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 1687

Altynsarin Ibrai Essays

Язык оригинала: Essays

Автор оригинала: Altynsarin Ibrai

Автор перевода: not specified

Дата: 18 марта 2015


At days when barymta[2] was still a common custom, Kipchak Seitkul lived together with thirty hovels of beggars. One day he started thinking of a way to make them rich and live more decent life. They might start trading, but for this they had no money. The barymta was no way for them either — if a man lives from barymta and cattle raiding, one day it may happen that his foes will come to raid him as well; as old people like to say, it’s barymter who loses his head at the end.

After good consideration, Seitkul decided that first of all he had to find a new place for them to settle. He had visited lot of possible sites, and finally his choice fell on the valley of Kabyrga river in Turgay prairie. He liked the place best for it was far enough from both Urgench and Kokand, and also there were no Bashkirs or Kalmyks nearby. On the other hand, should something bad happen, they would still be close enough to Kipchak people.

For one more winter he thought everything over, and when the summer came, he and his ill-clad beggars abandoned their old site and moved to Kabyrga river. Seitkul’s older brother, who traveled a lot and earned his living with thievery and barymta, refused to leave Turkestan. He was deaf to his brother’s words and advices, and stayed on their old place with few hovel owners.

When Seitkul came to the Kabyrga banks with his people, he grabbed the ketmen[3] himself, gave the ketmens to thirty men as well, and together they started to till the land and prepare it to sowing. By example of what they have seen in Turkestan, they drained water from the river to aryks[4] and thus watered their fields.

When the time came to harvest, they cut and gathered crops. All surpluses of grains were exchanged for cattle from nomads staying thereabout.

After they were good settled at the new place, Seitkul started to increase the number of crops every year. They have placed rahats near one aryk, and since then used rahats to convay water to the crops (at those times only wheat, barley and panic were planted). They continued to trade surpluses of grains for cattle, and so they came to be rich.

The beggars from different clans who dwelled nearby began to join Seitkul’s aul[5] and in some five or six years it comprised more than four hundred houses.

At long last, Seitkul those who joined him, had lot of cattle in their households, and Seitkul himself gain great respect among people of his aul and auls around it. But then he began to think of how to secure all their possessing, that were achieved with hard work, and protect it before foes — raiders and wolves. So he gathered his people for a council. Together they decided to build high greensward wall on the river bank in the place, which was considered the most suitable, and assign shepherds and armed guards to the cattle.

After that was done, nomads, who had some plans for their cattle, realized, that those people were united clan, obeying one leader, and dared not to raid them anymore.

When his people were finally calm and safe, Seitkul gave them a piece of advice, saying that they should trade their cattle in Bukhara and Kokand and from there bring goods that might be of use for Kazakhs. Every year, just before the harvest time he held bazaar (something like market) in the place, shielded with greensward wall. Nomads get used to that tradition and came to bazaar every year bringing their wool and leather, and peasants brought their grain and goods. Thus, not only with farmer, but also with trade Seitkul managed to enrich his aul even more.

Seitkul’s older brother, who hoped to get wealthy by thievery and raiding other people’s cattle, was seized by some unknown persons and killed. Turkestan emir took all his cattle since it was all the property of thief and robbed his family. Seitkul spent few years in search of his brother’s family, but it is said that he found them finally and brought them into his aul.

According to the information from honorable sultan Tleu Seidalin, Seitkul had died near the year 1830.

Till this day thousands of people follow the advice of this outstanding man, who had taught his tribesman farmery, and settle on the banks of Kabyrga river.

It often happens in Turgai prairie that those, who get poor or have no luck in finding job, became farmers, and if they are not lazy and work hard enough, very soon they became as prosperous as others.


In 1876, in days of my serving as a judge, the two men had come to me. They were two friends but had a great fight. One of them was Mishar[7]and second was Kazakh. Both were good craftsmen, who built huts and wooden houses for Kazakhs and both made good profit from it.

The reason for their fight was following.

Mishar had once said, “We should build the house for ourselves as well; otherwise we might get cold in winter.”

To that Kazakh had objected, “No, we should better make ourselves a little yurt[8]. It is comfortable both for summer and for winter. If somebody invites us to work, we can take the yurt with us, no matter how we go.”

“Oh, blast it, your yurt! Day or night, one can’t get warm in it. You’ll be getting frozen all the time,” Mishar replied furiously.

“No, blast it your wooden house, which can not be moved!” Kazakh had replied in his turn.

Thus, one praising felted yurt and the other — wooden house, they had a fight and decided to and ask the judge, so that he told them who was right and who was wrong. So thus it happened they were standing before me.

I had known them both good as hard working and kind-hearted, yet naive people.

After finding out what had happened, I asked them, “How much do you earn every month?”

“We both earn about forty or fifty rubles,” they answered.

“What is the total cost for barrack and travelling yurt?”

“For two people it’s enough to have one small mud hut and small travelling yurt. They will cost about thirty rubles and we can make them ourselves,” they replied.

“And here have you lived before?”

“When all people went to zhailau[9], we hired yurt from somebody for summer for ten or fifteen rubles. In winter, we lived where we had the luck to find a place. If we wanted to have separate dwelling, we paid for it as well.”

Then I told them, “You both are right. Yurt is very comfortable for travelers. When the summer comes and people go to zhailau, and you stay in wintering places moving from one to another, it would be better for you to have a yurt. In summer you won’t be cold in yurt, and the air there is better than in wooden house. This is why you, Kazakh, should make yourself little travelling yurt. In winter, though, Kazakhs do not order houses to be built, so you are engaged in small repairs and most of the time you spent outside the houses. When men works on the fresh air almost for the whole day, he needs at least to have his sleep in a warm place, so he can be ready to work for the next day. This is why you, Mishar, should make yourself a mud hut. Thus, both of you will spend the summer in small yurt and when winter comes, you will live in the hut. You will not need to pay for living either, so you’ll have spare money for both yurt and the hut. To my mind, you’ll get more profit from it.”

So each of them believed that my decision was in his favor and thought that he was right.

When they were leaving, one of them said that he would buy himself a yurt, and the other — that he would build himself a hut. So I called them back and asked, “Will you build a hut together or will each of you build separate one?”

To this Kazakh replied, “Let Mishar make his house by himself. As for me, I will find myself a yurt”

Then, to everything I had said before, I also added, “Mishar, when the summer comes, you will live in the Kazakh’s yurt, so you will pay him for half of its cost. And you, Kazakh, will live in Mishar’s warm hut in winter, so you will help him to build it.”

So each of them appeared to be right and they left thanking me for that advice.


Once Camel, Horse, Cow, Sheep, Dog, Rooster, Han, Mouse and other animals had a quarrel for they could not decide, whose name the year count should begin[10] with.

“If man sits upon my back and rides, the long distance becomes short,” said Horse. “Man uses my strength, drinks my milk and even makes lassos of my tail. No animal is more useful for man than me. The year count has to begin with my name.”

“When you work for man, you get barley, oat and hay for that. So you have become the slave for men for food, — the camel replied. — But I do lift loads too big for you to lift and carry them for the distances over several months. When I am hungry, I do not ask for oat and barley. I am content with what I came across on my way: if it is feather grass — I eat feather grass, and if it is wormwood — I eat wormwood. If there is water I drink it, and if there is not — I can stand my thirst for very long. This is why the year count has to begin with my name.”

“I help man tilling the land. The man drinks my milk and makes the kurt[11] and batter from it,” Cow said.

“What would man use to cover the yurt if I wouldn’t give them my wool? Man makes felt, twist threads, and wreathes lassos of it, makes robes from jabaga[12]” Sheep replied.

“If not for me, lot of you would have been stolen by thieves or killed by wolves. I watch over all of you and I begin barking if there is a foe getting closer, informing master” Dog said.

“We help man to get up early in the morning not to be late for work,” Han insisted. “Rooster gets up early and starts to warble letting everyone know that the dawn comes. In midnight he screams to inform that it is time to go to bed not to oversleep in next morning. In evening he screams again giving note that time has come to rest.”

Only Mouse was silent not knowing what to say and thinking how to trick others. Then it suggested, “This quarrel will not do us any good. Better let’s wait until the beginning of the new year and name it after the animal who will be the first to see it.”

As long as Camel was the highest, he thought that no one can see the beginning of the year before him, so he was the first to agree with Mouse. So everyone started to stare waiting for the new year to come.

Meanwhile, Mouse slipped away, climbed secretly upon Camel’s hump and stayed there waiting. As a result, it was the first to see the beginning of the year and inform everyone about it. This is why the first year in the count bears the name of mouse.

And after this quarrel, the saying appeared “The camel thought his size would bring him luck, but he ended up with nothing”.


Asan was born the son of bay and Usen — the son of beggar. They were boys of the same age and used to play together often. Once, as boys were plying beyond the heel, the aul left its old site and went on travel, and no one noticed that boys were left on the place of old site. After some time, they decided to go back to aul, but when they came back there was no aul there, only the place where it had stood before. Asan began to cry loudly and Usen thought for a moment and said, “Your crying won’t change anything. We shall better go to look for our aul.”

“But where shall we go to look for it, we haven’t even seen what direction they took?” Asan replied.

Usen answered nothing, he just took Asan and together they approached their former place of stay. There he found a broken needle and picked it up, then the broken knife and the handful of horsehair and took them as well. After that he started to quickly inspect the site and very soon he discovered the tracks of aul, so the two boys followed them.

After some time they found that tracks were split in two opposite directions. When Asan saw it, he began to cry again, saying “What tracks shall we follow now?”

Usen observed the tracks and said, “See, here are the tracks of nomads having passed today, since the fresh horse manure is left here.”

After they walked for some more time, Asan began to cry again because he was hungry. Usen, though, was walking silent. Suddenly, the duck emerged from the grass right in front of them. It flied the little and got down in the grass nearby. Usen searched the place from which she appeared and found six little eggs there. Asan was cheered and wanted to take them, but Usen didn’t let him.

“If it happens that we lose the track of aul and will be roaming for very long, we’ll need some more food. We have to haunt the duck as well,” he explained.

“But how shall we catch it?” asked Asan.

“I saw my father haunting ducks,” Usen replied. He weaved a snare from the same horsehair he had found on the site of their former stay, and set it in the duck’s nest. Then he called Asan, and together they hid in thick grass beyond the hill waiting for duck to fly back.

Some time passed. The duck returned and, without noticing any presence of people, set on the nest.

Usen waited for a little and came up running to the nest. The duck couldn’t fly off and was striking with her wings — it get caught by the snare and struggled helplessly to get out.

Then Asan suggested, “Let’s take it alive. We then could play with it.”

“No, my father told me that ducks and gooses are free birds; people might haunt them when they need food, but it is a great sin to hold them on a leash. Let’s better not make this poor duck suffer and kill it now.” After saying so, Usen took the stump of knife he found on place where aul had stayed before, killed the duck and took it with them.

After that they resumed their way. When the sun reached its highest point, Asan and Usen reached the river. There the boys satisfied they thirst with river water.

“Now we have to cook something,” said Usen.

“But we do not have fire, how shall we do it then?” asked Asan.

Usen said nothing, he walked over the river bank and found hard piece of stone. Then he pulled some wadding from his chapan[14] through small hole, put it on the stone and began to strike the stone with back of his broken knife. The sparks began to fly out around and the wadding set on fire. Then Used laid some manure around the wadding and began to blow, so that fire could burn up. After that he sent Asan to gather some brushwood. When he came back the fire was fixed. First they have boiled the eggs. After that they pinched up the duck, draw it, skewered it on the stick and began to roast it. When the duck was ready they have eaten to their fill.

When Asan was full, he forgot completely about his misfortune and got running alongside the river bank. Suddenly, he cried, “Usen! Usen! Look! There’s the fish rowing on the shallow!”

Usen didn’t answer Asan’s shouting; he just took the piece of needle and put it into the fire. When, after some time, the needle became red-hot, Usen pulled it out from the fire and began to bend it carefully to make a fish-hook. Then he called Asan and sent him to catch some grasshoppers. In his turn, Usen weaved the horse hair into thread to make the fishing line and found a rode. When everything was ready, he baited one of grasshoppers Asan has brought and put out the rode. The water was as clear as mirror and it was easy to see little fishes rowing and playing in the river. Little morokos were first to come up to the hook. Some fishes come, smelled the bait and rowed back, then the other rowed to the bait and back, and then they all came back to smell it. Suddenly little morokos began to run away every which way. It was a large pike approaching. The pike didn’t pay any attention to the bait and passed by it, waving its tail. When the pike left, little fishes began to gather and play around the bait again. They rowed vividly and chased each other, sometimes hitting the bait or swirling around it. Suddenly, morokos spread out again, and disappeared this time. The shoal of perch emerged. One of them, who was the first to notice the bait, rowed closer to it, seized the bait and swallowed it immediately. Usen pulled the rode and tossed the perch on the bank. Thus, one by one, Usen caught many perches. The boys were so much engaged with fishing, that didn’t even noticed that day was slowly approaching to its end. Usen looked at the sun and said, “Oh, the sunset is close. We have to find the ford and get to opposite bank before the dark.

Saying so, he gathered all the fish he caught and wrapped it into his chapan. He took also rode, firestone and piece of knife leaving nothing behind. After that boys took up and went to look for ford.

Usen strode directly to the place where tracks they followed approached the water. In that place they crossed the river and got to the other side.

When they had passed some distance, the sun set, it began to get dark and tracks were not visible any more. As the night was coming closer, two of boys began to fear. Despite it, Usen said they had to stop for a night; otherwise they might lose the tracks. He stopped, gathered some more manure and made a fire. Little time after, Asan, who got really weary and tired during that day, fell asleep. Usen remembered words his father used to say, “Where there are people, there are the thieves; where there is prairie, there are the wolves”. This is why he decided not to go to sleep and began to roast the fish he caught during the day. It was easier to stay awake doing something. He saw the herd of saigas passing by. They glared scaredly on their fire and disappeared suddenly frightened by something in the night. After some time, the herd of kulans appeared with young kolts. On the head of herd the stag was running. Now and then he raised his head and tail and snorted, and the kolts gave him curious looks. Suddenly they also took a run in different direction. After that Usen heard the wolf howling nearby and bittern calling somewhere afar.

Usen was cold from fear and kept on sitting silent, frighten he looked back for once and hold tightly his rode. Sitting so, he saw many little animals, insects, butterflies, beetles and the thought came to his mind: why do all these beetles and butterflies fly together into the fire, if there is only death they find there? Keeping to those thoughts, he stayed awake until the dawn came. When the first beams of light appeared, spreading throughout the sky, and the scarlet color of dawn began fading, Usen started wakening Asan. He jounced him saying, “Wake up, it’s time to go.”

Asan forgot that he was in the prairie, and stayed sleeping as though he was still at home; he murmured something through his sleep and was not like to get up. But Usen didn’t give in, at last he managed to waken Asan, and together they carried on their journey.

When the sun was close to midday, the tracks became less visible, for the land under their feet became hard and rocky. Boys stopped, looking around and not knowing where to go next.

Suddenly, on the top of the hill they saw the large kurgan[15]. Then Usen recalled the other words his father told him “If one day you get lost in prairie, remember, that where the kurgans are, the water is. And where the water is, the people shall be found”.

So, following father’s lesson, Usen lead Asan to the kurgan. When they got closer, they heard gees gaggling. Then Usen was sure that there is a lake nearby, because no geese live where there is no water. They climbed the hill where kurgan was located and on its top they saw great lake with lot of animals around it. Over the lake banks, on the green meadow covered with the high grass they saw few herds of horses and ships grazing. Some horses entered the lake and plucked young green bulrush, on the other side, the camels lay on the salt marshes. When boys saw this, they realized that it was the cattle from their aul. Shepherds, who saw the boys, were very happy they came back, and some of them instantly went to tell their parents good news and get some suyunshi[16] from them. The others put children on horses and rode them to aul. On the way shepherds told children that, as soon as it was discovered that they had left on the old site, the men were sent to search for them.

It was only close to midday when the kids were safely delivered back in aul and met their parents finally.



Children of certain very naive clan were taught by ignorant mullah. He was illiterate and couldn’t even read in Uzbek. He gave every boy a paper with some lines scratched. The lesson he instructed the, was as follows:

— The price for wedding is the horse.

— The birth of child is great happiness and is followed with great reward.

— The price for giving a name is a strong horse.

— The price for circumcision is three camels.

— The price for pardoning sins is five camels.

Once some other mullah who was wise and literate visited that aul. When he entered madrasah[17], illiterate mullah start talking to some boy as if teaching him a lesson, though indeed he was addressing the other mullah:

— There is no need to talk much, who needs this chatting? I have fifteen camels and one horse. The half is mine and other half will be yours.


One Tatar once run out from his house on midnight not even taking a hat. He was followed by his scared wife and kinds. Tatar run first, as fast as he could, broke into his neighbor’s house and started looking for the best place to hide.

“What happened?” — the neighbor asked him.

Tatar gathered his breath for a moment and told his story, “For a very long time imps and jinns[18] have been dwelling in my house. Every night when we go to bed, shaitans[19] summon on our roof, they play there, and bump and knock through all the night. I have summoned mullahs to my home for several times already, they said lot of prayers and I spent lot of money, but I still can’t get rid of them. This night imps started run and bump as they do it usually; I lay sleepless also. Suddenly one jinn broke through the roof and jump right upon me. I got up, passed over him and run away. When I was running, I accidentally touched his horns. Apyrai[20], I didn’t even know shaitans have got horns!

The neighbor was a man wise, so he said, “Let’s go to your house with lantern and take a look at it in the light.

They have asked three or four men with them and went to Tatar’s house. When they entered, they saw that the roof was made of bulrush and was not very sound, and in the middle of the roof there was a hole. Then they looked around the house, and in the corner they saw a nanny goat. It was lying calmly and chewed something.

In a while they heard little goatlings crying on the roof. The goat also heard it, it got up and begun to bleat. Goatlings then descended from the roof through the hole as well, and joined their mother. It turned out, that the nanny goat and goatlings belonged to that Tatar and his neighbors. In the nights they came to eat hay, with which the roof was covered, and played there. The nanny goat, that was found in the house, was simply too big, so it broke down inside, leaving the hole in the roof.


Once the two men decided to take a walk together. While passing the three, they heard cuckoo singing. One of them told the other, “The cuckoo is known to be the oracle among birds. It saw me and wants to foretell that I will come into great wealth in near future.”

“The cuckoo’s foretelling is not for you, but for me. It’s me who shall become wealthy very soon,” the other replied.

“You are stupid dog, for what shall you be rewarded with great wealth?” the first men said angrily.

“Yu are the dog, not me,” answered the other sharply.

Thus they got into quarrel and after that — into fight.

They stopped when noses and faces of both were bleeding and went to see the doctor. While doctor was curing them, they told him about the reason for the fight.

And this is what the doctor said, “You are the fools, two of you! That cuckoo was foretelling wealth for neither of you but for me. If it hadn’t, sang you wouldn’t have fought, so you wouldn’t have come to me and I wouldn’t have got money for curing you both.


This is the story a friend of mine had once told me.

It happened in 1985. I was travelling and stopped in one aul. When I was talking to my hosts, the little boy came, his eyes red from crying. He sat silent and didn’t play with other kids. He didn’t even eat. I felt sorry for little boy and asked men sitting next to me “Why is this boy always crying? Why doesn’t he eat or play?”

Then the residents of aul told me, “Yesterday morning the mother of this boy had died. Soon after her death we took the body, brought it to the kurgan atop the hill and buried near the other graves. On evening, the boys, who were bringing cattle home, approached that kurgan and heard some voice from the tomb of that woman. Boys left the calves and run to aul to tell us that news. Then we, the adults, decided to go and see what was going there. When we approached the tomb, we clearly heard somebody moaning from kurgan. We decided the best was to leave this place and when the morning came whole our aul travelled to different site — the site we are staying now.

The boy you are asking about is the son of that woman. He kept crying and saying ‘My mother is alive, please take her out of that tomb!’, but neither of us had listened to him. Not only we do not approach the kurgan ourselves, but also we do not let the boy go there.”

Then boy cried again, addressing to me that time, “It is true, mister, my mother is alive! Please, only you may be so kind to…”

I studied the boy carefully and came to conclusion that he looked really shrewd. I was also surprised that, no matter how fiercely the adults were convincing him he was wrong, he was still standing his ground and was sure his mother had been buried alive. I told him to come up and said, “Dear boy, no matter if you mother is alive or not, I still intend to go and see what is happening with her.”

The others seemed quite scared by those words of mine.

“Mirza[21], don’t do that!” they told me. “It is not allowed to break the tomb in hope that dead man can be alive again. This woman is being punished for her sins she made during her life, do not go there or you too may suffer in underworld because of her.”

I just told the boy to go home and take his cloths, because he was coming with me, and then replied to the people who told me things like that, “It is true, the men who died never rises again. But you have found unconscious women, decided that she is dead and buried her alive. When you heard her crying for help you didn’t took her out the grave. Thus you have made a great sin. Nowhere in Koran is it said that living people has heard the cries of dead suffering in hell from their graves.

The boy was back very soon. I borrowed spades and ketmens from people of aul, took my fellow travelers and together we went to kurgan. None of aul residents went with us for they still were very scared.

When we reached the kurgan we listened carefully, even lain on the ground to hear better, but there were no sounds from there. Then we dug the grave up. Two of us descended there and saw that poor woman had scratched her face and hands, and all her clothes were torn as well. Her body still was warm.

We pulled the woman from the grave, set the tent around her and cared for here during the all day. At the moment we took her from the grave, it seemed to me that she really could recover, however before the evening her body became cold and then she was dead indeed.

I have my reasons to think that that clan was not the only that came across such incident. Seasoned doctors say that during some diseases the patients can stay alive but lose their consciousness for very long. This is why when someone dies others must not hurry with burring him[22]. It is required to wait and to observe before digging the body into the ground.


Once, when Jirenshe Sheshen was travelling, he came close to one aul. There he had to stop, because that aul stayed on the opposite bank of the river. He was staying there not really knowing what to do next, for he didn’t know where the ford was, and just then the girl came from aul and approached the river to bring some water.

Jirenshe asked her loudly, “Where is the ford to cross this river?”

The girl replied, “There the ford is. It is far from here, however, it is the closest. The other ford — right there, is the closest, but it is very far.”

Jirenshe didn’t understand the meaning of her words, so he rode to the ford which was closer to him. He rode across the river, but when he reached the middle, his hoarse get stuck in river silt and fell. All Jirenshe’s clothes got dirty and it took him great efforts to get back onto the bank. Then he rode to the farthest ford, which girl had called the closest, though it is far. Here he crossed the river easily and came in aul, to the yurt, where that girl lived.

After Jirenshe took his sit, he looked upon the girl and said, “Dear girl, I’ve made a long way here and I am really hungry. Bring me something to eat, most tasty meal you have.”

The girl replied, “I have got two meals in my yurt. One is bitter, yet it is tasty. The other is beige, yet it is still bitter.”

Jirenshe said, “Bring me then the meal which is bitter, but tasty.”

The girl went out, took little cup of salt from the shanash[24] and put it in the front of Jirenshe. He gave her surprised look and asked, “But sweetling, how can I eat the salt itself?”

The girl said nothing, just went out again, brought the cup of koje[25], but without any spices, including salt, and also put it in the front of Jirenshe.

Then Jirenshe understood everything. He felt shame, for he didn’t wait until the hostess will bring him meal but asked himself to bring him the best food she had. However, from what this girl has done and said, Jirenshe understood that she was sound and sensible, and, as people say, after that Jirenshe took her for his wife.

The girl’s name was Karashash the Beautiful. She was considered the smartest and the most beautiful girl in that land and even khan, who was the lord at that time, was planning to marry her himself. This is why, after Karashash became wife of Jirenshe, khan began to hate him fiercely.

Once, the khan was in the mood to have some goose for dinner, so his kitcheners fetched him big roasted goose. It happened that Jirenshe was sitting beside the khan that night, so the khan told him, “Give the piece of this goose to me, my wife, my sons and took one for yourself, but do it so, that everyone gets equal part. If some part will be bigger, or smaller than others at least for one grain, I will punish you hard.”

Then Jirenshe took the knife, cut off the head of goose, gave it to khan and said, “My lord, you are the most important man in our land, so for you is the head. But the khan can not do without khanym[26], like any head can not do without the neck. Dear khanym, you are the neck for our khan, so for you is the neck of this goose,” and having said so, he cut off gooses neck and put it before khanym.

“These two boys,” Jirenshe went on, “are your wings. So they get the wings of the goose”.

And he handed gave each khan’s son a wing.

“As for me, master, I am not the head, nor the tale, just a middle man. So, the whole middle part of that goose suits me well, and I will take it.” After that Jirenshe put the rest of goose before himself.

Some time had passed, and khan took Jirenshe haunting with him. Suddenly, Khan saw the tumbleweed rolling and commanded Jirenshe, “Go ask this tumbleweed where does it plan to stay and when it wants to get travel again and stay after that. If you do not retell me what exactly its reply was, I will command my guards to kill you.”

Jirenshe spurred his horse on, rode after the tumbleweed and pinned it with his spear. There he stood for some time and came back to his master.

“My lord,” he said, “I asked the tumbleweed everything you told and here is its reply. It said ‘I do not know who is bigger fool of you two — your khan, who sent you to ask me such things, or you, who came to me with those questions. It’s the wind, who may answer when my travel starts, and the ravine who knows where it ends.”

Khan had to admit that Jirenshe was right that time, but he still was angry with him. Khan made plots and schemes to catch Jirenshe and have the reason kill him, for he wanted to get Karashash for himself, but Jirenshe always found the way how to get the khan round. And the more luck and prudence Jirenshe showed while avoiding khan traps, the more khan got to hate him. Jirenshe was a clever man and understood what was going on, and what happened between him and khan made him really upset. Karashash the Beautiful also noticed her husband was in bad mood so she asked him once, “Why are you always being so sad?”

Then Jirenshe told her everything.

Karashash said, “Not shall you mourn, my dear friend. Together we will surely find out something. You shall better invite khan and bays to visit you in two days.”

Though Jirenshe was believed to be the best orator in the world, he was really very poor. There was even one legend regarding his poverty. Once, after spending the day in beautiful khan’s palace and sitting on soft featherbed, he returned to his tiny dark hut, took sit on some rough skin and told his wife:

“It is so good to be back in my beautiful house, my broad palace, my white yurt!”

This is why Jirenshe was surprised with what his wife has suggested, and asked her, “

You want to invite khan and his people into our home? But is there a room in our house for them all? And what dishes shall me serve such noble guests?”

To that Karashash replied, “Do not worry; I shall take care of everything.”

In two days, Jirenshe invited khan and his people to his little house. Being on their way, Khan and his guardians were thinking of what meals had Jirenshe prepared for them. When guests arrived, they entered Jirenshe’s little hut and took their seats, and those, for whom the room was not enough, arranged themselves outside, on felts and blankets. Karashash the Beautiful got up then, brought the cup of milk and sour cream and put it in front of khan.

Khan took some sour cream with the very end of his pinky-toe and tasted it. It seemed to him that he had never eaten more delicious meal in whole his life. Then he scooped the sour cream again, and then again and, suddenly, he felt fool with it. The rest of sour cream he handed to his people. All, who were present in Jirenshe’s hut, wanted to taste that unusual meal, that khan himself had liked so much.

When khan was leaving, he called Karashash and asked her, “Oh, gorgeous Karashash, what was that meal you served us? We had never tasted anything more delicious than that. Teach us how to cook it, so that our kitcheners could please us with it every day.

For this Karashash answered, “Dear lord, you know we are the poor people. When my husband decided to invite you and your noble men to visit our home, I started to think, what meals we shall be serving you. Finally, it came to my mind, than the most nutritious thing in the world is human milk, since the children can eat only breast milk until they are five or six, and it is enough for them. So I took the milk of my own and made the sour cream of it.”

Khan said nothing, only cried “Oh!” and went out.

It is widely known now, and was known years and years before, that if a man fed upon woman’s milk, this woman become his second mother and marrying her was forbidden.

Few days after khan called Jirenshe, asked his pardon for everything he had done and presented him with her of cattle to make up for all offences he suffered.


A fairy tale

Once upon a time there lived five brothers. One year they sowed about half the arpent of grain. When the time came close to harvesting, brothers noticed that somebody every night somebody came to their field and tramples down their crops.

So they started stand guard for their field. The first was the turn for the eldest brother, but he did not see anybody around. Then the three younger brother took up guarding the crops in three following nights but they noticed nothing either. Finally, the turn came for the youngest of them, whose name was Karakylysh.

At the night of his watch Karakylysh saw the black mare that descended from the sky and began eating their crops. Karakylysh caught her. Suddenly, the black mare addressed to him in human tongue, “Let me go, dear boy. I have five colts; if you let me go I will give a colt to you and to each of your brothers”.

Karakylysh believed the mare and let it go. Sometime after, it really brought five colts, the smallest one it gave to Karakylysh and the rest — to his older brothers.

However, every time brothers took up racing on their new horses, Karakylysh and his little colt were the fastest.

Once, as Karakylysh was riding his little colt, he saw the steam of smoke rising from the earth and decided to come closer to that place. There stood a little hut that belonged to Glutton Crone[27]. The crone had five young daughters. In her house there were separate rooms, where girls ate, played and rested.

Karakylysh slipped into the room for play and hid under the carpet.

When the girls entered the room, the first thing they did was to lift up the carpet. They saw Karakylysh, gave a scared screams and run to their mother. The mother yelled at them and told them to go back. So they returned in their room and started playing. Karakylysh caught them all, took four of them under his arms, the fifth he put onto his back, mount his horse and pulled him to run. But suddenly he heard the crone crying and saying, “You can take my daughters, but tomorrow, I myself will see you out. And today, stay at my home for a night.”

Karakylysh gave the crone her daughters back and stayed for a night in her house.

When the night came, the crone prepared a bed for Karakylysh and told him it was time to sleep. But before going to bed Karakylysh went outside and saw his horse crying — the tears rolling down from one its eye, and the drops of blood from another. The horse told him, “Stay awake tonight. As soon as you fall asleep, the crone will kill you. Right now she is forging herself iron teeth.”

Karakylysh returned to his bed but did not sleep. The Crone entered into his room and saw him awake. She said only “Sleep, my darling” and went out.

Sometime after she returned, and again, seeing Karakylysh awake, she went out. This happened for few times more, until finally the dawn came. So the only thing the Crone could do was to give her daughters the great dowry and let them go with Karakylysh. When they were leaving, she told them, “You will see three mountain passes on your way. But do not stop on the first two of them. Go to the third one and there stay for a night.”

The evening came. It happened that four older brothers of Karakylysh were spending the night at the middle pass, and he alone — at the third.

When he woke up following morning, he heard his four brothers crying and somebody talking to them. “If you bring Karakylysh to me,” the voice said, “I will let you all go”.

Hearing that, Karakylysh got up and went to the place from where he heard those. There he saw, that his brothers were caught by Aidakhar[28]. When Aidakhar saw Karakylysh, he let all his for brothers go and told him, “For that you shall go and bring me the immortal daughter of Bermes-khan”.

Karakylysh agreed and started his way. After some time he saw a man who was binding two mountains together.

“What are you doing?” Karakylysh asked.

“I want to be a friend of Karakylysh”, the man replied.

And so they went on together. Then they met another man, who was taking the water from one lake with his mouth and pouring it into another lake. The two friends took him with them as well. After that they met the bowman and the runner. The runner was so fast that he could cut off the tail of one magpie and attached it to another magpie sitting nearby.

So they all continued their way together riding one single horse. In some time, they saw two mountains. There was the blood pouring from the foundation of one mountain, and the pus from the foundation of another. Between those two mountains there was the aul standing. Karakylysh entered this aul, came to its khan and said, “I came to take away your daughter”.

The khan then answered, “I will give you some tasks. If you manage to do everything I will tell you, I will give you my daughter myself, if you do not — I will kill you.”

At first khan organized a bayga[29]. The horse of Karakylysh was the first to come. Then khan decided it is better to race on feet. Karakylysh sent his friend, the runner, and the khan sent some old woman. But old woman took the bucket of sweet mead with her.

Before the race, woman gave the mead to runner and he drunk it all. After that, he fell asleep and woman started running. The man, who had very good hearing sense has put his ear to land and said ‘I hear only one person running”. Karakylysh called the bowman and told him to shoot. The bowman shoot and his arrow pierced the bucked, which lay near slipping runner. From that sound runner woke up, sprang to his feet, grabbed the handful of sand and start running as fast as he could. When he overtook the old woman, he called her and when she turned back, he threw the sand into her face, she stopped and started crying. So it happened that runner came first. Then khan locked Karakylysh and his friends in iron house and laid hot coals around it. He brought bellows from forgery and began to blow, setting the house afire. This time Karakylysh and his friends were saved by the man who could take the water from whole lake into his mouth. The man begun to splash water everywhere, and thus he extinguished the fire.

Khan could not make up anything else for them, so he gave them his daughter and let them all go.

As they were coming back, friends of Karakylysh stayed, where he had found them. When he proposed to give them his clothes as a reward, all his friends refused to take it.

Karakylysh then gave the girl to Aidakhar, as he had promised, and rode along until he met his brothers again.


A legend

When the bravest hero Khara-Batyr was still a little boy, his aul was attacked by raiders who caught him and made him tend their ships. He was wearing rugs and fed upon the sheep milk only.

Once, when boy was sitting alone in his sadness, the crow came to him. He addressed the crow saying:

Dear crow, my dear beard,

You who feed upon the blood,

I will give you this amulet of my neck,

Take it and fly to my aul, to my home,

Where my father lives sad and alone,

You give him this amulet back.

The crow only croaked and flied away. After some time the magpie came. The boy addressed to magpie that time:

Dear magpie, my dear beard,

You, who live with carrion alone,

I will give you this amulet,

Fly and bring it to my sweet home!

The magpie only chattered for a little and she left as well. Then the cranes came and landed nearby. The boy began to ask them:

Dear cranes, my sweet lords,

Each of you, who are known for long neck,

Take this amulet to my home

For my father to have it back.

The cranes clanged and they too left the boy alone. After some time he saw another birds, this time they were geese. So he talked to the gees:

Dear geese, my dear friends,

Now I ask and you’re my last hope,

I will give you this amulet,

Fly and bring it to my sweet home!

But the geese left him as well. After then came the swans. Boy had nothing to do, but to ask the swans this time:

Dear swans, you are lords of the lakes,

The most beautiful of the birds,

I will give you this amulet,

Fly and bring it to my sweet home!

The swans turned their heads to him, hesitated for a little, but finally they also abandoned little boy. After some time he saw the little swallow. He decided to try for the last time and talked to the swallow:

Dear swallow, sweet little bird,

I’m enslaved by my evil foes,

I will give you this amulet,

Fly and bring it to my sweet home!

The swallow firs took up, flight for some time in the air, but then it felt sorry for the boy, so the swallow came back and sit on the tree branch nearby.

“Even if my father gets this amulet”, the boy thought, “he still will not know among what people I do live”. So he took his knife, pierced his hand with it and drew Turkmen tamga[30] in the reverse side of amulet. After that he tied it to swallow’s neck, told the bird where to find his parents and set it fly.

The swallow followed the direction boy showed her.

Through the chains of high mountains

And the depths of the lakes,

Over the wastelands and deserts,

To the very edge of the world,

She was flying with all strength she had,

With the sweat rolling down her feathers.

If it saw some danger from the high, it landed and hid beyond some little hill.

Swallow passed over numerous lands,

Many shires had it left behind,

But when sun did its thirtieth rise,

It was near that very aul,

Little boy had asked it to find.

When it had reached aul, little swallow made a flight among the yurts, it sat on the top of one yurt, then on the top of the other. It looked at the people there with great attention, but still couldn’t find any resemblance with boy’s parents.

As it was very tired after the journey, the bird finally fell asleep. And then, through its sleep, it heard the lamentations of old woman. The swallow waked up and listened. The old woman was singing:

My dear boy, my sweet little colt,

The last wisp of the grey hair of mine,

The young bulrush beside the lake,

The only and dear son of mine!

Where shall I go to find your tracks?

Was this evil foe who took you?

Or the dog who had torn your flesh?

Or the stream in the mountain river?

If the death is what destiny wants,

Then my death for me would be dearer!

The year has passed, and here’s passing another,

What a grief for a poor old mother!

“Come on, don’t you cry”, an old men tried to set her down, however, soon he began to cry as well:

“You were growing like pile in the steppe,

My one and the only son,

I have crossed for almost whole world,

But my son nowhere was found!

I’ve become as lean as old camel,

My old bones, that were harder than rock,

Are now being crashed by the fever.

And on whom can I now lean upon?

Who had haunted my dear little eagle?

Now it’s only one thing I want,

To see my son before I am gone.

Then the young girl came, she asked the man and woman to be quit and began her own sad song:

You was thin like a newly forged sword,

Dear brother, who was born with me,

I thought my life will be vivid and light,

But now there’s no gladness I see.

I am dressed in all silks alone,

I have herds of fast horses for me,

But this all can not bring me delight,

Nor my friends always running around,

Always singing their fairy songs,

My soul is still tired and stoned

Now that my dear brother is gone.

All my best days I’m spending in grief.

Dear mother and father of mine,

Do not drop all those numerous tears,

For this night I have had a dream,

Might it be it is lucky for us?

Tell me now what this dream could mean!

There was falcon I had lost for once,

Who had suddenly come back to me,

And the horse that I love most of all,

Had also returned back home,

My dear brother I’ve seen in my dream,

He was entering our home for once more!

Kudai[31] will repay our sorrow,

Only dead men can not be seen,

I do swear with Baba-Tukty,

And I swear with Azis-Shashty[32]

I have seen also little swallow,

Who is very good news to bring.

When the swallow heard those words, it left her branch and landed before man and woman. They both cried and untied the amulet from swallow’s neck. Then they recognized Turkmen tamga and knew that Kara-Batyr is now in Turkmen land. So they gathered people, took their best horses and went to search for their son. When they found him, they gave Turkmen people lot of presents and finally took the boy home, to their aul.


One monk, who considered himself a very godly man, once told Lukban the Wise, “It is great sin of you to cure people, who are thick. God sends people death and grief and you search for the ways to avoid them, which, I thing, means that you resist the God’s will.”

To that Lukban replied, “If what you say is true bring me the book, where it is written. If this book is worth believing, I will regret all my deeds and give up curing”.

Then the people around began to cry out, “Lukban is the wise man, who had consoled lot people in times of their grief, he helped widows and orphans. If you consider all he does a sin, show us, where it is written, and if you can not, we shall take you to kazy[33].”

Lukban saw that this may end very badly and asked people to let the monk go. He took him outside and when they were alone he said, “Dear monk, I am very grateful for your advice, which you gave with intention to save me from my sins. However, I want to give you some advice as well. Whenever you do or say something, always refer to your mind first. When your mind comes to certain conclusion, then refer to your eyes. And only after your mind has decided and your eyes had seen whether it is possible to do what your mind has decided, only then can you talk or do something.

And there’s one more thing. I see that you are not the man smart enough. The God has given to people different parts of body: hands to work, eyes to see, legs to walk, ears to hear. And the mind to distinguish good things from bad. If you do not use all those gifts for what they are intended, it means you too go against God’s will. This is why you can’t pray if you are not standing, not seeing and not listening. The same, all things that do not have soul, still have some purpose. One grass is poison and the other is antidote. If you do not learn about them, this can also be considered a sin; but if you will use them for good things, there should not be any sin.”


Atymtai the Generous[34], though he was a rich man, wore old clothes, made hay, chopped wood. Once his good friends asked him, “The God was so kind to give you all that wealth. You give food to those who are hungry, clothes to those who are naked, home for those who have not home of their own. But still, you chop wood and make hay, like every poor man around. You suffer from all those hardships, and you work. What is the reason for it?

For this Atymai answered, “There are several reasons for it. First of all, If I ride only beautiful horse, dress myself only in rich clothes and get used to all the good things this life has given me, I might start being arrogant and, after that, I fear, I will close my hart to poor people, who are not as wealthy as I am. I might stop noticing their needs and will never help them.

The second reason is that if I work, no matter how rich I am, it means work is not humiliation for me. And I believe this will be good example for further generations.

The third reason is that if I will make some one or two kopecks with my work and buy myself some food for this money, such food will be of great use for me. It is well known that the tastiest and most nutritious food is the food earned.

And the last reason is that all my wealth is given to me by God. If I shall think that it belongs to me only and will not spend it for good reasons, but only for myself, I fear, that then I will be great sinner in the eyes of Master, who had honored me with all that wealth.”


Once the Indian came back to his house and discovered that somebody had stolen the meet from him. This meet was hanged on the tree beside the house, for the Indian wanted it to get sun dried. He looked around the three, then went along the street and asked everyone he saw, whether they knew and old man, who was not tall, had short gun and little dog with long fluffy tail.

It happened, that lot of people had seen this man and showed Indian where he can be found. Following their words, the Indian caught the thief. Then villagers asked him, how did he knew all those things and he explained, “I knew that he was short, because he couldn’t reach for the meet and had to stand upon the stone. I knew that he was old from his tracks, because his steps were really small. Before the thief took the meet, he leaned his gun upon the three, but the gun left the scratch there. By that scratch and the print left on the ground, I knew that he has got short gun. And that he had a small dog with fluffy tail I knew by the prints of dog’s pads and tail that were left on the sandy ground nearby the tree, where the dog sat while its master was stealing my meet.


Once, when the crow was on the flight, it noticed worm creeping over the ground. The crow caught it into the nib and flight away. The worm realized he got into big trouble, so it told the crow, “You are the great crow. I knew your father and mother and they were wonderful birds.”

The crow liked worm’s words so it nodded and, without opening its nib, said “Uhu”.

The worm went on, “I also knew your brothers and sisters”.

The crow nodded again, “Uhu”.

“But neither was as beautiful as you are”, the worm said. It pleased the crow greatly, so it opened the nib and exclaimed loudly “Of course!”

At that moment crow dropped out the worm, it fell onto the ground and thus saved himself from terrible death.


When I was at school, our teacher had a dig dog, whose name was Polkan. Once we were looking into the window and saw little pet dog came up to Polkan and began barking at him. It jumped and tried to bite Polkan’s pads.

Then I said, “Wait for a moment, little dog, Polkan will punish you for your silliness, unless you stop attacking him”.

We continued to watch them over for some time. However, Polkan didn’t even moved, it was not angry and calmly beard the bites and attacks of little dog.

When I turned back, I saw our teacher. He was standing behind us and heard what I had said.

“You see,” he said addressing to me, “Polkan’s got much more kind hear than you do. If you play with boys smaller than you, it always ends up with you offending somebody or making them cry. Polkan, though he is a dog, is ashamed of hurting those who are smaller and weaker than he is. This is why he didn’t touch this little dog.”


The wife of certain king took ill one day. Many doctors were invited to attend her, yet none of them could cure the queen. After that, the king called wizards and sorcerers and announced his will to them, “Wizards and sorcerers, you shall find a cure for our sweet queen. If you do not, I will command to hang all of you.

Wizards and sorcerers were scared and confused. Then one of them stepped forward and said that he knew the cure from queen’s disease. He was immediately taken to king. The wizard told him, “For queen to be cured, she needs to be beaten with the shirt that belongs to the happiest man in the world.”

The king sent his riders throughout whole his kingdom. But no matter how much they tried, they still could not find the man, who was absolutely happy. If somebody was prosperous and had a great luck, they didn’t have children, and if somebody had both wealth and children, the children didn’t loved them, or somebody in their family was ill, or there were other troubles they had to face. Even if they managed to find the man who had everything, that man would not be satisfied with what he had and wanted to have more and more and this brought many sadness into his life.

At last, riders had lost the hope to find some really happy man and stopped searching.

Once, as the prince of that kingdom was riding along the road, he saw one poor me approaching little mud hut and heard him saying, “I ended all my work I had for today, I have eaten good and now I am full. What else do I need? I shall better take a nap.”

Saying so, he laid down on the pile of hay and fell asleep.

The prince was so happy to hear it, that he rode home instantly and told the king he had found the happiest man in their kingdom. The king sent his people to bring that man to his palace. When the man came, the king promised him lot of gold and silver for only one his shirt. And then, to the great amusement of everybody, it appeared that the happiest man in the kingdom didn’t even have a shirt.


Bauakas, who was the king of Algeria, heard that in one of the cities in his kingdom there was a righteous judge, whom no one could deceive with false evidences, for he always came to know who was right and who was wrong.

Bauakas became interested with that news so much, that he decided to go to visit that judge himself and find out whether everything people were saying about that man was true. He clad himself as a merchant and went to that city. At the city gates some lame beggar asked him for alms. Bauakas gave him his alms and wanted to move forward, but beggar grabbed the tail of his clothes and would not let him go.

“Haven’t I given you enough alms? What else do you need from me?” asked Bauakas.

“It’s true, you have,” the beggar said. “But do one more good thing for me. Take me to your horse and bring me to the square for I am afraid to be override by a horse or camel at bazaar.”

Bauakas took the beggar to his horse, brought him to the centre of the city, stopped where he was told to and asked the beggar to get off the horse. But the beggar didn’t. Then Bauakas turned his face to him and said, “Why are you still here? Get off, we are the square already.”

“Why should I get off?” the beggar cried out, “This horse is mine, and if you think it is yours, let’s go to the kazy!”

The people gathered around them for they heard the fight between two men. Everybody said, “Go to kazy, he will tell which of you two is right and which is wrong.”

So Bauakas and beggar went to the kazy…There they saw lot of other litigants. Kazy called them all in turn and questioned. They saw he called a scientist and a peasant. Those two sued for a wife. The scientist said it was his wife, and the peasant said that his. Kazy listened to them and said, “Leave this woman here and come back tomorrow.”

After them came the turn for a butcher and an oiler. All butcher’s clothing was stained with blood, and oiler’s — with oil. The butcher hold money in one his hand and oiler hold butcher’s hand with money. When kazy questioned them, the butcher answered, “I was buying some oil from that oiler and when I pulled out my money to pay him, he grabbed my hand intending to get all my money from me. But when he saw that he couldn’t do it by force, he kept holding my hand and brought me here. He said that he would lie, but he would get my money.”

To that the oiler replied, “It is not true, kazy. The butcher came to me to by some oil and I poured him a cup. Than he asked me to change a gold coin. I wanted to change it, took out my wallet and put it onto the counter. At the very same moment, butcher grabbed my wallet and wanted to run away, but I managed to catch him by his hand. I didn’t let him go and brought him to you.

Kazy listened to them both and said, “Leave the money here and come tomorrow”.

Then came the turn for Bauakas and the beggar. Bauakas told kazy his story and the beggar begun crying, “He lies! I was entering the city on the back of my horse. This merchant was sitting on the ground and asked me to give him a ride. I took him to my horse, brought him into the city and then told him to get off. But he didn’t want to get off and said the horse was his.”

Kazy thought for a moment and said, “Leave the horse here and come back tomorrow”.

The following day lot of people gathered to listen to kazy’s verdicts. The firs were the scientist and the peasant. Kazy then said, “This is the wife of scientist and he may take her home. And the peasant is sentenced to fifty blows with rods.”

His command was fulfilled immediately. The wife was returned to scientist and the peasant was took away to bear his sentence.

The second in turn were the oiler and the butcher.

“Butcher, the money is yours,” kazy said, “and the oiler is sentenced to fifty blows with rods.”

Then came the turn for Bauakas and the beggar.

Kazy asked Bauakas, “would you recognize your horse among twenty other horses?”

“I would,” answered Bauakas.

“And would you?” kazy addressed to the beggar.

“I would”, the beggar answered as well.

After that kazy commanded them both to follow him and brought them to the stable. First he let Bauakas in. Bauakas recognized his horse among many other horses, approached him directly and grabbed his reins. Then the beggar was allowed to enter and he approached the same horse.

After that kazy returned to his seat and announced his verdict, “Merchant, that horse is yours, and beggar is sentenced to fifty blows with rods.”

After all the verdicts were announced, kazy went home. Bauakas followed him.

“Why are you following me?” kazy asked, “Aren’t you satisfied with my decision?”

“Not at all,” Bauakas replied, “I am satisfied with your decision, but I would like to know, how did you find out that the woman was the wife of scientist, the money belonged to the butcher and the horse was mine?”

Then kazy explained him everything, “This is how I knew that the woman was the wife of scientist. Early in the morning I called her and asked her to pour some ink into my inkpot. The woman washed the inkpot quickly and filled it with ink. She was so dexterous and prompt in doing so, that I understood it was not the first time she was filling the inkpot. If she was the wife of peasant she wouldn’t manage to do it so fast and neatly. So I came to conclusion that scientist was right.

As for the money, this is how I came to knew. Yesterday I put it into the cup with water. Today’s morning, I studied the cup and there was no oil on the top of the water. Now it was clear to me, that the butcher was saying truth. If you do not understand, let me explain. If that money had belonged to oiler, they would have got stained with oil anyway, and the oil would have floated on the top of water in the cup.

Regarding the horse, it was much more difficult to find out, who was its master. Both you and the beggar recognized the same horse. However, I did not bring you to the stable for you to recognize the horse, but for horse to recognize you.

When you approached the horse, it gave a neigh and turned the head to you. And when the beggar came, it pressed down the ears and lifted one his leg. Thus I came to know, that horse was yours,” kazy ended his story.

Then Bauakas told him, “I am not the merchant, but the king Bauakas. I came to find out whether everything people told about your wisdom was truth. Now I know it is, and you may ask for whatever you want from me.”

“I do not need anything,” kazy replied, “The words you said are the best reward for me.”


Few honored people decided to help one family of orphans and begun collecting donations, for which they visited people’s houses. Thus they came to one really rich man. This man left them in the yard and then they heard this men yelling at his worker for he forgot to hide little piece of rope.

The rich man told the worker: - You do not know, despite this is small rope, it is thing bought for money, and money are really hard to earn.

After those men saw and heard that, they all begun to think, what should they do in that case. The man, who came into such anger because of some forgotten piece of rope, was unlikely to donate anything, and they even considered it better to leave and not to waste their time and words. But then one of them decided: - We have nothing to lose. As long as we are here already, let us tell this man what our case is.

To that they agreed, so they came up to rich men, and gave him a bow. Bay asked them to enter politely. After he heard they story, he gave him two times more money than everybody before him on the spot and even promised to provide that family with few sacks of grain.

Men were really surprised with his behavior and after hesitating for some time, they told him how they took him for a man very mean. For that rich man replied, “Because I do not neglect my possessions, no matter how small they are, I have a possibility now to help poor and weak people. For if somebody is sparing, he is not necessary mean.”


Before one great party father has brought home different nuts to please his children.

Lenochka, who was the youngest kid, saw golden nuts among them and began asking to be given especially those nuts.

“These nuts are only decoration, better take those ones”, the mother warned her.

But Lenochka then started crying and said “I do not want those nuts, give me nuts with golden shell. Their kernels must be so tasty!”

Mother decided, that there would be no harm in satisfying the request of naughty willful child, so she gave Lenochka the nuts with golden shells, and the rest nuts distributed among other children.

Lenochka was happy with that and begun cracking her nuts right on the spot. But there was no kernel in any of them, only empty shells. Other kids begun laugh at her and then the father told, “These nuts were not food, but for a decoration. I took empty shells and covered them with gold paint. The next time you will not judge things for their appearance, because the true value is always inside.”


This is the story written by some French scientist.

In 1791 I was young man and studied at University. Every week I visited my mother, who lived in the city of Versailles, and on my road I always came across one beggar, named Anton, who asked for alms beside the road.

Once, as I was going my way as usual, I met thin man of average height. As long as he was taking the same direction, we continued our way together and, as usual, met Anton begging near the road.

My fellow traveler stopped, looked Anton in the eyes and told him, “Anton, you have a look of man smart and seem to have enough strength for working. Nevertheless, you chose to suffer such humiliation. If you want to become rich one day, this is my advice for you. I was once as poor man as you are now, but I never took up begging. I was traveling from one city to another and picked up old rugs from garbage or asked people for it. I sold those rags to paper factory. After some time, I happened to spare some funds and bought myself a donkey and a carriage. Then, I was travelling with carriage and began buying old rugs from people. Thus I started trading. After seven years of hard work, I have made ten thousand francs. For that money I bought a paper factory. I was young, deedful and sensible. I arranged my business in right way, and currently I own two large stone houses. My factory now belongs to my son. I hope, he will not be hungry or poor clad either, because since his very childhood I have taught him to fight his laziness and never stay idle. I always told him, that there is no easy way to earn the money. Follow my example, Anton, and one day you’ll be as reach as I am.”

When Anton heard all that, he stayed astonished where he stood, and started thinking something over, having even forgotten about begging.

In 1815 I was in Brussels and came into one book store. The face of merchant, who was giving orders to workers, seemed to remind me of somebody.

This man gazed at me, thought something over for a moment, and then he approached me and said, “I am sorry, but I have to ask you…Were there you, who was student twenty five years ago and visited Versailles every week, always going the same road?”

Then I remembered everything and exclaimed in surprise, “Anton, is it you?”

“Yes,” answered the merchant, “I am very same beggar Anton. Once you were going past me with one man. The words he told me I took very seriously, so I gave up begging and started working. I was putting lot of efforts and treated all my earnings carefully. Finally, the words of that man came true. I am the owner of this book store now.”


One teenage girl was repairing chapan for her father. Her mother sat beside her and began teaching her, “Dear child, among all the thing existing in the world there is nothing that can not be used for something good, so there is no need to leave them anywhere on the ground.”

While mother was saying so, the girl finished with chapan, picked up little flocks of cotton from the floor and throw them on the yard. Doing so she said, “Mother, this little flocks of cotton are unlikely to be used for something else”.

“My child, those flocks will find their place as well”, the mother said.

Then the girl looked into the window. She saw wind throwing the flocks of cotton and little sparrow chasing on of the flocks. When it caught the flock, it flew away.

“Mother, the sparrow took one flock away. What shall it do with it?”

“You see, child, here is what I meant. The sparrow will pave itself a nest with that cotton, and now its kids will be warm and will have a soft bed.


Certain man had once found some very beautiful stone in the prairie. He didn’t know what to do with it, so asked his neighbor for an advice. The neighbor couldn’t make something out either, so he told only, “You should better go to the king with this.”

So the man went to king’s palace, gave a bow to courtier and asked to arrange his meeting with a king.

“What do you want from the king?” the courtier asked.

“I have brought him a present”, the men replied.

“I can arrange the meeting,” courtier said, “but for that you will give me half of king’s reward. Otherwise, you will never meet a king.”

To that the man agreed.

Then the courtier brought this man to the king. King liked the stone and decided to give this man one thousand rubles in reward. But man kneeled and began to beg the king, “Dear lord, I won’t take that money from you. Better command to give me fifty blows with rods”.

The king thought it strange for a man to ask such things, and considered there is some reason for it. So he commanded his guard to beat this man with rods, but softly. After twenty-fifth blow the man said, “That was enough for me. The rest is for courtier, for I promised him the half of my reward, whatever it would be.”

So the king called the courtier and commanded to give him twenty-five good blows with rods. As for the man, king liked his wits and rewarded him with two thousand rubles instead of one.


Mother-mouse always told her little mousling, that there was one great villain in the world, and this villain was a man. A man set mousetraps, to which he tied little slices of bacon. If some mouse approached this trap to get some food from it, the trap clapped and caught that mouse.

Once, as that mouseling was playing, it felt the smell of bacon. It was interested of how can the bacon get in such place, so it looked into little peephole and saw the mousetrap with little slice of bacon tied to it — just as his mother warned him. The mouseling thought “What of fools these men are! They have made this wooden trap, put there some bacon and think that thus they may deceive us. No, we are not that stupid.”

Sometime after, the mousling was running around the trap. It felt the smell of bacon again and said, “Oh, how sweet is the smell of this treacherous bacon! I do not have to eat it, but there will be no harm if I come closer and smell it at least.”

So it began coming closer and closer to the trap. In some moment he got really close and suddenly the trap clapped and caught this little mouseling.


One man was coming home from the field together with his ten-year old son. Father noticed a horseshoe that somebody had lost on the road and told his son, “Take up this horseshoe.”

“Why would I need this old useless horseshoe?” asked the boy.

The father said nothing; he just took the horseshoe himself and they both went on.

When they reached the outskirts of the city, where forgers usually worked, father sold that horseshoe for three kopecks.

After some time, they met merchants who traded cherries. For three kopecks he got for a horseshoe, father has bought lot of cherries. He wrapped them in kerchief and continued his way. He didn’t look at his son and ate some little cherry from time to time. The son was going behind him and looked on those cherries with great envy. Suddenly, father drooped one cherry, the son took it up and ate.

After some time the father has dropped another cherry, then again and again. Then he was dropping cherries along whole their way.

Son leaned, picked up cherries his father dropped and ate them. He did so for ten times at least. Finally, the father stopped. He gave his son the kerchief with cherries and said, “You see, because you didn’t wanted to lean for one time and pick up the horseshoe, you had to lean for ten times top pick up the cherries that were bought for money from that horseshoe. Remember this, my son, if some day you consider an easy work to be too hard for you, you will certainly meet work even harder. If you are not satisfied with small things, you’ll never get things much greater.”


One old forger was working days and nights and never did he take a rest. His neighbor was rich man called Braun. Braun’s son would often come to the forgery, and watched old forger working.

So once the forger told that boy, “My lord, than to sit here and look, you shall better learn how to forge nails. Who knows, maybe this knowledge will do well for you one day.”

Since boy had nothing more to do, he really started forging nails, just for fun, and in some time he was really good at that.

After many years, when the boy grew up, their country was attacked by enemies. All the property and wealth of Braun was taken away from him, and he had to leave his home and run with his wife and children.

They settled in one city, but there they were very poor, they lacked even food and clothing. The mayor of that city once issued an order, where it was sad, that the soldiers of the army needed new boots. The army was large and there were not enough shoe nails in the cities nearby. This is why mayor was looking for a man, who could forge more shoe nails for soldier boots. Then Braun, who was skillful at forging nails since his very childhood, went to government shoemakers and told them, “If you need a lot of shoe nails, I can accept the order and will provide you with as many nails as you require.”

When shoemakers saw the nails Braun produced, they liked his work greatly. They ordered many nails from him, and thus that happened, that he earned lot of money for those nails and became really wealthy. The rest of his life he spent in great happiness and prosperity.


It was a nice summer day, and early in the morning one man walked around the garden with his son. They were observing threes and flowers grooving in that garden.

“Why is this three growing straight,” the son asked, “and that one is crooked?”

The father answered, “This is because the tree, that grows straight, was looked after with great attention, all the crooked branches were cut off. The other three was not attended at all, so its branches grew in any direction they wished.”

“This means,” the son said, “that there is great usefulness if something is cared and looked after good.”

“You are right, my son,” the father replied. “This can be good lesson for you as well. You remind me of young green three, which needs lot of care. If I correct all mistakes you do and teach you good things, and you listen to me and follow my advice, you will grow up kind and righteous man; and if you are not looked after properly, you will look like that crooked three.”


Once two beggars in old rugs came to kazy Husain’s window and started begging him, “Our lord, be so kind and give us some alms”.

“The Lord above will give you alms,” kazy answered.

“Please, give us something, in the name of the Prophet!” they went on.

“You, beggars, go away and leave me alone!” kazy got angry and dropped the book he was reading on the floor.

“Oh, kazy, have a mercy for our poverty, give us at least something!” beggars asked for the third time.

Then kazy got furious, he called his guards and commanded them to throw beggars into the dungeon.

At the very same moment beggars left him alone and run away.

Three days after, kazy was holding a banked. Lot of guests were invited, house was clean and decorated with gold and rich furniture. Kazy at that time sat beside the very same window, enjoyed the sight of Bagdad and talked to a mufti.[35] At this time the same two beggars approached the window again.

“We congratulate you on this great day of yours. Give us some alms on this great occasion!” they started begging.

Then kazy addressed to the mufti sitting nearby, “It’s the second time those two beggars came to my window. They are awfully irritating. Our noble chalif[36] does not allow us to punish men like them. However, though against his will, this time I will command my people to get those two in chains and throw them into the dungeon, for them not to beg anymore and not to spoil the beauty and greatness of Bagdad.”

Saying so, he called for his servants.

At that time, beggars entered the house and took off their old rugs. One of them cried in severe voice, “Kazy! When I had appointed you to be a judge, I hoped that you will be righteous and will treat all people, no matter how rich or poor they were, with due respect. But now I see, that I was wrong and I do regret thinking so. Japar! Took this old man away and see that he would be punished as he deserves. Let my people know and see, that the anger of chalif will find them everywhere and sooner or later all the ugly deeds will be known to him. And when they are, no matter what position man takes, he will be punished hard.”

The guests that were in the house recognized those two men immediately and fell down to their knees, for two men, who pretended to be beggars, were chalif Garun al Rashid himself and his great vizier[37] Japar.


Once a man, whose name was Seit, run down the street. He suddenly got hit by a wagon and his leg was broken. He fell down and began screaming and crying loudly.

When his mother heard him screaming, she hurried to her son, and when she saw his leg broken, she was frightened so much, that she fainted. Seit after that stopped screaming, and was silent for all the time, and even as he was having his leg set, he didn’t show that he felt any pain.

Bonesetter asked him after, “Didn’t you felt any pain? You didn’t even frown!”

When Seit’s mother went out of the room, he said to bonesetter “Oh, I felt such great pain as if my heart was torn to pieces! But if my mother saw it, she would suffer even more than I did, this is the only reason I am standing this all and pretend I feel nothing”.


One Mishar, whose name was Kerim, was a diligent worker and good dzhigit[38], but he didn’t like to bath often, and never were his clothes clean. In other words, Kerim was very untidy man.

When somebody told him, “Kerim, what is happening to you! Why are you always so dirty? You should bath at least for once!” he answered to them, “I have no time for that!”

So he was always dirty. But once it happened, that Kerim got some disease. All his body got covered in sores and scabs. He was lying writhed from pain, and when other people asked, “Kerim, what is happening to you?” he answered, “God is punishing me for all the sins I did”.

Other people didn’t agreed to that and said, “It’s true, Kerim, because God doesn’t like those who prefer to stay dirty. If you visited the bath house or washed yourself with soap at least once a week, such a misfortune would not have happened to you.”

Finally, they managed to persuade Kerim, and he was taken to the hospital. There he was washed, dressed in clean robe and got proper cure. After some time he really recovered and was allowed to go home.

When he returned from hospital, Kerim started working at one factory. You probably know, that some paints, used at factories, are venomous. Once the owner of that factory gave Kerim some paint and told him to mix it good. Kerim did so, and when he finished, he decided to have a lunch. As usual, he didn’t wash his hands before eating. So all the paint, that left on his hands, stuck to the bread he ate. And suddenly, Kerim felt the terrible ache in his belly. He fell down on the floor, convulsing from pain, and after some time Kerim died. It appeared that that paint contained venom.


Three men once went hunting. During the whole day they had killed only one small teal. When the night came, they made fire and were preparing themselves to sleep. Then they began talking, “This teal is too small for three of us to eat it. But it is no good for one of us to eat it alone.”

One of the three hunters was some very cunning dzhigit. So he said, “I know, what we shall do. Let’s boil that teal and lay ourselves to sleep. That one of us, who will have the most beautiful dream this night, can eat the teal.”

The other two men agreed to that. They boiled the teal, covered it with plate and went to sleep. The cunning dzhigit woke up in night, crawled to the plate with teal, ate it, covered the plate as it had been before, and went back to sleep again.

In the morning, when they all got up he asked his friends, “So, what dreams did you have?”

One of them said then, “Tonight I dreamed, that I was riding along the sky on white horse and in golden crown.”

Than the other said, “I dreamed I was in heaven, and houris[39] were serving me.”

The third man then told two others, “All you say is true. I saw you two in my dream either. One of you became king and flied away on his white horse, and the other went to heaven. So I thought neither of you will come back for single little teal and I ate it myself.”


(A fairy tale)

Once upon a time there lived one khan, who had twelve wives, but neither of his wives had children.

Once the khan had to travel far away, so he summoned his wives and asked them, “What gift shall you present me, when I am back?”

The eldest wife answered, “I will command to build golden palace and everything will be ready before you are back.”

And the youngest wife said, “Before you’re beck I will have two kids — a boy and a girl. A boy I will name Golden Lock.”

After that khan left them. He was on his journey for three years and came back home.

Until that time his eldest wife had built the palace, and his youngest wife had had two kids — a boy with golden hair and a girl. But the eldest wife envied the younger fiercely, so she called the old witch, stole the kids with her help and told her servants to throw the kids into the well and replace them with two puppies. When the khan was back she told him that his wife had given birth to two puppies. Poor mother cried, but she had nothing to do and accepted her part. Khan believed all the lies eldest wife told him, and kicked his youngest wife away.

But as the kids were falling into the well, they were saved by angel, who changed himself into bird, caught the children and took them to the city. There he passed children over to one old kind woman, who lived at the outskirts.

The woman didn’t have either son or daughter. She cared for both kids for three or four years until she died. When boy grew up a little, he started hunting goats and kulans with his bow. Kids ate their meant and made themselves clothes of their skins. Then they have found a cave under one mountain and made themselves a house there.

One day it happened, that khan’s eldest wife, who had brought those kids so many grief and evil, got to know that they were still alive. She then sent for the same old witch and told her to kill the boy with golden hair.

The old witch went to search for the kids, but when she came to their cave, the boy was not at home. He went hunting that day, and only his sister was staying. The old witch told her, “Tell you brother, that there is Sulky Khan[40] leaving in your land. He has a mare that brings him a colt every day. All those colts are argamak-tulpars[41].

After that she left.

The plan of old witch was that boy would go searching for that mare and die on his way, because everyone, who tried to get the mare, got lost and died.

In the evening, when the boy returned from hunting, his sister told him old witch’s words. When the brother heard it, he went to search for that mare.

When he was on his way, he came to great river. Every man, who tried to cross it, drowned. Golden Lock got a boat and began floating to the other side. When he was on the middle of the river, the daughter of one peri[42] rouse the tide and grabbed the boat, but Golden Lock caught her hands and took her golden ring and golden bracelets off. Then she released the boat, and thus Golden Lock crossed the river successfully. After that he carried on his way and got to the palace of Sulky Khan.

Right at that time the mare started foaling. Then Golden Lock told Sulky Khan, “My lord, will you allow me to take this colt?”

“I do,” Sulky Khan said, “you may take it.”

No one could take colts from that mare, since as soon as they were foaled, the daughter of peri came, having changed herself into cloud, and carried them away. The boy hid and started waiting. As soon as the colt was foaled, the daughter of peri appeared and wanted to take the colt away. Then Golden Lock stabbed at her with his sword. The daughter of peri got scarred and flew away, leaving only her shoes and little colt.

Golden Lock came to khan and showed him the shoes and the colt. Khan blessed the boy. Golden Lock returned home safely, gave the shoes, the ring and the bracelet to his sister, left the colt and went hunting.

After some time, the same old witch came to visit his sister again. She saw the girl’s ring and the colt and said, “You see, I meant only well to you. Your brother has brought you this ring. Now sent him to another place — let him bring a golden chest from there.”

After those words old witch left.

After the brother returned, the sister told him that there is a golden chest somewhere and that he has to bring it to their home. So Golden Lock mounted his tulpar colt and set out to his journey.

On his way he met an old woman, who was fixing crack in the ground. He approached that woman and asked, “Lady, what are you doing?”

And the old woman then answered, “I am fixing that crack in the ground. If you ask me why, I’ll tell you, that the strongmen like you come to that place, jump into that crack because of some stupid chest and die there.”

Then the boy said, “I need this chest too.”

And when he reached the crack and jumped down. When he was already under the ground, the peri appeared before him and cried out, “Small stone, if you are at home, respond!”

As soon as she finished saying those words, Golden Lock was turned into the stone and stayed lying on the same place. His winged horse waited for one day, than for another, and when he realized his master was lost, he came back home to that girl and started crying. From that girl understood, what had happened. So she mounted tulpar as well and it brought her to the same old woman, who was still fixing the crack. The woman told a girl, “Don’t you dare to descent into that crack. Your brother had gone there and there he died, and if you do the same, you will die as well.”

The girl than answered, “I am not afraid to die, but before I do, I want to see my brother for one last time, no matter if he is still alive or not.”

Than the old woman gave her an advice, “Go there, but wail all the time, ‘Oh, I am so miserable on the ground, and you are so miserable under the ground.’”

The girl began descending into the crack and wailed along all her way. Then she met peri, who asked her, what her misery was. The girl told her everything. Peri felt pity for that girl and brought her brother back to life.

When they returned to the ground, they reached dark dense forest. Golden Lock left his sister and his horse on the margin and strode into its depths. Walking into the forest, he reached white small yurt[43]. He entered the yurt and took a sit. At that moment two daughters of peri came and sat on the top of the yurt. One of them said, “Once I was really frightened. If you want to know why, here is my story. It was on the river. As I was trying to turn over the boat, the dzhigit, who was floating in it, took away my ring. If I saw him again I would become his wife.”

The other one, who was younger, then said, “I once got really scared as well. I you ask me why, I will tell you. I used to take colts from one khan every day. Once I came to his palace, but there one dzhigit was waiting for me. As I wanted to take the colt away, he didn’t let me. If I happen to find that boy again, I would become his wife.”

As soon as she ended her story, both peris heard, “Here I am, the same dzhigit, whose wives you wished to become.” It was Golden Lock who got up from where he sat at cried those words to them.

After that, both girls became his wives. He moved their yurt to the margin of the forest, where his horse and his sister were left. Some time after they returned to the cave, where brother and sister lived before. There they stayed for some four or five years more.

The days went by. Golden Lock went haunting every day as he did before. Once, as he was hunting, he met one man, and since then they used to go hunting together. One day, during their hunting, the large animal emerged before them and walked to where they stand at a leisurely pace. Golden Lock and his friend had an intention to shoot him, but suddenly it begun talking in human tongue, addressing Golden Lock’s friend, “This is the son of yours!”. Then it turned to Golden Lock. “And this is your father,” it said, “Evil old which had separated you.”

After saying that, the animal disappeared. When father and son get to know each other, they embraced and started crying. Then father invited the son to his palace. He commanded to execute his eldest wife and old witch. After that, he sent his servants to find his youngest wife, who had to become a beggar. When she was brought to him khan, declared she is his wife again. As for the Golden Lock, he was proclaimed a new khan. His sister and two wives were taken to the palace as well.

When all the family was summoned together, they made a great banquet and a horserace. They all lived happily ever after, and all their wishes had come true.


One father was walking along the field with his ten-year old son. The father asked his son, “You see there the spider crawling? What is it doing?”

“It is weaving its web.”

“And you see the ant there? What is it doing?”

“It is running with a crumb in its mouth.”

“Look up, what do you see there?”

“I see a swallow. It flies, holding some grass-blade in its nib.”

After that father said, “You see, even those little creatures can be a good example for you. A spider sets its web, catches flies and mosquitos with it, and so it earns its food. The ant runs long miles to find some food for itself and its kids. When it finds some little crumb, it doesn’t eat it, but takes it home. A swallow gathers branches and grass-blades to build the nest for its squeakers.

There is no living thing in this world that does not work, for nothing was created by God to stay idle. That’s why everyone shall get used to work.”


One scientist was walking along the road through desolated prairie. He stumbled over the stone and thought, “This stone can make somebody great harm. I shall better take it away from the road.”

He lifted the stone and saw little chest under it. He opened the chest and little snake crawled out of it. It attacked the scientist and tried to bite him, but he said, “I set you free from that dark and narrow box, where you were enslaved. Shall good things be paid with bad?”

“Yes,” the snake answered.

“Let us ask somebody else. If it appears that you are right, you may bite me then.” The scientist suggested.

Snake agreed to that. So they went on together and after some time they met camel. They had told him what happened and asked him for advice. Camel listened to them and said, “It is true, good things are always paid for with bad. No matter how hard I work for my master, no matter how many loads I had carried for him during my life, whenever he makes me carry the load too hard for me and I stop, he beats me and tortures me for that.”

When the snake heard it, it wrapped itself around scientist’s neck.

After that they came to the fruit tree and asked it of its opinion. The three answered, “The good things are always paid for with bad. No matter how many of my fruits men take, no matter how kindly I help them feed themselves, they still do not pick my fruits with their hands without hurting me. Instead, they beat my body with sticks until I drop them all myself.”

Then the snake wrapped itself around scientist’s neck for second time.

They went along and this time they met a dog. The dog said, “The good is always paid with evil. I was a ward for a man for so many years, I didn’t sleep, I protected his property and his cattle before thieves, but when I got old and thick, he didn’t thank me, instead, he beat me with his stick and kicked me off from the yard.”

The snake wrapped itself around scientist’s neck for third time and prepared to bite him, but scientist began to ask, “Let us go and ask somebody for one last time, and if this time you’ll appear to be right again, then you really may bite me.”

Then they approached few boys, who were playing. One of them greeted scientist. Scientist answered to his greeting and told the boy what is happening. The boy listened to his story and said, “No, it can not be true. This snake is large enough to wrap itself around your neck for three times and you say you have found it in such a little chest. Who would be so stupid to believe you?”

“It is all true,” replied the snake.

But boy refused to believe it and said that no one else would believe such story unless they saw it with their own eyes. So the snake decided to prove the boy that story was true. It crawled back into the box. As soon it did, boy closed the chest cover, locked it and returned it to scientist saying, “Take this chest and bring it back to the place where you had found it.”


Three travelers met near one spring.

The spring was flowing from stony place. Around it the dense forest grew, the leaves and branches of its trees shaded the spring. The water in it was clear, cold as ice, and glimmered like the glass. Somebody has laid the stone on the place from where the spring took off. The stone was as large as cauldron, there was a hole drilled in it for the water to flow easily and the caption above that hole “Dear traveler, let you be as pure as this spring.”

After three travelers drunk enough water to satisfy their thirst, they read those words and one of them, who seemed to be some merchant, said, “These are wise words. The rill from this spring is running days and nights without a moments rest. It flows to the lands far away. The farer it flows, the more rills join it, and finally it becomes a wide river. Here is the outcome of it. We, the men, shall also work without a rest, never stop and never give up before the laziness. If we do so, in the end we’ll be great and powerful like that river.”

The third traveler was a poor mullah. He shook his head and said, “No, I do not think so. The meaning of this caption is deeper than you think. The spring is open for everybody. To those, who suffer from the heat, it gives the cold and pleasures their hearts, for those, who are thirsty, it gives water and does not ask for reward for it. From this we may conclude, that the meaning of this caption is following: when you do good things for people, do not ask for reward for your goodness.”

The third traveler was thin and handsome young man, who stood silent. Then his friends asked him, what did he think of it.

The young man replied, “I think different. If the water in this spring stood still, the grass and leaves around it would spoil it and it would become dirty. Then people and animals would not love the spring so much. But as long as water in this spring flows days and nights, it stays pure and this is why this spring is so loved. Thus, the meaning of those words is following. Keep your body and your soul pure as this spring. When somebody looks into its water, they see the reflection of sunshine, the sky, and the grass. This is why the soul should be maintained as pure as this spring — let everything be seen there as well. This is what the meaning of this caption is.”

[1] Kipchak — Kazakhstan ethnic group

[2] Barymta — seizure of cattle as a revenge method for caused damage

[3] Ketmen — Kazakh tool for processing ground

[4] Aryk — is a relatively small aqueduct supporting agriculture in Central Asia

[5] Aul — type of fortified nomadian village found throughout the Caucasus mountains

[6] Kibitka — Russian type of carriage

[7] Mishar — Kazakhstan ethnic group

[8] Yurt — mobile nomadian hut

[9] Zhailau — grassland in Kazakh

[10] The Kazakhs held the years count according to cycle of 19 years. Each year was named after different animal.

[11] Kurt — the product made of sour milk. It is boiled to extract the thrusting, and remaining paste after that is dried and formed up in any desired shape

[12] Jabaga — the type of wool, usually cut on spring.

[13] Bay — landlord in Kazakhstan

[14] Chapan — Kazakh quilted dressing gown

[15] Kurgan — the Turkic term for a tumulus

[16] Suyunshi — present for glad news

[17] Madrasah — building of Muslim school

[18] Jinn — mythology character in Central Asia, evil spirit

[19] Shaitan — In Islamic myth, an unbelieving class of jinn

[20] Apyrai — exclamation of surprise, close to “wow”

[21] Mirza — the rank of a high nobleman or Prince in Turkic peoples

[22] Among Kazakhs it often happened that burying took place few hours after death

[23] Sheshen means “silver-tongued’ in Kazakh

[24] Shanash — the leather vessel in the shape of sack

[25] Koje — soup made of ground wheat, barley or millet

[26] Knanym — the wife of khan

[27] Glutton Crone is character of Kazakh fairy-tails, analogue of Russian Baba Yaga

[28] Aidakhar — fairy tale dragon. When blowing in the air, Aidakhar can swallow the large animal or even human.

[29] Bayga — the time of horseracing, very old and popular in countries of Central Asia

[30] Tamga — the sign of the clan, the label

[31] Kudai — God

[32] Baba-Tukty and Azis-Shashty — the holy people

[33] Kazy — government official in Kazakhstan

[34] Atymtai the Generous is famous character of many folk tales, who was known for its generosity and wisdom

[35] Mufti — an Islamic scholar, who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law

[36] Chalif — the head of state in Islamic countries of older times

[37] Vizier — Chalif’s the minister or councilor in Islamic countries of older times

[38] Dzhigit — is a skillful and brave equestrian in Caucasus and Central Asia

[39] Houries — maids that serve to souls of dead in heaven

[40] Sulky Khan — fairy tale character, a khan who never laughs

[41] Tulpar is winged horse

[42] Peri — magical creature, a fairy

[43] Small yurt is created when daughter or son from the family gets married. It is usually smaller than parent yurt.