The wise girl and the lazy man
Once upon a time there lived a king. He had two viziers. One would always sit to the right of him and was his right-hand vizier. The other would always sit to the left of him and was named his left-hand vizier.
One day the king and the right-hand vizier went hunting. They had just started hunting when a crow flew above them and cawed something.
« What did it say?» the king asked his vizier.
« I don't know,» answered the vizier. «It is a crow and caws!»
« What a vizier you are if you don't know what the crow caws about!» exclaimed the angry king. «You are my right-hand vizier and you should know everything! If you don't tell me tomorrow what she has cawed, you will lose your head!»
The right-hand vizier returned home very sad.
« What made you so sad?» asked his daughter.
The vizier told his daughter what happened during the hunting.
« Cheer up, father,» said his daughter. «I will help you.»
Having said this, the girl went to her friend — the daughter of a poor man. Her name was Okilhon, meaning «a clever girl». The girl was really very clever.
She listened to the vizier's daughter and said, «Go to your father and tell him what the crow had cawed. It cawed, 'A clever wife will make a silly husband clever!' Pass this to your father. But don't tell him that I told you this.»
The vizier's daughter followed her instructions.
The next day the right-hand vizier came to the palace and told the king, «O my great king! I know what the crow has cawed. It cawed in its language that a clever wife will make a silly husband clever!»
The king listened to the vizier and said to himself, «My vizier did nqt guess himself what the crow had cawed. Someone gave him the answer. I need to find this person.»
The king sent his servants to all parts of his kingdom and ordered them to find the person who understands the language of birds.
The king's servants went to cities and villages of the state while the king decided to have fun awaiting their return. Lazy men lived near his palace. They did not do anything. Days and nights they reclined on rugs and feather beds. They slept, woke up, ate, and then went back to sleep. They were too lazy even to think, and that is why they were also considered to be silly. The king decided to have fun and ordered his servants to take the lazy men to a wooden shack and to set it on fire from all sides. The shack was on fire; its roof and walls fell down.
All the lazy men ran away, except the laziest of them who remained sitting. The king ordered him brought to his palace. At this time the king's servants returned. They reported that there lived a wise girl named Okilhon who understood the language of birds. The king ordered them to bring the girl to the palace. When the servants brought Okilhon to the king, he said to her, «I know that you provided the answer to my vizier. He doesn't know the language of birds. And you understood what the crow had cawed even without hearing its cawing. Now 1 want to know whether the crow said the truth.»
After the king said this, he ordered his servants to take the laziest person and the cleverest girl of the state to an uninhabited desert. The servants fulfilled his order at once.
The lazy man and the clever girl were alone in the desert.
The lazy man lay all the time on the ground motionless. He was too lazy even to look at the girl, not to mention talking with her.
« 1 will prove to the king that the crow has said the truth,» decided Okilohon. She left the lazy man lying where he was and went away.
She walked and walked until she reached a village. In the village she found a lonely, sick old woman.
« O mother, you are lonely and sick,» she said to her. «I want to serve you. 1 will work for you, and you will give me two flat cakes every day for that.»
The old woman agreed with pleasure, and Okilhon stayed at her place.
One day passed. Okilhon ate one of the cakes she earned herself. She wrapped the second cake in a kerchief and went to the steppe, to the place where she left the lazy man. She got there, and saw that the lazy man lay in the same place and was sleeping. Okilhon took the cake out of the kerchief and put it on the ground three steps from the lazy man. Then she said in a loud voice, «Hey, lazy man! I brought a flat cake for you! Get up and take it!»
The lazy man opened his eyes, looked at the cake but did not move. He was very hungry, but he was too lazy to get up. He stretched his hand but could not reach the cake. Then he rolled over on his right side and began to crawl. He seized the cake, ate it, and remained lying in the same place.
The next day the girl did not eat a cake herself. She put both cakes in the kerchief and brought them to the lazy man. Okilhon took out one cake and put it on the ground ten steps from the lazy man. Then she cried out again, «Hey, lazy man! I brought a flat cake for you! Get up and take it!»
The lazy man opened his eyes and saw that the cake was farther than yesterday. He did not want to move, but he was very hungry. There was nothing left but to crawl to the cake. Then he grabbed it and ate it. Okilhon put the second cake on the ground ten more steps from the lazy man. Then she returned to the village.
A day later the girl came to the steppe and brought two flat cakes with her again. She saw that the lazy man had eaten the second cake as well. This time Okilhon hung the cake in a tree. Then she sat down on the ground and began to wait.
The lazy man saw the cake, crawled up to it, but could not reach it. It hung high. There was nothing left but to get up from the ground. Then Okilhon showed the second flat cake to the lazy man. She held it in her hands. The lazy man greedily stared at the cake.
Okilhon walked slowly along the road to the village with the cake in her hands. The lazy man looked at her and saw that the girl was walking farther and farther away with the cake in her hands. The lazy man had to follow Okilhon.
When they came to the old woman's house, Okilhon said to the lazy man, «There is no silly king here who gave you food for nothing. If you want to eat, you should work. If you don't want to work, go wherever you want!»
The lazy man was frightened that the girl would stop giving food to him and stayed in the old woman's house.
From that time, he did everything Okilhon told him to do. He chopped wood, carried water from the well, and fed the cattle.
The lazy man turned out to be a clever and kind young man. He worked and ate the bread he earned. Okilhon fell in love with him. Soon they got married and remained in the old woman's house. All three of them were happy.
At that time the king's left-hand vizier died. The king did not know whom he should appoint to replace the deceased vizier. He decided to release his hunting falcon and to appoint the person on whose shoulder the falcon would descend as his new left-hand vizier. He did everything that he decided.
The falcon flew far away. Then the king sent his servants to all parts of his kingdom to find the person on whose shoulder the falcon would sit.
The falcon flew and flew and then descended on the shoulder of a peasant in a remote village.
And that peasant became the king's left-hand vizier.
The king liked the clever and industrious vizier.
« О my left-hand vizier!» said the king once. «I am very content with you. You are clever and industrious.»
The left-hand vizier laughed and replied, «A clever wife will make a silly husband clever!»
Having heard these words the king was astonished and exclaimed, «The crow said the truth!»
« The wise girl named Okilhon said the truth!» said the left-hand vizier. «I am that lazy man you sent with a wise girl to the steppe. Now she is my wife, and I am your left-hand vizier!»
This way wise Okilhon proved the truthfulness of her words to the king.