BEST FRIEND

   Rakhim-aga stayed over in the village for two whole days. Arslan spent the entire time hanging around the livestock pen. All the animals had been driven to the summer pastures in the mountains and the steppe. But a nanny-goat and her kid had been left behind. The kid was grey with a white star on its forehead. As soon as Arsian spied it he walked right up to it. He pulled up a bunch of clover and thrust it through the bars of the pen, calling: "Me-e, me-e!"
   The kid also seemed to take an immediate liking to the boy. It scampered about right and left, made a circle at top speed and then came to an abrupt halt at the spot by the fence where Arslan was waiting. Stretching out its muzzle, it took the clover and then raced away.
   The other boys called for Arslan to come and play, but Arslan didn't want to leave the kid.
   When Rakhim-aga was ready for the journey home, he found Arslan by the pen. The boy was treating his new friend to pieces of a churek.
   "It's time for us to go, my lad!" he cried to his grandson.
   "Grandpa, can we take the kid back with us?" Arslan asked.
   "The motorcycle is strong enough to carry him!"
   "Yes, it's strong, but the kid is still just a nursling," Rakhim-aga replied. "He still needs his mother's milk. When he gets a little bigger maybe we'll take him. Let's go."
   "No, grandfather," Arslan said firmly. "I won't leave my friend. Go back without me."
   Rakhim-aga looked at his grandson in surprise. "If I return without you, your grandmother won't even let me into the house!"
   Just then Aunt Aigul walked over to the pen.
   "If that's the case, nephew," she said, "I'll give you the kid and a bell for him besides. The next time you come you can take him home with you."
   "Auntie Aigul!" Arslan cried, spreading open his arms. "You don't understand! I can't go and leave my best friend behind!"
   "Aigul, the lad is right!" Rakhim-aga said. "Perhaps you'll aflow us to take both the mother and her kid. We'll bring the nanny-goat back."
   "Grandpa, that's a great idea!" Arslan exclaimed, clapping his hands. "And don't worry about us, Auntie Aigul! The motorcycle is strong enough to carry us all."
   "Have it your way then,  Aunt Aigul said with a smile. "But while the kid is still growing you'll have to let its mother out every day to browse so that she'll have plenty of milk to feed it. Can you. manage that?"
  "I can!" Arslan said, and even jumped up for greater emphasis. "We have plenty of grass. It grows so high that I can get lost in it."
   Aunt Aigul walked back inside and returned with a little bell on a red ribbon which she tied around the kid's neck. The kid scampered around the pen and the bell tinkled merrily, like the sound of a mountain stream as it leaps from stone to stone.