This story is about two poor boys. They belonged to an Armenian tribe which was famous for its honesty. No one believed that a member of this tribe could do a dishonest act. Yet the narrator and his cousin stole a horse. The narrator’s name is Aram. He tells the story of those days when he was nine years old. One day, his cousin, Mourad came to his house at four in the morning and tapped at the window of his room. When the narrator looked out of the window, he found that his cousin was sitting on a beautiful white horse. He could not believe his eyes. He and his cousin were very poor. In fact, the whole of their tribe was poor. They passed their days in utter poverty. Yet one thing was remarkable. They were famous for their honesty. They believed in right and wrong. None of their tribe would take advantage of another, what to say of stealing. So, it was strange that his cousin was with a beautiful horse. He could not have bought it. He was shocked when his cousin told him that he had stolen it. His cousin said that stealing a horse for riding was not the same thing as stealing some money. He said that they would send the horse back to its owner after enjoying the horse riding for a few days. The narrator was also fond of riding. So, he thought that perhaps his cousin was right. The narrator says that his cousin Mourad was crazy like his uncle Khosrove, who was irritable and furious in temper. He was so impatient that he stopped anyone from talking by roaring: “It is no harm; pay no attention to it.” One day Khosrove was in a barber’s shop. His son Arak came running and told him that their house was on fire. At this Khosrove roared, “It is no harm; pay no attention to it.” The narrator and his cousin enjoyed horse riding. His cousin began to sing. After some time, the narrator rode alone. But he was not an experienced rider. The horse leaped over vines, threw off the narrator and ran away. Mourad was not worried about the narrator. He said that they had to find out the horse and hide it. After some time, they found out the horse and hid it in the barn of a deserted vineyard. That afternoon his uncle Khosrove came to his house. He sat in the parlor, sipping and smoking. Suddenly another visitor came there. His name was John Byro. After some time, Byro said that somebody had stolen his white horse the previous month. At this uncle Khosrove became irritated and roared, “It is no harm; pay no attention to it.” After the visitor had gone, the narrator ran to Mourad’s house and told him about John Byro whose horse he had stolen. He made his cousin promise that he would not return the horse until he (the narrator) had not learnt horse riding properly. After that, every morning for two weeks the narrator and his cousin took the horse out of the hiding place and rode it. Whenever it was the narrator’s turn, the horse threw him off. One day, when they were taking the horse to the vineyard to hide it, they came across John Byro whose horse it was. Byro looked at the horse carefully and said that it seemed like his own horse. Then he examined the teeth of the horse. He said that he could swear it that it was his own horse. But he told the boys that their family was famous for their honesty. So, they could not have stolen the horse. He said that this horse was the twin of his own horse. Early the next morning, the narrator and his cousin took the horse to Byro’s vineyard and put it in the barn. That afternoon, Byro came to the narrator’s house with the horse. He was very happy. He showed the horse to the narrator’s mother. He said that his horse that had been stolen, had been returned. The narrator’s uncle was also there. He became irritated and shouted, “Pay no attention to it.”
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यह कहानी दो गरीब लड़कों के बारे में है। वे आरमीनिया के एक कबीले से संबंध रखते थे जो अपनी ईमानदारी के लिए प्रसिद्ध था। कोई विश्वास नहीं करता था कि इस कबीले का कोई सदस्य कोई गैर-ईमानदारी का काम कर सकता है। फिर भी वर्णनकर्ता और उसके चचेरे भाई ने एक घोड़ा चुराया। वर्णनकर्ता का नाम अरम है। वह उन दिनों की कहानी बताता है जब वह नौ साल का था। एक दिन उसका चचेरा भाई, मुराद उसके घर सुबह चार बजे आया और उसके कमरे की खिड़की को खटखटाया। जब वर्णनकर्त्ता ने खिड़की से बाहर झांका उसने देखा कि उसका चचेरा भाई एक सुंदर सफेद घोड़े पर बैठा था। उसे अपनी आँखों पर विश्वास नहीं हुआ। वह और उसका चचेरा बहुत गरीब थे। वास्तव में, उनका सारा कबीला गरीब था वे अपना जीवन बहुत अधिक गरीबी में गुजारते थे। फिर भी एक बात शानदार थी। वे अपनी ईमानदारी के लिए प्रसिद्ध थे। वे सही और गलत में विश्वास करते थे। उनके कबीले का भी व्यक्ति किसी दूसरे का गलत फायदा नहीं उठाता था, चोरी करने की तो बात ही क्या थी। इसलिए, यह अजीब बात थी कि उसका चचेरा भाई एक सुंदर घोड़े के साथ था। उसने यह खरीदा नहीं होगा। जब उसके चचेरे भाई ने उसे बताया कि उसने घोड़ा चुराया है तो उसे धक्का लगा। उसके चचेरे भाई ने कहा कि घुड़सवारी करने के लिए घोड़ा चुराना वैसा नहीं है जैसे कि पैसा चुराना। उसने कहा कि कुछ दिनों तक घुड़सवारी का आनंद लेकर वे घोड़े को वापिस उसके मालिक के पास भेज देंगे। वर्णनकर्त्ता को भी घुड़सवारी का शौक था इसलिए उसने सोचा कि शायद उसका चचेरा भाई ठीक कहता था। वर्णनकर्त्ता कहता है कि उसका चचेरा भाई मुराद उसके चाचा खुसरोव की तरह सनकी था जो स्वभाव का चिड़चिड़ा और बड़ा गुस्सैल था। वह इतना अधीर था कि वह किसी को भी बात करने से यह गरजकर कहकर चुप करा देता था "कोई नुकसान की बात नहीं है, इस पर ध्यान मत दो।" एक दिन खुसरोव नाई की दुकान में था। उसका बेटा अरक भागता आया और उसे बताया कि उनके घर में आग लग गई है। इस पर खुसरोव गरजकर बोला, "कोई नुकसान की बात नहीं है, इस बात पर ध्यान मत दो।" वर्णनकर्त्ता और उसका चचेरा भाई घुड़सवारी का आनंद लेने लगे। उसके चचेरे भाई ने गाना आरंभ कर दिया। कुछ समय के बाद, वर्णनकर्त्ता ने अकेले ही घुड़सवारी की मगर वह अनुभवी घुड़सवार नहीं था। घोड़ा अंगूर की बेलों पर से कूदा, उसने वर्णनकर्ता को गिरा दिया और भाग गया। मुराद को वर्णनकर्त्ता की चिंता नहीं थी। उसने कहा कि उन्हें अवश्य ही घोड़े को खोजना एवं छिपाना है। कुछ समय के बाद, उन्होंने घोड़े को ढूंढ लिया और उसे एक सुनसान अंगूरों के खेत के खलिहान में छिपा दिया। उस दिन दोपहर के बाद उसका चाचा खुसरोव उसके घर आया। वह आंगन में बैठा चाय पीने लगा और धूम्रपान करने लगा। अचानक वहां कोई अन्य आगंतुक आया। उसका नाम जॉन बायरो था। कुछ समय के बाद, बायरो ने कहा कि किसी ने पिछले महीने उसका सफेद घोड़ा चुरा लिया था। इस पर चाचा खुसरोव चिढ़ गया और गरजकर बोला, “यह कोई नुकसान की बात नहीं है, इस पर ध्यान मत दो। आगंतुक के जाने के बाद वर्णनकर्त्ता भागकर मुराद के घर गया और उसे जॉन बायरो के बारे में बताया जिसका घोड़ा उसने चुरा लिया था। उसने अपने चचेरे भाई से यह वायदा लिया कि वह तब तक घोड़ा वापिस नहीं करेगा जब तक कि वह (वर्णनकर्ता) अच्छी प्रकार घुड़सवारी नहीं सीख लेता। उसके बाद दो सप्ताह तक हर प्रातः वर्णनकर्त्ता और उसका चचेरा भाई घोड़े को छिपाई हुई जगह से निकालते और उसकी सवारी करते। जब भी वर्णनकर्त्ता की बारी आती, घोड़ा उसे गिरा देता। एक दिन, जब वे घोड़े को अंगूर के खेत में छिपाने के लिए ले जा रहे थे तो उनका सामना जॉन बायरो से हो गया, जिसका वह घोड़ा था। बायरो ने घोड़े को सावधानी से देखा और कहा कि यह उसका घोड़ा प्रतीत होता है। तब उसने घोड़े के दांतों को जांचा। उसने कहा कि वह कसम खाकर कह सकता है कि यह उसका घोड़ा है। मगर उसने लड़कों को बताया कि उनका परिवार ईमानदारी के लिए प्रसिद्ध है। इसलिए उन्होंने घोड़ा नहीं चुराया होगा। उसने कहा कि यह घोड़ा उसके घोड़े का जुड़वां था । अगली प्रातः बहुत सवेरे, वर्णनकर्त्ता और उसका चचेरा भाई घोड़े को बायरो के अंगूर के खेत में ले गए और उसे आंगन में छोड़ आए। उस दिन दोपहर के बाद, बायरो घोड़े के साथ वर्णनकर्त्ता के घर में आया। वह बहुत खुश था। उसने वर्णनकर्त्ता की मां को घोड़ा दिखाया। उसने कहा कि उसका घोड़ा, जो कि चोरी हो गया था, वापिस लौटा दिया गया है। वर्णनकर्त्ता का चाचा भी वहां था। वह गुस्से में आ गया और चिल्लाया, "इस बात पर ध्यान मत दो।"
ONE day back there in the good old days when I was nine and the world was full of every imaginable (supposable) kind of magnificence (grandeur) and life was still a delightful (cheerful) and mysterious (secret) dream, my cousin Mourad, who was considered crazy (eccentric) by everybody who knew him except me, came to my house at four in the morning and woke me up tapping (knocking) on the window of my room. Aram, he said. I jumped out of bed and looked out of the window. I couldn’t believe what I saw. It wasn’t morning yet, but it was summer and with daybreak not many minutes around the corner of the world it was light enough for me to know I wasn’t dreaming. My cousin Mourad was sitting on a beautiful white horse. I stuck my head out of the window and rubbed (to move one’s hands on an objects surface) my eyes. Yes, he said in Armenian. It’s a horse. You’re not dreaming. Make it quick if you want to ride.
I knew my cousin Mourad enjoyed being alive more than anybody else who had ever fallen into the world by
mistake, but this was more than even I could believe. In the first place, my earliest memories had been
memories of horses and my first longings (desire) had been longings to
ride. This was the wonderful part.
In the second place, we were poor. This was the part that wouldn’t permit
(allow) me to believe what I
saw. We were poor. We had no money. Our whole tribe (a group of
people) was poverty (poorness)
stricken (pained). Every branch of the Garoghlanian family was living
in the most amazing (surprising)
and comical (humorous) poverty in the world. Nobody could understand
where we ever got money enough to
keep us with food in our bellies (stomach), not even the old men of
Most important of all, though, we were famous for our honesty. We had been famous for our honesty for something like eleven centuries, even when we had been the wealthiest family in what we liked to think was the world. We were proud (feeling or showing pride) first, honest next, and after that we believed in right and wrong. None of us would take advantage (to get benefited) of anybody in the world, let alone steal. Consequently (as a result of), even though I could see the horse, so magnificent; even though I could smell it, so lovely; even though I could hear it breathing, so exciting (provoking); I couldn’t believe the horse had anything to do with my cousin Mourad or with me or with any of the other members of our family, asleep or awake, because I knew my cousin Mourad couldn’t have bought the horse, and if he couldn’t have bought it he must have stolen it, and I refused (deny) to believe he had stolen it. No member of the Garoghlanian family could be a thief (robber). I stared (see) first at my cousin and then at the horse. There was a pious (holy) stillness and humour in each of which on the one hand delighted (happy) me and on the other frightened (terrified) me. Mourad, I said, where did you steal this horse? Leap out of the window, he said, if you want to ride. It was true, then. He had stolen the horse. There was no question about it. He had come to invite me to ride or not, as I chose. Well, it seemed to me stealing (to steal) a horse for a ride was not the same thing as stealing something else, such as money. For all I knew, maybe it wasn’t stealing at all. If you were crazy about horses the way my cousin Mourad and I were, it wasn’t stealing. It wouldn’t become stealing until we offered to sell the horse, which of course, I knew we would never do. Let me put on some clothes, I said. All right, he said, but hurry. I leaped (jumped) into my clothes. I jumped down to the yard (courtyard) from the window and leaped up onto the horse behind my cousin Mourad. That year we lived at the edge (shore) of town, on Walnut Avenue. Behind our house was the country: vineyards (a field of vine), orchards (garden), irrigation (to water) ditches (a long narrow channel), and country roads. In less than three minutes we were on Olive Avenue, and then the horse began to trot (to move fast). The air was new and lovely to breathe. The feel of the horse running was wonderful.
My cousin Mourad who was considered one of the craziest members of our family began to sing. I mean, he began to roar (to make high sound). Every family has a crazy streak in it somewhere, and my cousin Mourad was considered the natural descendant of the crazy streak in our tribe. Before him was our uncle Khosrove, an enormous (huge) man with a powerful head of black hair and the largest moustache in the San Joaquin Valley2, a man so furious (in anger) in temper, so irritable (eccentric), so impatient (without patience) that he stopped anyone from talking by roaring, it is no harm; pay no attention to it. That was all, no matter what anybody happened to be talking about. Once it was his own son Arak running eight blocks to the barber’s shop where his father was having his moustache trimmed (to shorten) to tell him their house was on fire. This man Khosrove sat up in the chair and roared, it is no harm; pay no attention to it. The barber said, But the boy says your house is on fire. So Khosrove roared, Enough, it is no harm, I say. My cousin Mourad was considered the natural (normal) descendant of this man, although Mourad’s father was Zorab, who was practical and nothing else. That’s how it was in our tribe. A man could be the father of his son’s flesh, but that did not mean that he was also the father of his spirit (soul). The distribution of the various kinds of spirit of our tribe had been from the beginning capricious (eccentric) and vagrant (vagabond). We rode and my cousin Mourad sang. For all anybody knew we were still in the old country where, at least according to some of our neighbours, we belonged. We let the horse run as long as it felt like running. At last, my cousin Mourad said, Get down. I want to ride alone. Will you let me ride alone? I asked. That is up to the horse, my cousin said. Get down. The horse will let me ride, I said. We shall see, he said. Don’t forget that I have a way with a horse. Well, I said, any way you have with a horse, I have also. For the sake of your safety (protection), he said, let us hope so. Get down. All right, I said, but remember you’ve got to let me try to ride alone. I got down and my cousin Mourad kicked his heels into the horse and shouted, Vazire, run. The horse stood on its hind legs, snorted (to force air out loudly), and burst into a fury (anger) of speed that was the loveliest thing I had ever seen. My cousin Mourad raced the horse across a field of dry grass to an irrigation ditch, crossed the ditch on the horse, and five minutes later returned, dripping (oozing) wet. The sun was coming up. Now it’s my turn to ride, I said. My cousin Mourad got off the horse. Ride, he said. I leaped to the back of the horse and for a moment knew the most awful (terrible) fear imaginable. The horse did not move. Kick into his muscles (a piece of elastic body tissue), my cousin Mourad said. What are you waiting for? We’ve got to take him back before everybody in the world is up and about. I kicked into the muscles of the horse. Once again it reared (moved back) and snorted. Then it began to run. I didn’t know what to do. Instead of running across the field to the irrigation ditch the horse ran down the road to the vineyard of Dikran Halabian where it began to leap over vines. The horse leaped over seven vines before I fell. Then it continued running. My cousin Mourad came running down the road. I’m not worried about you, he shouted. We’ve got to get that horse. You go this way and I’ll go this way. If you come upon him, be kindly. I’ll be near. I continued down the road and my cousin, Mourad went across the field toward the irrigation ditch. It took him half an hour to find the horse and bring him back. All right, he said, jump on. The whole world is awake now. What will we do? I said. Well, he said, we’ll either take him back or hide (conceal) him until tomorrow morning. He didn’t sound worried, and I knew he’d hide him and not take him back. Not for a while, at any rate. Where will we hide him? I said. I know a place, he said. How long ago did you steal this horse? I spoke. It suddenly dawned on me (I understand) that he had been taking these early morning rides for some time and had come for me this morning only because he knew how much I longed to ride. Who said anything about stealing a horse? he said. Anyhow, I said, how long ago did you begin riding every morning?
Not until this morning, he said. Are you telling the truth? I said. Of course not, he said, but if we are found out, that’s what you’re to say. I don’t want both of us to be liars (persons who tell lies). All you know is that we started riding this morning. All right, I said. He walked the horse quietly (calmly) to the barn of a deserted (lonely) vineyard which at one time had been the pride of a farmer named Fetvajian. There were some oats (a kind of plant) and dry alfalfa in the barn. We began walking home. It wasn’t easy, he said, to get the horse to behave so nicely (very well). At first it wanted to run wild, but, as I’ve told you, I have a way with a horse. I can get it to want to do anything I want it to do. Horses understand me. How do you do it? I said. I have an understanding with a horse, he said. Yes, but what sort of an understanding? I said. A simple and honest one, he said. Well, I said, I wish I knew how to reach an understanding like that with a horse. You’re still a small boy, he said. When you get to be thirteen you’ll know how to do it. I went home and ate a hearty breakfast. That afternoon my uncle Khosrove came to our house for coffee and cigarettes. He sat in the parlour (courtyard), sipping (drinking) and smoking and remembering the old country. Then another visitor arrived, a farmer named John Byro, an Assyrian who, out of loneliness, had learned to speak Armenian. My mother brought the lonely visitor (a person who visits someone else) coffee and tobacco and he rolled a cigarette and sipped and smoked, and then at last, sighing (heaving) sadly, he said, my white horse which was stolen last month is still gone — I cannot understand it. My uncle Khosrove became very irritated and shouted, It’s no harm. What is the loss of a horse? Haven’t we all lost the homeland? What is this crying over a horse? That may be all right for you, a city dweller, to say, John Byro said, but what of my surrey (a cart)? What good is a surrey without a horse? Pay no attention to it, my uncle Khosrove roared. I walked ten miles to get here, John Byro said. You have legs, my uncle Khosrove shouted.
My left leg pains me, the farmer said. Pay no attention to it, my uncle Khosrove roared. That horse cost me sixty dollars, the farmer said. I spit on money, my uncle Khosrove said. He got up and stalked out of the house, slamming (to shut forcefully) the screen door. My mother explained. He has a gentle heart, she said. It is simply that he is homesick (nostalgic) and such a large man. The farmer went away, and I ran over to my cousin Mourad’s house. He was sitting under a peach (a fruit) tree, trying to repair the hurt wing of a young robin (a bird) which could not fly. He was talking to the bird. What is it? he said. The farmer, John Byro, I said. He visited our house. He wants his horse. You’ve had it a month. I want you to promise not to take it back until I learn to ride. It will take you a year to learn to ride, my cousin Mourad said. We could keep the horse a year, I said. My cousin Mourad leaped to his feet. What? he roared. Are you inviting a member of the Garoghlanian family to steal? The horse must go back to its true owner. When? I said. In six months at the latest, he said. He threw the bird into the air. The bird tried hard, almost fell twice, but at last flew away, high and straight (upright). Early every morning for two weeks my cousin Mourad and I took the horse out of the barn (a corn field) of the deserted vineyard where we were hiding it and rode it, and every morning the horse, when it was my turn to ride alone, leaped over grape vines and small trees and threw me and ran away. Nevertheless, I hoped in time to learn to ride the way my cousin Mourad rode. One morning on the way to Fetvajian’s deserted vineyard we ran into the farmer John Byro who was on his way to town. Let me do the talking, my cousin Mourad said. I have a way with farmers. Good morning, John Byro, my cousin Mourad said to the farmer. The farmer studied the horse eagerly (curiously).
Good morning, son of my friends, he said. What is the name of your horse? My Heart, my cousin Mourad said in Armenian. A lovely name, John Byro said, for a lovely horse. I could swear (to take oath) it is the horse that was stolen from me many weeks ago. May I look into his mouth? Of course (undoubtedly), Mourad said. The farmer looked into the mouth of the horse. Tooth for tooth, he said. I would swear it is my horse if I didn’t know your parents. The fame (famous) of your family for honesty is well known to me. Yet the horse is the twin (a pair of children born of the same mother at the same time) of my horse. A suspicious (doubtful) man would believe his eyes instead of his heart. Good day, my young friends. Good day, John Byro, my cousin Mourad said. Early the following morning we took the horse to John Byro’s vineyard and put it in the barn. The dogs followed us around without making a sound. The dogs, I whispered to my cousin Mourad. I thought they would bark. They would at somebody else, he said. I have a way with dogs. My cousin Mourad put his arms around the horse, pressed his nose into the horse’s nose, patted (to move hands on somebody’s head or body lovingly) it, and then we went away. That afternoon John Byro came to our house in his surrey and showed my mother the horse that had been stolen and returned. I do not know what to think, he said. The horse is stronger than ever. Better-tempered (good natured fellow), too. I thank God. My uncle Khosrove, who was in the parlour, became irritated and shouted, Quiet, man, quiet. Your horse has been returned. Pay no attention to it.
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