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© Prof. T. Sikharulidze 2005 © Dr. T. SIkharulidze 2005 © UNESCO 2005 


                                         Avtandil Abuladze 


I was born in 1930, in winter. A year ago a new year began. In 31st an hour later New Year was 

born. I was born in Sarfi. My father was a teacher then. He didn’t work at the collective farm, he 

taught at school then. He began working at the age of 27 and left school at 35. Then came Kolia 

Khaindrava. He taught us in Lazian songs like: Nuri has got a drummer, Ali ahs got a flag. I was 

a little child then. My brother, my elder sisters were both studying. Our father was a teacher. he 

was the first teacher. I cant say that I was born in peasants family, because at the time when I 

was born my father was a servant. I made a visa; I want to go to Turkey. I want to go to Guram 

Vartobia and bring you a lot of old poetry, we call it shairi. I am going to bring you fairy tails I 

am going to rewrite them. I took a note-book, pen and went there. At first I asked one person but 

he told me he knew anything like that, then I asked the second and the third person but they all 

told me they didn’t know. Then I met one man and asked him to tell some Kibarghlian poetry, he 

told me that he didn’t knew much but he knew one. There was a man digging ground under the 

nut three. Some girls came across and decided to tell him a verse. The girls mocked at the old 

person. They told him: Hay, an old man why are you standing there like a nut tree. The old man 

responded there were his excrements and told them to go and lick it. An old woman told the girls 

to respond him, but the girls put there heads down, they couldn’t respond. I remembered that and 

asked others to tell me some more but nobody managed to tell me anything. They went to tea 

café and are playing there Komar on tea till evening. Guram went too. He traveled in Chkhala, 

Dutkhe but he couldn’t right much. They don’t know fairy-tails and he has written what they had 

come across in their lives and the second book you know, don’t you, you have read it. 

   I began writing fairy tails in 1947 in Kakhalishi in the house of sergeant major. His name was 

Alexander but I don’t remember his surname. I went to Alexander's house. Then Guram Kartozia 

arrived. Then came Korneli, Natela Qutelia I have a business with them all the time. Some 

people came from Netherlands, Germany. I don’t remember their surnames but his name was 

Mathews, he was a very toll guy. 

   Now I am going to tell you a fairy tale about a stingy person. Once upon a time there was a 

stingy person. One day he found out that there was another stingy person somewhere. He 

decided to go and find out if he was stingier then he was. So he went and met him. They sat 

down and talked and had a supper and he switched off the lamp. He didn’t asked him why had he 

switched it off. He took off his trousers and sat on the chair. He asked him why had he taken off 

his trousers and he responded that as it was dark there nobody could see him, so why should he 

wore out it. Then he asked him why did he switched off the lamp and he responded that he could 

hear him talking so there was no point in burning oil in vain. That’s the way things are. I have no 

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memory since my illness. Natula came to Mamula. He came and told me that I had to tell him 

something, but I told him I didn’t know. I told him I would write down when I remember the 

names. I lost my memory; there is nothing I can tell. Once I went to the other side, my cousin 

was working there. When he saw and asked what I was doing there. I told him that he knew 

nothing about work. He has never hold hoe, scythe or some other tool. You only got books in 

your hands. Even now you aren’t working at home; you make girls to do everything. I am having 

fun with things like that. These days they where laying asphalt. I was watching from my house. I 

watched but then I couldn’t help myself and went down. Ilmaz asked me where I was going; I 

told him I was going down to Ibrahim master. I looked around; I found a piece of wood. Then I 

went to the shop to buy two nails. I asked how much did it coast. I didn’t have Lira. He asked me 

what I needed for I answered that I wanted to make something for Ibrahim master. He took and 

handled about 8 nails. He didn’t take my money. Then he asked me where I was from, I told him 

I was from Sarfi. Then I asked Ibarahim master where was he from. He said he was long way 

from Arvin. I told him I was a guest and was looking at him from above. He was straightening 

asphalt bent on the ground and I inquired how his back could bear that. Then I took it and began 

to straighten it. he looked at me and praised me for what I have taught him. He said I taught him 

a very good thing because before that he simply exhausted his back. Boots straightened it very 

well. I taught him how to make it. 

   Shall I remember some more? 


    I first went to Turkey in 1989. I have got my mother's nephew in Istanbul. His name is Amed. 

He is five years older then I am. The border of Erdovitoshqviti and grandmother took him from 

there. Grandmother was from Sarfi. I told Ilmaz that I had to go to Istanbul to see mother's 

nephew Amed and we went. When we met we hug each other and cried. We remembered how 

we jumped from a big stone in the sea. We called it kaolmakh. Now my elder brother and 

neighbors cry out viva la Stalin and jump in it. Ahmed cried viva la Qamal pasha and jumped. I 

told him that he should by all means have said Stalin. I told him to say whatever he liked when 

he went to Turkey. I told him that otherwise I would throw him into the water. Then I 

remembered how we caught him, counted to in Russian raz, dva, tri and threw him in the water. I 

had just learned how to swim. Amed asked me where to jump, we told him that the place was 

good. Then he asked how to shout viva la Stalin. He was saying that incorrectly and the boys 

corrected. When he jumped he cried viva la Qamal pasha. Boys went and brought some stinging 

nettle and bit him with it. We ran into the sea. It hurt, he cried if Stalin is yours mine is Qemal 

pasha. I asked Amed if he remembered that. He said he remembered. He remembered a boy now 

working as a guard. He worked in daytime. He gave a “birekhi” to me. He told me to keep it. He 

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said when I go to the city I will use a taxi. I will just say an address and they will take me there. 

He said there were twisted bridges there. Cars are moving in opposite sides. I was confused. At 

last a stopped a taxi, sat in it and told him to take me at one place. He draws very fast. I looked at 

the speedometer, it indicated 120.130, 140. I asked him what he was doing. If the car in front 

would stop he would crash in it. I saw a house painted in yellow. I told him that we had already 

come. He said we hadn’t come yet. I looked and saw that 4 bines were written. I told him I 

would give 5 bines if he would stop. He told me I was scared. I said I was. Because of the fact 

that you are allowed to drive so fast there are so many accidents in your country. This shouldn’t 

be so. A distance of  15-20 meters is required between the cars. And when you just behind him 

you may hit him if he stops. Such thing happened to me in Istanbul. I got scared and got out of 

the taxi. I went only by bus. They were driving normally. Amed's brother Niaz gave a car to his 

son. I told Niaz that he was insaine. He told me that a child would learn to drive. I watch this 

child driving and I am afraid that he would make an accident. In the end he crashed a bus. It was 

20 million dollar loss. I told him why had he given him the car, he is too young. He said that 

child has to learn. A dollar at that time equaled two flats. I asked him how was Amed doing, he 

said Amed went crazy. He said his father died at the age of 107 and he became crazy at the age 

of 80. 

   Now let’s pass on a fairy-tale. I want to tell you one thing. Do you know Ibrahim Tantoghli? 

He kept asking me to tell a fairy tale. I created it my way and told him. Then I told him: why 

didn’t you include my fairy tale in your book. He asked me which one it was. I told him it was 

"A coward Khasan." I named it this way. That fairy tale has no idea. Every fairy tale has a an 

idea. This doesn’t have an idea. That’s why he didn’t publish it, then I told him that I invented it 

myself. I told him that he made me create it. I had no way out. Then we both laughed. I praised 


   Now do you want me tell a long or short fairy tale, I told him to tell the long one. Ok then I’ll 

tell you the tale of three sisters. There was a king. We call king patishah. He ordered that there 

should be no light from the houses in his kingdom. And those who will dare to light a lamp in 

there houses they would be severely punished. He would be hung or beheaded. After he gave this 

order they went in the kingdom to see if somebody didn’t obeyed his order. They went and saw 

that it was dark everywhere only there was one house where they saw a house. The king ordered 

to his vizier to be silent and told him to crap soundlessly. When they came they saw three sisters 

sitting. One of the sisters said that if a king married her she would knit such a big carpet from 

wool that it will cover a whole army during the rain. The king said that it was good. The second 

sister said that with a small piece of boiled butter and two or three kg of rice she would make 

some much food that it would be enough for the whole army during a war years. The king said 

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that it was even better. And the third sister said that if the king married her she would give him a 

fair-haired girl and a boy. The king said it was even better. It turned out that the king had a wife 

but he didn’t have a child. They knocked at the door. Those who were inside got scared. They 

switched off the lamp. It was probably a candle, because there was no oil at that time. They 

knocked and the sisters opened the door. The king told them not to be scared because he was a 

king. They got even more scared. Nevertheless, they opened the door. The king told them that he 

was going to marry three of them. He took them home to test them. He gave to the elder sister a 

small piece of wool and she managed to knit only a hat. The king turned her out of the house. 

Then he gave one kg boiled butter and two or three kg rice to the second sister. She made a tasty 

food but it was enough only for three persons. He told her to leave too. Then there was the third 

sister. Her sisters waited for her outside. The king decided to go hunting. She pleaded him not to 

go. But he still went hunting. The sisters were very envious. They were envy because the king 

turned them out of the house. So they decided to give a bribe to a midwife. They said to her: If 

there is a fair-haired child put a soother into his mouth, put him in a bucket and put him in the 

river. Instead of the child put puppies on her bed. They give her a lot of gold. She really gave a 

birth to a fair-haired girl and a boy. They were so beautiful that you wanted to keep watching 

them. They put sooths in their mouths, wrapped them in clothes then put them in the bucket and 

put them on the river. Then they wrote to the king that her wife gave birth to puppies instead of 

fair-haired children. The king didn’t pay attention to the fact that her wife couldn’t give birth to 


   He ordered to burry her till the waist and bound her with a rope and sat a guard to her. Every 

passer by should spit on her, because she gave birth to puppies. And those who wouldn’t do that 

would be killed. So they buried her in the morning and at night they took her out of there. 

   Now lets leave her story and go to the children. The river took these children till they got stuck 

in the mill. The miller went out and stopped the mill. He saw that there was a beautiful bucket 

and water couldn't go inside. Children were at the edge of death. When he opened the roof and 

saw the children he blessed god, for he didn’t have his own children. He left everything, ran to 

his wife and told him that god has given them beautiful children. When the children grew up 

they understood that they were not like their parents. They realized that these people weren’t 

their parents. They decided to find their real parents, and ran away. When the old parents came 

they began to search the children. The children got hungry. They came to the bakery. The girl 

hid and the boy was looking how a baker put bread. The baker looked at him too and thought 

that he had never seen such a beautiful boy. He gave him one bread. The boy took it and ran to 

his sister. When they ate it the boy went to the baker again. The man asked who he was and 

whom did he take the bread to. The boy answered that he took the bread to his sister and they ate 

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it together. Then he asked if they had parents. he answered that they didn’t. Then he told them 

that he had no children and suggested living with him. So the boy brought her sister and they 

began living with him. They lived with him till they got 16. One day when they were alone at the 

bakery brother told him to run away. The sister was surprised and told him they were fed very 

well there, and the boy said that he wanted to find his own parents, because those weren’t theirs. 

The man began to search the children. The little ones came to the capital. When they entered it 

they saw a woman dug in the ground. He didn’t spit on her. Guards caught him and took him to 

the king. He asked the boy why he didn’t spit on her. He replied that the woman has done 

nothing wrong to him, so why should he spit on her. The king looked at him and was sorry to kill 

such a beautiful boy. The king asked him what he did, the boy answered that he liked hunting. 

The king decided to take him with him because he simply liked the boy very much. He gave a 

good house on the second floor. The boy took her sister there and warned her not to open the 

door to anyone when he left. And if somebody talked to her she was to cover her ears. So he 

went every day with the king to hunt. 

   When the sisters found out that there was a fair-haired boy they understood that he was the son 

of their sister. They called the midwife, told her the brother was there, and had to kill him and 

send him somewhere where nobody could find him. The old lady went and knocked on his door. 

The girl told the woman her brother forbade her to open the door to strangers. The woman said 

she was not a stranger she was just an old lady. But the girl refused to open the door. Then the 

woman told her that her brother was very beautiful but he followed the king on foot while he was 

riding a horse. She said she knew there was a horse in the forest and he could take that horse and 

ride. When the boy came home he saw her sister sitting sad. He asked her about that. Then she 

told him everything. The boy said he would take permission to the king and bring the horse. As 

for the rest he told her not to trust her. He took a permission from the king and went there. He 

came across a giant making wine on the road. He greeted the giant, wished him wealth and 

blessed him. The giant asked him to come to him. The child got afraid that the giant would eat 

him. The giant told him he was there every year and up that day nobody said hello to him, 

nobody blessed him. The boy asked where the road led. He answered the road led to the white 

horse. He said a lot of people went there but nobody returned. Nobody could catch it until he 

wouldn’t teach them how to do that. Up to then he didn’t taught anyone because they didn’t say 

hello to him. He told him he would teach him because he greeted him. At first they drank wine, 

then he brought a wineskin and gave to the boy. He told him he had to crap carefully so that 

horse should not notice him. Near the place where the horse was eating, there was a lake. The 

boy had to dam the stream of water. You will dry the water, and then pour the wine in the lake. 

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The horse will get drunk and lay down. When you will put a bridle in his mouth it will obey you. 


boy thanked him and went. He found the lake and dammed the water with clothes. He dried the 

water, poured the wine hide himself. The horse was very beautiful. When it drank wine he fell 

down, the boy put a bridle in his mouth. The horse told he was his master. The boy sat on it and 

went to the giant and thanked him a lot. When he came home sister was glad to see him. He said 

the king's horse was a donkey with his horse. The king wanted to take away his horse but he 

liked the boy too much. The sisters were furious. They called the midwife again. She went to the 

boy's house again. The girl didn’t open the door to her again. When the woman talked to her she 

didn’t cover her ears as her brother told her. The woman told her she wasn’t her enemy and that 

only thanks to her the boy had such a beautiful horse. She told her there were two pretty 

canaries. She said their singing was very pretty. Tell your brother to bring them because you are 

alone in the house. If he brings them they will sing and you will be entertained. Sister told 

brother about it. He went to the giant they greeted each other then sat and talked. The giant asked 

him were he was going. He said he was going to the birds. He taught him how to steal them. He 

gave him some wine and told him to give it to the guards. Then he had to take the birds and ran 

away and don’t look back if the called. He did everything as he told him and brought the birds’ 

home. They hung the cage near the window. They sang so beautifully that every passer by 

stopped to listen to them. 

    The sisters told the midwife to do something. So she went again to the girl that her brother 

needed a wife but there was no one worth him in the whole world. But there was one place 

where there is the most beautiful girl in the world... The sister told the brother about that. The 

boy told her she wanted him to get lost, but he decided to go there. He went to the king and took 

a permission to leave for several days. He went to the giant again; they greeted each other and 

talked. But the giant didn’t teach him what to do. The boy asked why he didn’t teach him what to 

do. The giant said the horse would teach him everything. He sat on the horse. The horse told him 

not to let servants take him in the stable and to tell them he wanted to tie his horse himself. The 

horse said he would see a white horse, her mother and told him to tie him next to her. The horse 

said Kulania Qaghamulia is the most beautiful girl in the world. But she keeps her word. She will 

give you three stones. They will put a ring in the cup on the height of three boxes. If have to 

throw a stone. If you get it its good, if you don’t you will become a stone. If you get it they will 

make something like a wedding party. On the fifth day you will come out in the field. You will 

ride my mother and you will have to make her drop her sword. The girl will come to you to kill 

at that very moment the horse will bent down and you will take her sword. So he went to the 

king. he looked at him and was sorry that such a beautiful boy was to become a stone. The girl 

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said she would marry the one who will defeat her. The king was sorry that such a beautiful boy 

was to die so decided to settle the day of straggle few weeks later. They were eating,  

drinking making marry before that day. But the day came and they put the ring in the cup and put 

it high on the tree. They gave him three stones. The boy prayed and pleaded god to help him. he 

threw one stone and couldn’t hit, his legs became stones. Then he threw the second stone but 

again he couldn’t hit. His body was a stone till the waist. Then he threw the third stone and hit 

the glass. The girl was very glad too cause she liked him too. The girl thought some ugly person 

would hit it and she would have to marry him and when she saw that such a beautiful boy did it 

she lost her conscious. Everybody was glad and making marry. Then they came with the horses. 

The horse bent as if she was falling and the girl didn’t want to hit the boy so he managed to take 

her sword. Then there was applause. They had a wedding party for two weeks. Then they took 

donkeys and camels loaded with dowry. When they approached the kingdom the boy said he 

wanted to inform the king. The girl said the king was his father, and the woman buried in the 

ground was her mother. She said they had to go and not spit her. They did it so, and then the 

guards took them to the king. The boy told him how he could believe that a woman could give 

birth to puppies. He told him this was done by the sisters and the midwife. They told how they 

sent him to bring a horse at first, then birds and finally to bring her. The girl said she didn’t spit 

the woman because she was her mother-in-law. The king felt bad but soon he recovered. Then 

they told him he got a daughter too who was hiding in the room. The king was happy. The sisters 

were put into prison. Then they brought midwife and put her in a dug pit. The king declared he 

had a wedding for forty days and he invited his neighbor kings too. He said they had to pour the 

water of washed dishes to them. If they aren’t drawn we will tie them on the horse tale. I was in 

trouble for so many years. If not envy I wouldn’t suffer so much. I always wished the boy 

accompanying me was my son. I was simply blind with the letter were they wrote that my wife 

had puppies. But it was my fault how could I think a woman could give birth to puppies. There 

was a wedding for forty days, they poured the water of the dishes on sisters but they weren’t 

drawn. Then they tied them on the horses, put a paper in their asses. They began running like 

mad and the bad people were dead.  








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