My mother-in-law came to see us. She brought a rooster as a gift for her grandchildren.
Actually, I shouldn"t call him a full-fledged rooster for he was too little. But I shouldn"t call him a chicken either. Judging from his appearance, the rooster was old. In short, he was a mysterious bird. Babat was particularly happy about him.
- Mommy presented us with a rooster. She takes care about us night and day always thinking about us - Babat said stroking tenderly the little rooster, red as fire.
- Ye-e-e-s, Arabboy said - such a small beautiful rooster! We can even keep him in a cage, like a parrot, that frightens off the guests repeating again and again primitive nasty words.
- Japanese - I said - are very calculating people. Everything they do and have is "super-"
and "hypo-". Their poetry is one example. Japanese poets place whole poems in a rhyme of three lines, a stanza called "haiku". With us it"s quite the contrary. Our poets whose message can fit in three lines write long poems. Ironically, Japanese poets write "Haiku" and "Tanka" to economize on paper, time and ink. Their houses, too, are compact. The door, the windows and partly the walls in them are made of rice paper. The Japanese tea drinking tradition is also unique. Very much unlike ours - we just boil water, put green tea in it and gulp!
Drinking tea is a real ritual there. Before making tea they long bow low to one another. Then they take a brush and mix the tea with it carefully in the boiling water. When the tea is ready they slowly pour it out into cups with a special ladle. After that they start sipping it slowly with pleasure and bowing to one another with each gulp. They also have vodka. It"s called sake. They also make it of rice. When they give you some of this sake you involuntarily wonder "what on earth is that?". But then you see that sake is quite good, and it"s so strong that one only needs to drink three or four drops to find oneself in the seventh heaven. Now look at this rooster. Three or four grains will be enough to feed this bird. Keeping such roosters and hens, the Japanese save hundreds upon hundreds of millions of tons of grain annually.
In the meantime, to let him adapt himself, we should lock him up in the hen-house.
Arabboy and Sharabboy took the rooster, and, unbinding his legs, locked him in the coop.
As soon as the rooster was locked in he started squalling nonstop:
Meanwhile, night was falling. But the Japanese rooster was still crying. The neighbors started looking curiously through the fences into the yard. Kalakhan Adalatov, dressed in a pajama, climbed up onto the roof of his house and yelled:
- Hey, Al Kazim, what are you doing there? Shut this rooster up! I have an allergy to birds. Do you want to send me to the better world before time? Shut him up, I tell you! Or else I"ll go out and decapitate the bloody rooster and you, too, along with him.
I apologized to the Director:
- Kalakhan Adalatovich, I will silence him now. He was brought by my mother-in-law! You know, since I jumped into the chimney she"s hated me.
And, covering his mother-in-law, he ordered his sons:
- Arabbboy! Sharabboy! Take the rooster and kill him now!
- All right! -Arabboy said opening the door of the hen-house. Sharabboy got inside to take the Japanese rooster. The latter, like a coded computer, kept crying continuously:
Sharabboy wanted to catch him but, flying from corner to corner, kicking and pecking the boy, the rooster jumped out of his hand. Suddenly, he flew out of the hen-house and ran away. We chased him. Babat, Arabboy and Sharabboy managed to block him and began to gradually tighten the ring. The Japanese rooster broke the encirclement and, like a partridge, flew off and landed about fifteen meters away from us. We had blocked the rooster several times, but all was in vain. Each time he would slip off our hands.
Then we had to use a stratagem. To lure the rooster, Babat strewed some grain and called him:
- Chuck-chuck, chuck-chuck, chuck-chuck!
Meanwhile, I sneaked up to the rooster from behind and jumped at him like a "Pakhtakor" goal keeper. The jet-propelled animal jumped away again. I pursued him. Unfortunately, I had my feet entangled in the polyethylene film which we used to cover the
hotbed and fell into a ditch with fertilizer, that is manure. When I pulled through I got up and ran after the rooster again. The latter got into the tandoor where Babat baked flat bread once a weak. Tandoor, a clay oven looking like a big jug, was placed on a big platform. It only has the entrance with no exit. Getting into the tandoor the Japanese rooster made a grave historic blunder.
-Well, that"s the end! I"ve got you, scoundrel! - I said stepping cautiously, like a leopard
that treads slowly and quietly before attacking his victim. At last I managed to cover the entrance of tandoor with my torso. To catch the ill-fated bird I scoured about inside the oven and, luckily, I managed to catch him in the end.
-You should see how happy I was having caught him! The damned rooster wasn"t very happy about it. It had pecked my hands through and through and went on crying even in my hands:
- Arabboy, brings a knife, will you? We"ll slaughter this shouter!
-Please, don"t father. He"s got more wastes than meat.
Babat started defending the rooster"s poultry rights:
- Oh no, dadasi, how can you? Don"t kill him! Mom will be offended. You know, she brought him as a gift for the grandchildren!
- Well, then, let the kids take him back to granny.
-Dadasi, are you crazy? It"s not good to return a gift.
The rooster, as if approving Babat" words, started crying at the top of his voice again. The curious neighbors, unconsciously jumping over the fence, found themselves in the yard. The damned rooster was still crowing.
Kalankhan Adalatov, standing on the roof, cursed me using unprintable words.
I stood like a hunter that chases hares with the help of an eagle and then said to my spouse:
- Well, let Arabboy and Sharabboy go to the market and sell the rooster or give him away to somebody!
Babat agreed. The children put the rooster into a sack and set out to the market in the western part of the town where goods were bought and sold day and night.
- I went out into the street to inform Kalankhan Adalatov that the rooster was no more and that my sons had left for the market to sell the bird. As I went out -oh my! - I saw an ambulance car outside Kalankhan Adalatov"s house.
Аwhole team of medics in white, cases in hand, came out of he car. Accompanied by Falankhan, that is Adalatov"s son, they went towards the house. It turned out that due the negative impact of the clamorous rooster upon Kalankhan Adalatov he had a heart attack and fell down from the roof into the pond where dirty duck swam from morning till night champing the dirty slush in search of worms.
A few hours later, the medics, lifting the stretcher with our wise Director Kalagkhan Adalatov reclining on it, came back.
I had twinges of conscience that day. The next morning I took a saucepan of hot food and went to the district center Altinkul to see the Director at hospital.
He was laid up in the cardiological department. As I entered the ward Kalankhan Adalatov turned away from me.
- Pardon me, master - I said - I didn"t mean to hurt you. The rooster is gone. My sons have sold him at the market.
- Yes, he said turning his face to me and sighed:
- Thank God
Suddenly, the piercing cry of a rooster resounded right from beyond the fence in the house adjoining the hospital.. I recognized the satanic crow at once. It was the very rooster that was responsible for Kalankhan Adalatov"s heart attack... It so happened that my sons had sold him to the man who lived in the house from which the crow reached us. I looked at Kalankhan Adalatov and saw his only eye widen from heart attack. I got frightened and called the doctors. They took him to the resuscitation department. in a hearse.
"Pakhtakor" - (Cotton harvester) - a football team, one of the most famous football clubs of Uzbekistan, playing in the capital, Tashkent.
tandoor - a cylindrical clay oven used in cooking and baking. The tandoor is used for cooking in Afghanistan, Central Asia, India, Pakistan, Transcaucasus and other regions.