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The Khakha Bird (Tajik)

The Khakha Bird (Tajik)
JAF. HUMANIORA.- All day long I fish in rain or sunshine but all I ever catch are few fish. grumbled the old fisherman into his flowing. white beard . he pulled his striped robe tighter around his thin body. arranged his turban and set off hom as the sun was setting.

So there you are, you-good-for-nothing. Scolded his fat wife. her arms folded. she snatched the basket he was carrying. one miserable fish. why, that not ever enough to feed a quarter of you, old man. she screamed. her black eyes were spiteful with anger. can I help it the fish refused to bite ? he shouted, shuffling wearily into the hut.

"I'm tired of being poor an not knowing where on, following into the hut. grumpily, she banged pots and pans as she prepared their evening meal. they ate in moody silence. outside, the darkness closed arround them like a big. black cloak. fireflies darted here and there while a lone cricket called out in the stillness of the night as the fisherman and his wife lay down to sleep.

Early next morning. the old man decided to return to the river. the larder was empty, their small store of food long finished. try and bring back at least two fish this evening his wife called out.

The old fisherman set off. grumbling into softly his beard. if I still had dowry of jewels. I'd give it back and ask her father to take her home. he said to himself. when he arrived at the river. he sat on long and cast his line. but the bright morning sun peeping through the treetops soon made him sleepy. he began to nod drowsily and soon he was fast asleep. the piercing cry of a bird woke him up. cried the old man.

Good morning, friend. said a voice cheerfully. it came the largest bird the old man had ever seen. he got up and tried to run away but he stumbled over a long and fell. don't be afraid. I'm going to help you. not harm you. said the bird.
'you wish to help me ? but way ? asked the old man.

"I'm kahkah bird and we always help people. said the bird pleasantly. the old man was puzzled and scratched his head. watch this. said the bird. it flapped its huge wings. rose into the sky and swiftly dived in and out the river. in its beak were there large fish.

You're going to help me fish ? that's wonderful. said the old man, his eyes shining at the sight of the fish. life has been difficult as I've not had much luck fishing. the old man told bird.

I'll help you fish but you mustn't tell a soul. about me. the khakha bird said. the fisherman solemnly promised not to do so. all morning the great khakha bird fished and soon the old man's basket was bursting with silvery fish of all sizes. wonderful, cried old man again and again. you go home now but each day I'll be here to help you fish. promised the khakha bird.

The old man hurried home. wife, wife look all this fish. he said. quickly he told her what had happened at the river. now, not a word of this to anyone, not even a relative. warned her husband. they cleaned and cut the fish and cooked the pieces until they were golden brown. then they rushed to the market square. fresh fish, cooked fish for sale. called out the fisherman wife happily. soon her basket was filled with coins. husband, I'm the happiest and luckiest women in the world to have such a clever husband, she told him.

Their neighbours were curious about their sudden good fortune. come on, old man, tell us. what the secret of your good luck. they teased. but to no one would they reveal the secret of the khakha bird.

One afternoon. as they selling fish in the market they had to move out of the way. make way for the messenger of the great padishah. shouted a soldier, elbowing his way through the crowded marked. hear ye ! hear ye ! a message from the great padishah. he will reward anyone with half his kingdom if the whereabouts of the khakha bird are made know to him. cried the messenger.

When the messenger had left the market. the people cried out to each other in great excitement. did you hear ? the padishah will reward anyone with half his kingdom just to know where to bird is.

The old fisherman wife turned to him and said. why didn't you tell the padishah's messenger that you alone know  where the bird is to be found ? hush, women. you know nothing of the matter. it needs much thought. said the old man. but husband, half his kingdom, for just a bird too, went on his wife.

Be quiet, women. we'll discuss this at home. he warned. all that night they stayed up and talked about the padishah's message. why, you'll be the second most powerful man in the whole kingdom. his waif told him. I'll have a fine house jewels she sighed happily. The padishah wants it. said the old man.

The next day. the fisherman made his want to the palace of padishah. he had on a robe of fine silk and a new turban I've come on a matter of great importance. I know where khakha bird is to be found. he told the guard. come this way, sir ! said the guard and showed him into the throne room.

The padishah sat on a high golden throne studded with precious jewels. he was surrounded by his courtier. you've news of the khakha bird ? asked the padishah.

Yes, your excellency, but first, my I respectfully enquire as to way you wish to have the khakha bird ? asked the fisherman bravely.

the padishah was known for his cruelty. old man, can't you see that I'm blind. shouted the padishah. my doctors tell me that the only cure is the blood of the khakha bird smeared over my sightless eyes. the padishah went on.

The bird help me and...! stammered the old fisherman. I'm not interested in your explanation. bring me the bird or you'll pay for your life. screamed the padishah.

Four hundred of the finest horsemen in the padishah's guards accompanied the old fisherman to the river. they rode coal-black horses from the padishah's stables.

The fisherman's wife was washing clothes by the river. when she saw the soldiers, she was greatly alarmed. husband, what's all this about ? she enquired fearfully.

Go with soldiers, and hide the forest. don't came out until give the signal. he told her sternly.

Then the old man took out some sweet-meats and placed then on a stone. he squatted and waited patiently, presently, he heard the sound of flapping wings. hullo, friend you were not at the river as usual today. greeted the khakha bird.

I er... I was busy, said the old man. here I've brought you some sweet-meats as you've helped me so often. the old man said.
thank you. said the khakha bird and began to eat with its back to the forest.

With a heavy heart, the old man raised his hand as a signal to the soldier. then he grabbed hold of the khakha bird's leg. what, are you doing friend ? asked the bird. puzzled. the fisherman's wife rushed up to him and held on to his hand. the bird began to struggle.

hold on to my waist, wife, and don't let go whatever happens, the old man cried out.

Hold on to me, captain, and don't let go whatever happens. said the woman to the captain of the guard.

The soldier formed a chain. each holding on tightly to the other. from the guard. flapping it wings strongly. hold on ! don't let go whatever happens. the captain told his soldier. slowly the bird rose higher and higher. it made and frightening noises and tried to free itself. the wind rushed by as the bird rose steadily to the sky.

"ai....eeee...I feel so giddy complained the old man fisherman. don't let go whatever happens, shouted the guard. hold on ! panted his wife her. face red with exertion it's all your fault. she panted. you haven't a sensible bone in your body. husband, that's the matter with you. she scolded. what will the neighbour think if they see us ? I'll be the laughing-stock of your village and it's all your fault. she went on.

"ah, I feel so ill. this terrible wind. I don't think I can hold on much longer. cried the old fisherman. with that he let go and one after another. the people came tumbling down to the earth.

The khakha bird looked sadly at the tiny. human specks hurtling earthward and then flapping its powerfull wings it soared high into the bright. blue sky with the wind at its back.

The end.

Rewrite. Apero Fublic
Editor. Selita. S.Pd.
Palembang, 5 April 2020

Sy. Apero Fublic

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