Ретинская Оксана

Меня зовут Оксана. Я выпускница СПбГУ. Я профессиональный переводчик. Перевод литературных текстов требует наличия не только знаний языка, но и таланта. Хотя я вряд ли обладаю писательским даром, но рискнула перевести данный небольшой отрывок, а насколько мне это удалось — судить читателям.

Последний бой Кутбара или Созвездие Кочевника

How shall we name it? – Sahi has asked his grandchildren. He has raised the little white alabai[1]with black spots by its nape.


  • M-m-m-m-m, Akbar! – Dayren has proposed.
  • Why? – Sahi has got surprised.
  • Akbar the son of Kytbar! – explained Dayren.
  • And what do you think, Ali?
  • I ‘am like the brother. We are uniform.

Sahi has nodded with satisfaction and let the puppy go.


  • Let it be so.
  • Ata[2], has our puppy got used to live with Kytbar? – asked Ali.
  • For the first two days Kytbar tried to avoidthe annoying puppy, but the last one was disturbing the big dog either looking for advice or for parent’s care. Though soon they became friends. When Kytbar was standing up, the puppy was growling and biting him by the legs. Kytbar was always trying to run away, but the puppy followed him everywhereadopting his father’s knowledge and experience. So, it has got accustomed.
  • Great!
  • Good evening! – said Beilarbei, coming to the light of the lamp and interrupting the Sahi’s conversation with his grandchildren.
  • I hope it’s good for everyone, — Sahi replied.
  • For our dogs tomorrow’s day is more important than the evening.
  • The man knows his past, he can improve the present moment, though only God knows tomorrow. – Sahi took his youngest grandson by the hand.
  • And here is Tavshan! What are you doing here? – Beilarbei has loudly asked his helper, who has appeared behind the wooden scaffold.
  • I have forgotten the Bosjak’s lead, — mumbled Tavshan and significantly looked at his boss, — good that I have found it. Tomorrow everything will be all right. – Tavshan has turned around and has begun to clean the Bosjak’s lead.


  • Clodhopper! Stupid! – Beilarbei has addressed Sahi ones more. – Have you come to check your favourite?


  • Not only.


  • I have also come to check Bosjak. To pay attention to him, to raise the fighting spirit in him. For him to feel my spirit in him tomorrow!


  • Each dog has the heart of her owner. – Sahi was talking and looking how Dayren, this time without fear, came to Kytbar behind the wooden fence.


  • I won’t argue, I won’t, — nodded Beilarbei, continuing the conversation. – Though, I’m absolutely sure that the human itself is nothing, living on the earth in vain. Only some (he whistled and Bosjak came running to him from the next corridor) who have power, strength, and wealth deserve the life. For this purpose, he bit himself in the breast, we bread the best, choose the best. Such like it and the Turkman frayed the dog. For this purpose, we build up our empires and we teach this to our children.

For some time Sahi was silent, then he looked at the puppy Akbar, who came to him and answered to Beilarbei:


  • I’m not the greatest person in the steppe. I’m not the wisest old man in the world, but I’m sure that each person comes to this world with his own purpose.
  • Each? – Beilarbei grinned. – And this one? – he showed to Tavshan. – He is stupid?!He is just wasting the life!
  • Yes, I say that he lives not in vain, — Sahi looked at Tavshan, — and you live not in vain, and me. And children should be taught good things. That is why the man should look in the future not forgetting the past.
  • Why? Why should we return to the past? To the old and dying? – Beilarbei scornfully twisted his lips. – What is bad in the new world? Technics! Progress! Development!
  • It is not bad. It is wonderful. It is wonderful because it unites two powers – evil and good. Soul and steel. There is a test for each of us.
  • Steel?
  • Now the main purpose for every person is to save the soul, and not only his soul. To save the nation’s soul. This will be possible if we show them, and Sahi pointed to the grandchildren, what is “nation”. They should be brought up as the part of the nation that can make the whole nation happy.
  • Happiness? That’s the uncertain concept. I think that each person is happy by himself. It’s impossible to make the whole nation happy.
  • We should start from ourselves. That is why it is important not to forget about the young ones.
  • And why don’t you like our youth? – Beilarbeigrinned.
  • Do you like it? Look at our children in the cities. They are physically weak, they don’t have moral concept, their soul has turned almost to nothing. And there is our guilt in it. The guilt of each of us. I do not reject young and ill-bread. They are our children. I just try to improve what we have done.
  • That is right that you start from yourself. – caustically Beilarbeinoticed.
  • Unfortunately, each of us has once said nothing, overlooked something and as the result we have the army of stupid children, ‘zombie’. In the past, such people were called crazy. And now? Our young people is a different talk. Ecology, unemployment, the loss of traditions have played their role. Now we should revive the principles of life to restore our auls[3].
  • Principles?
  • I name them the rules. The golden rules that were followed by our ancestors.
  • O-o-o-o, it is so old!
  • We will make our children stronger if we teach them to take the world as a friend.
  • Stronger?
  • I will tell you the rule of the friendship that I have learned from Kytbar.

The rule of the friendship.


Once the wise man was asked:


  • How many kinds of the friendship do exist?
  • Four, — he answered. – There are friends like food. You need them every day. There are friends like remedy. You look for them when you suffer. There are friends like illness, and they look for you. Though, there are friends like air. They are invisible, but they are always with you.



  • Uh, old men always say just the same! In our Ashkhabad and here…Why do you talk about friendship!?
  • Our children should learn friendship, brotherhood, devotion. Peace, if you want to know. For them Kytbar is an example of harmony between the soul and the world.
  • You contradict yourself. You bring up the best dogs, cleaning up the breed.
  • I’m reviving it. That’s the different thing.
  • So, you want to restore the past. For people to live in jurts[4] and drive horses? It is so? – Beilarbei screwed up the face.
  • Nomad is the notion of honor. We should revive this only in people and then everything will return to its place.
  • Oh, dear, do you want to say that you are innocent? I know you. The worker of the soviet market? – Beilarbei noticed derisively. If you were younger you would be the criminal boss. The stakes have been done. If Kytbar wins you will get your share. Do you want to say that you won’t take money? That you don’t need it?
  • I need it. For the nursery.
  • Oh, words, words! I know everything. Dog fights are performed in the cities, where there are dog clubs. And here some unknown person from the aul is carrying out the dog fight. Most likely you have taught that fool how to organize the dog fight in the mountains, understanding that here will be no competitors and you will hit a jackpot! For yourself! In this case our overestimate the Kytbar’s potential!
  • Eh, I haven’t got that idea. I’m not an angel, nor a teacher, nor a priest. Though you are mistaken. I do not like fights for money. For all my life, I have done nothing meanness or unworthy. If it is in the Kytbar’s power to bring the victory and money, then money will be spent for the development of the nursery.
  • Tomorrow they will solve our dispute. The strongest will be the right one.
  • Is there any choice? – Sahi asked.

Beilarbeihas shrugged his shoulders. Kytbarhas run to Sahi. He has sniffed Dayren and Ali, has gone around children and has sat down near his master’s feet.


-Yes, not only people get older, our dogs get older, too. – Beilarbei noticed, looking at Kytbar.

— Only cognac becomes better with the ages. – Tavshan added.


-Soon just the same destiny is waiting for you dog. Though, good dogs never show their death to the master, putting on the cap from the white felt. Beilarbei slowly started moving to the door.

When the guests’ shadows disappeared, and only traces were seen on the white snow under the moon, the youngest Ali’s grandson said:

— Ata[5], I’m afraid!

— Don’t be afraid. Do nomads feel fear?

— No.

— Then let’s go home. Dayren, close the door.

Sahi and his grandsons followed the road from the nursery to the house. On the way homeAli was repeating: “I’m nomad. I’m afraid of nothing.”

[1]Alabai – a breed of a dog.

[2]Ata – grandfather.

[3]Auls – villages in the mounts.

[4]Jurts – national tents.

[5]Ata – grandfather.

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