If you're good at double-dealing
Or a thief you harbor
It won't be long till Yartygulok
Comes knocking on your door.
Singing this song was none other than Yartygulok
himself. He was in top spirits today, which probably meant that he had
taught some scoundrel a good lesson.
Yartygulok strode blithely along the country road, and his song rang out like the trilling of a skylark.
All of a sudden he fell silent. Standing on a small knoll at the side of the road was a tiny man, about half a hat shorter than Yartygulok himself.
"Greetings," said Yartygulok, staring in amazement at the tiny man. "Greetings!"
"Listen, friend! My name is Yartygulok, and who might you be?"
"They call me Shyrdak," the little man replied.
"So you're a cap with a cloth top?"
"That I am."
"And where might you be heading?"
"I'm on my way to sell a goat."
"But where's vour goat?"
"A certain man came up to me and asked: 'Will you trade your goat for a kid? It'll make your going easier.' And so I said yes."
"And then you traded the kid for a cock and the cock for an egg, and the egg for a needle... I know that story."
"I didn't trade the cock for an egg!" Shyrdak said indignantly.
"I traded it for a rabbit, and the rabbit for this beautiful cap which everyone calls 'Shyrdak'."
"Then if I've understood you correctly, not
only did you trade the goat for a hat, but you got a new name in the bar-
"You're right, indeed, Yartygulok. Better to be called Shyrdak than Girdenek."
Here the translator must step into the conversation of the two tiny men and explain to the reader that Girdenek stands for "Shorty" in the Turkmen language.
"Doesn't it appear to you, Shyrdak, that you've grown taller since you changed your name?" asked Yartygulok.
"Indeed it does," Shyrdak confessed. "But I'd like to know for sure. Let's measure ourselves."
They turned around back to back and Shyrdak, feeling that he was the shorter of the two, stretched way up onto his tiptoes until he stood even with Yartygulok.
"There, you see!"
"I see everything," Yartygulok replied.
They both burst out laughing and then decided to sit down and take a rest.
"Yartygulok, I hear that you're very fond of travelling," Shyrdak began the conversation. "Tell me-might you know of a place where tiny folk like you and I could play with toys? They're all so enormous! I would give anything to find a bicycle with pedals I could reach."
"It's better to ride in a car. And even better than that, to fly in an airplane. It's faster," Yartygulok said.
"But on the other hand," Shyrdak retorted, "on a bicycle there's no need to trouble anyone."