A TORN SACK

   Arsian watched as his grandfather,  Rakhim-aga, gathered ripe apricots from the tree. His grandfather was big and tall, and the fruit were tiny. Arsian also watched the ants: he marveled as he watched one of the small creatures carry an enormous blade of dry grass on its back.
   "Grandpa, grandpa!" Arsian called.
   Rakhim-aga walked over to his grandson. "Look here,  the young boy said, pointing to the ant. "Where
is he carrying such a big piece of grass?"
   Rakhim-aga smiled and placed hk hand on Arsian's head.
   "My little camel-colt, it's time you learned that ants are the most industrious creatures on earth. That blade of grass will go to build a new ant-hill or be used for food. When winter rolls around and the ground is covered with frost, the ant will have nothing to fear. Inside his house he'll be warm and well-provided for.
   "Then Im going to work hard too,  Arsian said, "so that we'll have enough firewood and food to last the winter too.
   "Very good, my young lad! A fine idea,  Rakhim-aga said, praising his young grandson. "Here's a pail - you can start by gathering up the fallen apricots.
   Grandfather and grandson began to work together. Rakhim aga glanced over at Arsian's pail and said approvingly:
   "You've done fine work, my lad! You've aim ost gathered a pailful. That's enough for one day. Go wash your hands and we'll ride over to see Aunt Aigul."
   "Where does she live?"
   "It the village."
   "But where's the village?
   "You'll see it when we get there.
   "How will we get there?"
   "On my motorcycle."
   "The red one?"
   "That's right."
   "And who's going to drive it?"
   "I will."
   "And I 'll ride in the side-car?"
   "Yes, you'll ride in the side-car."
   Grandfather sat his grandson in the side-car, placed the pail of apricots at his feet and quickly started up the motor for the questions were literally spilling out of Arslan as if out of a hole in a sack.
   Grandmother Mengli came out of the house to see the travellers off. Rakhim-aga had to cut off the motor and listen as she lectured him to drive carefully with his grandson. Arslan's mother and father both attended college in town, and Grandmother was equally strict with both her husband and her grandson.
 
 
 



* Bitbenchik stands for "little bell" in Russian