The White Ship
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Deserted by his parents, a young boy finds himself alone in the often grotesque world or relatives who do not want to raise him. As daily events become more and more intolerable, the boy clings to the legends and religious traditions of the area for relief. When a hunting party forces his grandfather to kill the Horned Mother Deer that the boy believes sacred, the boy, filled with horror and disgust, commits an act he thinks will lead him to the love and affection he so desperately needs.
he said quietly to the schoolbag. "It's all because of me, and because of that stupid calf. And because of you, too." He turned to the binoculars. "You're always calling me to look at the white ship. It's your fault, too." He looked around him at the mountains, cliffs, rocks, and forests. Glistening streams fell silently from the glaciers in the heights. It was only here, below, that the water seemed at last to acquire a voice, to rush with constant, unceasing noise down the river. And the
another winter and another spring and summer and autumn they journeyed through dense forest and parched steppe, over shifting sands, across high mountains and rushing streams. They were pursued by packs of wolves, but the Horned Mother Deer would take the children on her back and carry them away from the ravening beasts. Hunters with bows and arrows galloped after them on their horses, shouting: "A deer has stolen human children! Hold it! Catch it!" And they sent arrows flying at them. The Horned
. All the high officials riding in the streets! And the cars! They make you want to stop and stretch out at attention until they roll by, those big, black, shiny, gliding cars. And the city people don't even seem to notice them, they're always in a hurry, always rushing somewhere. That's where the life is, in the city! If he could only move there, get himself a decent job. There, people are respected according to their position. If a man's supposed to get respect, he gets it! The bigger the
started walking away. He came behind me. So I say to him, 'I don't care. If Orozkul kicks me out, I'll go to work in the Soviet farm. But what will you do, at your age?' He kept quiet. And then I started up, just to complete the picture, you know: "'From the red-red mountains I have come on a red stallion. Hey, redheaded merchant, open the door. . .” "Ha, laa, ha . . ." "Then he believed that I was really drunk. He went back for the gun. I went back too. While we were arguing, the deer moved
he admired the landscape opening before him as though he had created it himself. Then he would shift to another spot, and again everything became displaced, and the boy again turned the adjustment screw to capture the lost focus. He could see everything from here. All the way out were the highest, snowcapped summits, above Ivhich there was nothing but the sky. They loomed beyond the other mountains, rising above their peaks and the whole earth. Then ca me the mountain ranges just beneath the