Wine is curative, they say. That is quite incredible! I uncorked a bottle once, testing if itís true. But from there out crawled something very terrible, Like a dragon or a snake, yellow, green and blue! If I set my mind to drink - Iím solid and expeditive, But to these distasteful pranks my standpoint is quite negative! And this monster hopped around, ugly and malodorous, Turned my flat into a harsh, messy, smelly den. Then it hummed a tune that I wouldnít call melodious And this ghoul reincarnated as a rustic man! If I set my mind to drink - Iím solid and expeditive, But to these distasteful pranks my standpoint is quite negative! First he scared me, this guy, so daft and devious, Iím alone against this geek, thatís a real shame! I recalled Aladdinís tale, childishly mysterious, And I said: "Hey, Mister Ibn, whatís your real name? If I set my mind to drink - Iím solid and expeditive, But to these distasteful pranks my standpoint is quite negative! Donít you try to pull my leg, donít you be insidious, Why did you select a bottle as a place to stay? Or, perhaps, you plan to do something way too hideous, Or, perhaps, you have some secrets that you hide away?" He replied while bending deep in a servile attitude: "Iím a spirit, not a fraud, nor am I a scam! And for you, my liberator, as a sign of gratitude I can beat up anybody - tell me whom to slam!" "Itís Djinn!" - I realized. Boy! He is miraculous! And whatever I would wish, he can make it mine! "Your suggestion , - I replied, - is at all ridiculous, Beating folks will happen later, now I want some wine! Then a palace build for me, that defies reality, Itís a piece of cake for you, genie, isnít it?" "No miracles, - he said. - Not my speciality. All my skills I got in training are to crush and beat!" "Dirty liar!" - I exclaimed. This made him delirious And he hit me on my head with a skillful hook! So I phoned the police: "Hereís a djinn, Iím serious! He is killing me at home, come and take a look!!" Soon they came - against the cops he was but a zero. Cops can tackle anyone - let alone a djinn! And they pushed into their van, like a sack, this hero, He was helpless as a kid, what a funny scene! If heís jailed - then jail for him must be recreational, Though small, a cell is not like a bottle tight! Maybe heís a boxer now, signed as a professional, If he is competing then I will watch him fight!
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2018
Edited by Robert Titterton