Shyrdak decided to pay a visit to Yartygulok. Beside
an old mulberry tree there stood a tiny little house. The door was closed
and propped with a stick, indicating that the master was not at home.
Shyrdak was about to leave when suddenly he noticed an arrow marked out on the ground. Several paces away he saw yet another arrow. Evidently they pointed the way to Yartygulok's whereabouts.
Shyrdak followed the arrows to a high fence which surrounded the orchard of Aman-aga. There was an arrow pointing to one of the planks. Shyrdak leaned with all his might onto the plank and it gave way.
The orchard was enormous. The apricot trees were groaning beneath the weight of their ripe fruits.
Plop! A large apricot the size of an apple landed at Shyrdak's feet.
Shyrdak craned his neck and looked around. Why, of course, he should have known-it was Yartygulok up to his tricks again.
"What are you doing in that tree in Aman-aga's orchard?"
"Waiting for you."
"Shyrdak, you're the best friend of young boys and girls. Call them all here-I'll shake some of these marvelous fruits down from the tree so they can all enjoy them."
"But Yartygulok, you know full well that there's no one more greedy than Aman-aga. They say that he wouldn't even part with a pailful of snow in the winter."
"It's about time he learned a lesson! I've lulled all the watch-dogs to sleep, and Aman-aga himself is in town today. Go quickly and call up your merry little friends."
Shyrdak shook his head.
"My friends won't take what doesn't belong to them."
"But just take a look around! The trees are bending over from the weight of their fruit. Aman-aga will never be able to gather such a harvest by himself. Half of the apricots will be left to rot on the trees."
"No, Yartygulok! Your plan will never work. The thing to do is to arrange it so that Aman-aga himself invites the boys and girls to come."
"All right then! I'll come up with something!" Yartygulok slid down the tree trunk onto the ground. "Let's go back to my house."
"I'd love to, but right now I have a feeling that little Mengli is in some kind of trouble. I've got to go and help her out."
Shyrdak pulled his cap down low over his head and gave a whistle. That same instant a turtledove landed on the ground. Shyrdak climbed up on its back and off he flew.