Marxists Internet Archive: Subjects: Marxism and Art: Literature: Children's Literature

A Parable

by Khamza Khakimzade Niyazi

Translated: Artyom & Denis Feodorov with help from their mother.
Published: Lewin:
HTML Markup: For in February, 2002.

[Note: Khamza Khakimzade Niyazi was the founder of Uzbek literature in the Soviet Union. He wrote many poems and plays that were about workers becoming class-conscious in Uzbek. He also wrote work about women's liberation. Niyazi was murdered in 1929.]

A Man once had four sons in all.
One day their Auntie came to call.
She spent the night, but when she woke
Her money vanished - she was broke.
She turned their pockets inside out
But none confessed the theft. No doubt
The father was distressed and said:
"I'll try another way instead."
In a cellar dark he locked the boys
And told them: "There's no other choice,
The culprit's cheeks will whiten here
While others will be black with smear.
And long as he may stay below
The thief won't hide his guilt - we'll know."
He left the boys next to the coal.
The eldest boy (the one who stole)
Made note of that. He reasoned thus:
"I'll blacken cheeks and make no fuss."
The other boys - their conscience clean,
Made no attempt to use this scheme.
The time lapsed - the boys went up
To where the elders sat to sup.
And as they blinked to open light
The father saw that he was right.
The little brothers - cheeks so white.
The eldest brother's - black from fright.
The boy broke out in tears of shame
And bent his head to take the blame.
Since then he lived the righteous way,
His consicience never went astray.
The MORAL'S clear: the ones who steal
Will always dirty cheeks reveal.