оригинала: Auezov Mukhtar

Автор перевода: not specified

Дата: 18 марта 2015

1

 There you go again?! Get rooted!Rascal, a regular young limb! I've a good mind to lock you alone in the dark shed ...

Makpal are bending brows, pretending to be angry. But the menacing words do not go for the future use. In vain she shakes her fists:

 Cut it out, bad cess to you! The others are just folks standing quietly and gently, and what a fidget you are!

Faltering voice, glaring show that Makpal is not joking. She is waiting for an answer. The question is too serious.

But no answer. And there is little hope that it will follow. Because the anger culprit is Makpal and the defendant is a little gray doe kid. She can not find a common language with the hostess. She has just climbed into the sheep feeder and trampled fresh clover given to lambs. Nervously twitching the tail, she moves the hind legs. She looks as if she seeks to understand the situation. But Makpal like winking, the naughty strews goat peas directly on the lambs muzzles.

- Oh, you, my grief! - Makpal takes her across the belly, pulling out of the feeder. - To scold you, or not scold, the result is the same!

And indeed, the goat, innocently chewing clover, reminds the child who quietly murmurs something, ignoring the nagging mother.

Makpal gently squeezes the chewing muzzleIt is autumn nowThe goat is tall, fleshyAnd she is waiting for a babybut so frisky.

- You are a villain, a minx! - And smiles that she speaks with her as with a person.

In her small herd, the goat is like a capricious petted girl among the demure sons ...

Having released it in a separate fold in the corner of the shed, Makpal goes to the spotted cow. In the spring, Makpal’s husband, collective farm blacksmith Sarsen, was awarded by this cow.

Spotty has as wide as a bed, back. Pure-bred Dutch cow does not complain on her life in the Kazakh household. Rocking the spreading horns, she mumbles softly, as if greeting someone, belching steam is going from her nostrils, and it’s a sign of satiety.

Makpal pats her sides, puts her armful of hay in the feeder, thinking aloud:

- It would be better to mix it with a husk, I suppose, than to give apart. - And looks around shyly: if somebody hears inadvertently, I would be laughed at!

But at her heart she does not doubt that the cattle understands her speeches and requires them.. There is the brother Zhaken, well-educated Komsomol, and he came from the region to see the area, and above all went to the shed, "Spotty, how are you?" Russian housewives of the collective farm "New Life" also talk to their cows as to daughters-in-law!

 

 

 

 

 

Makpal removes manure under the cow and goes into sheep fold. Three big sheep and three sheep lambs. Makpal got sheep on workdays, and they lambed here.

Cow is Sarsen’s and sheep are Makpal’s. Whose is the goat? Sarsen plays nice:

- If not cow, where would you get her?

But Makpal is canny. Spotty is a dairy cow, the whole collective farm knows about it. And whose is the care? Makpal’s. Over the summer she gathered two leather bottles of butter. One of them she sold made clothes for herself. The second one she spent with care saved it for a goat. Baggage is the youngest. Who else would be pampered, if not she?

Makpal goes for water and water the goat, then the lambs. She knows every move of her darling: how she snorts when drinks, how she goggles and aims with horns to butt, when looking into the water at her reflection. And there is warm at Makpal’s heart.

- I will go to Sarsen ...

Sarsen has hit forty. Now he is the right person in the collective farm, but he has recently been a petty artisan, going across auls with his little anvil, stuffed on the chock, heated the iron on the coals from under the cauldron. He could not collect hefty tool. Scissors to cut the sheep, simple knives and toy knives, which he gave to children of Bahia to blandish the masters compose all his 'production". Today Sarsen is at the flaming hearth with his young assistant. They build the nineteenth plow. In the spring, there were ten plows in the collective farm. And blacksmith has collected nine more, well downright out of nothing. Sarsen repaired mowers. If it is necessary, he can even start up a threshing machine. Now he has good tools. They have even bought a dental drill at the nearby factory...

Arriving at the forge, Makpal saw a new chairman of the collective farm Asylbek. This is a competent, intelligent, interested in everything person.

- Well, can you take to making the sleigh?

- Winter is not far off. It's time to ... – Sarsen answers. We do not have sleigh in good repair after our ex chairman, blast him!

- So, we will again make something from nothing ... Look, and earn a reputation! - Chairman laughs ...

- We will put into use all this junk. Skeletons though are heavy.

- Do not worry. Sustainable sleigh. We have, thank God, the bulls in going order. Thereto the bull is to carry someone.

But Sarsen minds:

- The bull is also live. We should have compassion on it... Runners are the right way, and the rest we will make easier.

Chairman nods, agrees, but he has apparently came here not for this. Suspiciously, he glances at Makpal.

- Well, look here, listen to the news! - He says at last. – Best performers rally will be in the region. We need to detach our insider. We andvillage council decided ... The person whom we decided to send is Makpal. And it’s necessary to go there today, now.

Makpal’s heart got frozen.

- Who will take care of the cattle...

But Sarsen interrupts her:

- We will find someone to take care of them, we will not leave them. We will take this as read! Go on. Your work is your merit. And you will be the best of us at the rally.

- Bully for you! Right ... - Asylbek exclaims, delighted with Sarsen’s determination. – Makpal’s honour, and family honour, and collective farm honour.

- And then, I will go, and nothing special about this! -  Makpal puts on a brave face but is timid at heart. And then she adds in a dismal voice: - Goat gives no peace to lambs. Would you make higher fence?

- I'll do ... Let's get ready. - And Sarsen leads out of the forge Makpal and chairman.

Asylbek gives imperceptible sigh, he is glad that everything went so easy. Blacksmith did not only oppose, but he outfits his wife for the rally. And even as if bids farewell  to her, though usually he is a man of a few words:

- Well, we have cattle.. We will take care of them without you. Go either to the region, or to Alma-Ata. Find out everything. And do not talk about us. We are fat. We have at home a half of large cooking pot of curdled milk. We are not quitters! We have earned for the government ... and for ourselves. Am I right my wife?

- Yes- Makpal answers, and thinks to herself: what would it be? How can this be?

 

 

 

 

In the regional village Vannovka there a lively movement is. On the area in front of the district committee there are crowds of people. Here are women who have high as the tower white zhaulykhs[1] on their heads, and young guys with short jackets on, and the old with sheepskin coats and lush fur caps on.

The square and the surrounding streets have turned into a kind of exhibition. Collective farm hosts show their horse breeding. Experts with addiction estimate horses, on which delegates came. There are two dark-gray horses, they are harnessed to a cart, painted in a bright green color. Well ribbed up cleaned croups of horses, like overturned bowls, are shining. Carefully groomed horses and seemed to have found the second youth. This is a riding of the rich collective farm.

"Revival". Here are two handsome dark red horses from the "Mountainous" collective farm. Stagnant trotters, tossing their heads, eagerly strike out muscular legs. Neither in running nor in points they would give way to someone.

Spans, one is better than the other, lined up along the long street. Here and there one can see the horses saddled with clipped, like three years olds, tails.

It is afternoon. Clear autumn. Day fades away gradually over the high spines of Ala Tau. It is time to open the rally. District leaders, talking come into the club.

But the hall is empty. And it is not ready to welcome the guests.

- I knew it! Not for nothing I have come earlier. If only one slogan!

Secretary of the District Committee looks sadly at the walls. Hall looks like pokey women tilt cart. There is the curtain in the middle, by which they usually cover the bed in the nomads tent. It is considered to be white, but white it was once, long ago, and now it is yellow because of dilapidation, smoke and dirt. On its corners there still are fragments of applications, trimmed with red thread, and depicting the sheep horns.

The walls of the club are crying that they are not touched by the hand of the civilized man ... Next to the portraits there are hanging sheets of paper agley daubed with circles and bars, they obviously should be considered diagrams. Directly on the wall plaster, some accountant'scalculations are scribed in large uneven numbers. Maybe it's the beginning accountant’s nook?

- Just have a look: it's his screen. And he takes money for the film, I suppose!

The curtain is quickly removed and rolled. There are a few long benches far away from the scene in the hall.

- Let's take them closer - the Secretary of the District Committee says and grabs the corner of the bench.

No such luck, it is hammered to the floor. Let the scene if it wants moves to the benches itself ... But the leaders are young and not proud. They clean and tidy the hall themselves. Before the rows of benches there are some chairs, stools, and the chairman's table covered with a turkey red tablecloth. Someone is repairing the faulty wiring. It turns out that they did not know in the club about the rally. The head of the land department knew but he is ill.

The crowd of delegates comes into the hall. In the thick of it you can see a big white Makpal’s kerchief and flickering black undertunic.

Giving a stretch to neck, Makpal examines the gathered with all her eyes. I wonder how many women are here. One woman is in one corner, two of them are at the window... And at the red table there are only shaved faces of men. "Nicey-nice!" - Makpal thinks with a touch of hostility. She met such ones earlier, but had never seen so many at once. She knows that these are the heads of scientists, but she still looks at them with fun. She turns and sees one more woman with the zhaulyk on her head at the door. The woman smiles to Makpal from afar ... This is her younger sister Aisha from a nearby aul! And barely has she time to say hello, they clap hands.

- And are you shock-worker here?

- And are you, too?

They sit down alongside and, as necessary, in order ask one another about the health and affairs...

- Have you seen father? - Makpal asks showing forward. Aisha looks at the aisle between the benches and finds her father on the first bench at the edge. Strong gray-bearded old man smiles sparingly, with dignity to daughters, that's where we've come across!

- I have two sheep, cow, thirty rabbits, Aisha says in a low voice. - And how it happened: one sheep lambed in early spring, and again before the harvest, in autumn. Recently she walked again! One can see it! She wants to lamb three times a year. A real shock worker!

Makpal clickes her tongue in wonder. Sisters are laughing.

- And our old father! He is a collective farm horseman ... a single his foal has fallen, nor the wolf has eaten one horse. The herd, they say, is well fed. He wiped the young noses.

Unfamiliar voice calls Makpal out from behind, "Look!" She turns around and sees a horseman without bread with a smooth boyish face.

- Are you from the "Temp” collective farm?

Yeah.

- You are just whom I need! - The young man says, opening the note

- What's the father’s name?

- About whose father you ask ... about my or my husband's? -Gently inquires Makpal not feeling the woes yet.

- Your husband’s, of course! What's your last name?

- Husband’s father ... - Whispers Makpal, stumbling and embarrassedly smiling.

Her face is blushed. If a decent woman in the aul would dare to pronounce the name of the father-in-law?  Who decided to play a practical joke on her! She raises her head: Asylbek and aul soviet chairman, smiling, look at her from the front row. Have they had sent this young man! Oh, well! We will see who embarrasses ... And she says loudly:

- The name of the husband father is Kelimbet!

Having thanked, the young man immediately goes to the desk and the sisters began chatter as if nothing had happened. In father's house before marriage they were friends, like twins, and Aisha used to ask about all her older sister, and the second explained the younger one. But the conversation goes amiss. Makpal’s heart is restless, joylessly and she feels heavy-hearted  after she pronounced the name of her father-in-low ... Why did Asylbek do this? Such a good chairman...

- I guess that all here are shock-workers, and are those women, too?

- Aisha whispers.

- There will be a kind of aitys - Makpal guesses. - I wonder who will win. Those who are at the table are the principal. They will judge ... Got it?

Bell jangled, and the noisy hall calmed down.

Rally was opened ... Beardless young man who has come up to Makpal, got up and began to read a long list. And Makpal heard that there was the sound of her name, and some strange nickname on the Russian way - "Kelimbetova." The Meeting approved the list and people began to rise out of rows, and change over the red table. Then sitting there lingered, they began to look for someone among them and, apparently, did not find. Asylbek looked in the hall and even seemed to be angry:

- Makpal, why are you sitting there? You’ve been selected to the presidium, go!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

In a small house with clean white-washed walls in the family room, solemnly called living room, Zhakip with her mother Nesibeldi and Russian librarian Nastya pull books. The old woman opened the son’s coffret, and they all three take out books, papers, notebooks.

Zhakip arranges them into two piles: one of them that he still needs, the other is for his mother. From the pile of papers he takes out an old book of Flying Club membership and throws it to the old woman. Book cover fascinates her,

- She will give this beautiful book to someone of women, and is ready to put it in her pocket. But Zhakip makes terrible eyes.

- Leave it! People will think that you became a komsomol late in life!

Nesibeldi is frightened:

- What are you talking about?.. Take it back immediately ... And with a trembling hand gives a book to his son. Zhakip and Nastya burst out laughing. Then the old woman laughs to tears, wrinkling her little rosy face. They often make fun together with Nastya as herdmates. If there is fun at home, it means that Nastya is at home, and Zhakip hurries to join them to chat and to play the buffoon.

They are waiting for the guests from the rally. There are father and sisters – Makpal and Aisha.

The door slams, dear guests are on the threshold. Here are relatives and people from aul and friends. Nastya welcomes them cheerfully and kindly as if it is her house..

- What a daughter you have! - She says. - All the women are in the hall, and only she is on the presidium.

- At a place of honor ... is my daughter there? - Nesibeldi gasps with admiration and with a concealed caution looks at Makpal.

- Of course, in the midmost above the men ... - Zhakip explains, and did not immediately realize whether she was joking or serious. - Now bring her the dish with the ram's head!

Suddenly he asks Makpal, losing all the decency:

- Have you pronounced the name of your father-in-law? I thought you were timid, would make a mess, and you're a clinker ...

- I did it, so what? - Makpal answers unwittingly flushing.

The old woman angrily dismisses them.

- Stop it! O Lord, what a dodder! To pronounce the name of her father-in-low is such a shame, but you would only show your ivories ...

But Zhakip is not quiet:

- And what about you ... Had not you pronounce it? I will reveal your terrible secret to grandfather, you'll see!

- When did I ... pronounce?

- When you received my ration, that's when!

And suddenly Nesibeldi titters in the fist.

- They sticked like a leech, say your last name and all. Die another day, and tell us.

Zhakip and Nastya laugh, and so the old woman does.

- I say, as usual, his home name: Molymkan, which means "Abundant", and this seller is crank, does not understand.

- Yeah ... you see what a blunt this Russian man is. It is clear to everyone: mother does not dare to tell the name of her father-in-law Tolymkan that’s why she tells Molymkan but he told to speak, otherwise I stay without ration!

- And I still did not give up! - Grandmother triumphs. Abishev’s wife, may God give her health, came in time ... she pronounced it.

- See Makpal - Zhakip reprimanded strictly, what means a decent daughter-in-law! Who will leave family without ration, but would not pronounce the name of her father-in-law. So would you do ... make generalship pleased... They - "Say the name, 'and you keep silence! They would immediately record: "oh, what a polite, decorous woman!".

This time old Kozhyk interrupts his son with his loaded word of the head of the family:

- Now she has a different rank. They have recorded different things about her.

- I said there and here I will say the same: livestock growth does not get you anywhere. Now it is necessary to condition the breed.

- I hope we will have the cattle! If it's God's will, the cattle will be and the breed will be! -With a devout sigh says old woman.

But Zhakip looks at her still giggling.

- He will give it to you, wait for it... All your life you have prayed to God, and how many did He give to you?

Zhakip takes out a tattered book from the coffret. Its pages are covered with Arabic script, I suppose - even with a quill. Particularly important places are displayed in red ink. Opening the book, Zhakip reads in a nasal voice, rolling his eyes and swaying as Mullah:

-When you grass the sheep, be vigilant, when you fold them, count! When you roll the felt, thank the Lord your God. When you water livestock, do not be greedy, when you salt, do not overdo.

- Yes this is a sacred book - notice the older guests. - Holy Writ .

Zhakip is pleased that the book is identified. And he shouts with a glad:

- So strong is our heaven agronomist! Listen to what he teaches us: to breed camels! Without him, we did not know ... You will ask: how? Here's the answer: with a prayer. And with thanks to God in the person of his priest, understand? If you want to have the camel, give the sheep to Mullah. There, it turns out, why you mother have so many camels!

Zhakip looks at his mother smiling. But Nesibeldi listens to reading with the reverent attention. And Makpal can not stand:

- That'll do, Mother! And for what do you hold this book?

- How for what? - Zhakip outrages. – In a person who does not know the Holly Writ, did not read it, and even did not hold in the hands, the livestock, earned by honest labor, will be filthy as a pig. And when the end of the world comes, he will turn black. Just try not to hold, you will turn black at once and before the Flood!

All are laughing, except silent Nesibeldi.

- Hide, hide, mother, in the coffret in the event of the Flood - Old Kozhyk advises.

- This was said by a cunning Mullah.

Now Nesibeldi allows herself to smile. And she persists yet:

- Nothing to say there are a lot of good prayers: "Shoreham Islam," for example, or "Aktaiak." Sometimes reading them, I shiver all over.

- Sure thing! Especially at the age of thirteen and after a great fast! - Zhakip recalls "happy" times of "Aktayak."

- Confound this prayer! -  Makpal adds when also recalling the joys of piety. - As it says, "Who does not fast, that will be hanged, and who does not pray, that tongue will be cut off." What a wisdom...

- Russian people have the priest, Kazakhs have Mullah, and all is one hell! Nastia says, as usual concluding an argument.

And Nesibeldi says good-naturedly:

- She always brings me up so much.

Nastya is a strong girl. She has relatives in Kyrghizia, somewhere near Karakol. Anastasia lives in the house of Nesibeldi. And the old Nesibeldi often repeats after her: what Nastya tells, the old woman inspires it to the other women. And for no doubt sheds a tear:

- Poor girl’s mother and father broke their backs the whole their lives, working for the rich. There were six children in the family and all of them hacked for someone. Our Nastya does not shy away from Kazakhs. As happened, she comes home at night, feels cold after the trip and comes to me under the cover to warm up as my child. And what a clever girl she is, so many useful tips she knows.

And people usually listen to Nastya willingly. She can explain the book, and the newspaper, and the word, and the affair in its simple, short and clear way.

While preparing tea, Nesibeldi comes out into the hallway and sees her six-year grandson Elyubay. Cracking the door to the porch and hiding behind it, Yelyubay teases a pugnacious cock, but, having seen his grandmother, rushes to her.

- I'll tell you a poem! - And then he murmurs, slowly and slurring the words:

Our Grandpa Lenin

Calls for the feat:

Learn, learn,

And strive forward.

This is also Nastya’s motto.

- So act in such a way, dear, in such a way ... - Nesibeldi says her grandson, thinking about how these words are like blusterous and explanatory Zhakipov’s speeches.

And she also thinks that the old thing in her heart is just "dead wool" on the goats’ bodies at the time of molting. And just as "dead wool", the old thing molts, although Nesibeldi is not longer young.

To the tea Nesibeldi serves butter, brought by Makpal, slices the bread and asks Nastia without shaming of her interest:

- Will the concert take place? Nastya nods.

- Everyone will go, and father, of course.

- Me too, all the family goes, - agrees Nesibeldi and as many other times chokes with laughter when mentioning how she was led for the performance. - After all, she was really, Bayzhumenov’s bride. He is sitting in the hall, looking at her, and she falls on the guy's neck:

"I love you, yours forever!" Oh! What a laugh ...

Leaving her bowl, the old woman is laughing, shaking with all over, no longer able to continue and you can not help laughing looking at her.

No one noticed that Nastya has disappeared somewhere. Nesibeldi cleans the table, Makpal and Aisha help her.

Suddenly, the door opens with crashing, all the present turn around.

They see a tidy white-faced woman standing on the threshold, dressed according to the canons of antiquity: long folded denim skirt, Kazakh tunic and tall as the tower kerchief.

Only Nesibeldi recognizes her and welcomes:

- Welcome, dear!

A young stranger bowed at the waist, as Uzbeks do, with her hands on her head. Then she utters with a voice of thunder, as if rolling the pebbles in her mouth:

- Basmalah Rahmat! Thank to God! Nesibeldi is imperturbable.

- May God give you a son, my dear!

- I will give a birth alone! - Boomed relaxed Nastya. They all laugh.

And Aisha, who particularly lives in the pocket of the gay librarian of the village reading room, thinks: it would be good for Nastya to give birth to Nesibeldi’s grandson. It looks like it will be so. Unlike Makpal, Aisha took much woe from the conservative mother-in-law, and bold, self-dependent Nastya is for Aisha perhaps closer than sister. At the rally Aisha did not open her mouth, unlike Makpal, both at home and among people greedily absorbs everything new, joyful, tingling, like a gentle breeze, the feeling of freedom fills her, and she laughs gaily, easily, happily …

By noon the next day the rally will be closed. The moment of farewell comes. Parting words are heard on all sides. Nine of delegates come to the region, five of them go to the Republican Conference in Alma-Ata, Makpal is among the five. Flushed she was sitting in the truck ready to start a way. And judging everything, in the capital she will again pronounce the name of the father-in-law...

- So do there as you performed here! - Aisha said, still holding sisters’ hands. - And May God give you a son! - Aisha adds timidly.

- I will give a birth alone! – Makpal answers with a laugh. The truck is leaving.

 

1934


[1] Zhaulyk – a white kerchief of married woman