This is probably the longest text I’ve ever posted, but this is upper-beginner to mid-intermediate reading. I could probably toss this in the beginner category, but the length is prohibitive. The first few sentences are much more intermediate as we learn new vocabulary words and set up the story, but after that the reading is mostly a dialogue which is very smooth and fairly simple, so press through the first paragraph or two if you can.

Learn to Read Mandarin Chinese: Learn to Read Mandarin Chinese for FreeI kind of can’t tell weather I should be offended by this or not – the protagonists are two “lazy Uighurs” (A Uighur 维吾尔族 wéi wú ěr zú is a member of the ethnic minority hailing from the Uighur Autonomous Region of China, a politically touchy topic on the mainland). I’ve never seen a folk story about heroic Uighurs or smart Uighurs, or really ever seen a story about Uighurs at all. So to run across this one first makes me wonder if the “lazy Uighur” thing is a mean stereotype or if I just haven’t read widely enough. I’ll have to go in search of some Uighur folk tales in Mandarin and see what I can dig up.

I really know almost nothing about Uighur cultural history, but this story taught me something interesting: it looks like Uighurs have six-character names (as opposed to two and three character names for Chinese and 4 character names for Japanese). Our two protagonists here are rather lengthily called 哈山代吾来克 Hā shān dài wú lái kè and 沙吾提卡巴克 shā wú tí kǎ bā kè.

Another interesting thing: this story mentions a 大鹏鸟 da pěng niǎo – called a “Roc” in English (though I’d never heard that word before). Apparently, it’s a legendary fictional bird of prey, like a giant eagle.

The Chinese title of this post is 两个懒汉 – the two lazybones.

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懒汉- lǎn hàn – Lazybones
要命 – yào mìng – Extremely
墙根 – qiáng gēn – Base of a wall
久而久之 – jiǔ ér jiǔ zhī – As time passed
不得不 – bù dé bù – have no choice but to…
赶 – gǎn – To kick or drive [someone / something] out
流浪 – liú làng – Drift aimlessly, wander
馕 – náng – Flatbread
蹲 – dūn – To crouch, squat
神仙 – shén xiān – Immortals, dieties
干嘛 – gàn má – Why on earth would…? Why should [I / you]…? Whatever for…?
鄙视 – bǐ shì – Contempt, disdain
好倒好 – hǎo dǎo hǎo – That’s all very well and good, but…
梯子 – tī zi – A ladder
山谷 – shān gǔ – A valley
抓住 – zhuā zhù – To grab onto, catch
窝 – – A nest
躲藏 – duǒ cáng – To hide
飘飘荡荡 – piāo piāo dàng dàng – To drift, float on waves or wind
窟窿 – kū long – Hole, pocket, cavity, opening
松 – sōng – To loosen or relax a hold
摇摇晃晃 – yáo yáo huàng huàn – back and forth
肉酱 – ròu jiàng – Mincemeat

从前,维吾尔族有这么两个懒汉,一个叫哈山代吾来克,一个叫沙吾提卡巴克。他们都懒得要命,吃穿全靠父母,一点活儿也不干,一天到晚靠着墙根晒太阳。 这样,久而久之,弄得他们父母也讨厌他们了,不得不把他们从家里了出来。他们俩过着流浪的生活,饿了几天肚子,一块也没有吃到。

这天,他俩在馕坑上商量着今后该怎么办。哈山代吾来克说: “最好到一个有吃有穿,又不需要劳动的地方去,不知道有没有这么个地方?”

沙吾提卡巴克说: “世界上是没有这么个地方的,只天上有吧!听说天上的神仙最快活。”

哈山代吾来克说: “那末,我们就上天去吧,干嘛要呆在这个必须劳动的地方受人鄙视呢?”

沙吾提卡巴克说: “好倒好,不过怎么上去呢?能找到这么个长梯子吗?”

哈山代吾来克肯定地说: “这么长的梯子是找不到的。但是,没有梯子也可以上去。”

沙吾提卡巴克惊奇地问道: “怎么上去?”

哈山代吾来克说: “山谷里有一只大鹏鸟,小时候我跟父亲上去看见过。我们只要把这只大鹏抓住,它就会带我们上天去的。”

沙吾提卡巴克说: “好办法,我们就这样办好了。”



沙吾提卡巴克问道: “嘿!到了吗?我的手吃不消啦!”

哈山代吾来克望着云层的空隙说: “快啦!连窟窿都已经看见了。”

沙吾提卡巴克问道: “窟窿有多大?我们能不能钻进去呀?”

哈山代吾来克回答: “有这么大。”哈山代吾来克一面答应着,一面用手来比划窟窿的大小。


Long ago, among the Uighur people there were two lazybones, one called Hashandaiwulaike, the other called Shawutikabake. They were both extremely lazy, depending on their parents for food and clothing, unwilling to do even a little work, from morning to night they sat at the base of a wall and sunned themselves. As time passed this way, their parents [began to] loathe them, and had no choice but to kick them out. The two of them lived a drifter’s life, and went hungry for days at a time, with not even a piece of bread to eat.

One day, they were squatting next to a bread pit discussing what to do. Hashandaiwulaike said: “The best thing would be to go to a place where there’s food and clothes, but you don’t have to work – I don’t know if there is such a place?”

Shawutikabake said: “There’s no such place on this earth, only in heaven! I heard that the immortals in heaven are the happiest.”

Hashandaiwulaike said: “In that case, we should go to heaven. Why on earth would we stay in this place where we have to work and suffer other people’s disdain?”

Shawutikabake said: “That’s all very well and good, but how will we get up there? Can we find a ladder that long?”

Hashandaiwulaike said: “We could never find a ladder that long, but you can still get up there without a ladder.”

Shawutikabake said: “How?”

Hashandaiwulaike said: “In the valley there’s a Roc bird, when I was little I saw it when I went up there with my father. All we have to do is grab onto the Roc, and he will take us up to heaven.”

Shawutikabake said: “That’s a great idea, we’ll do it that way.”

So the two friends decided thus. On the morning of the next day, they got us and walked to the mountain. When they got to the mountain valley, they found the Roc’s nest, and they hid themselves next to it. They waited until the sun fell behind the mountain and the Roc flew back and had just landed in its nest, when Hashandaiwulaike grabbed it and held it tightly. He promptly called to Shawutikabake to grab his feet, and the Roc was frightened and flew into the sky.

So Shawutikabake was holding on to Hashandaiwulaike’s feet, and Hashandaiwulaike was holding on to the Roc’s claws, and they floated towards the seventh level of clouds [heaven].

Shawutikabake asked,” Hey! Are we there yet? I can’t hold on much longer!”

Hashandaiwulaike looked into a gap between the clouds and said, “Almost! I can already see the opening!”

Shawutikabake asked, “How big is the opening? Can we fit into it?”

Hashandaiwulaike answered, “It’s this big.” As Hashandaiwulaike answered, he used his hands to demonstrate how big the opening [to heaven] was.

But to his surprise, as soon as Hashandaiwulaike let go, the two lazy friends parted ways with the Roc, tumbled down, and were smashed into mincemeat.

9 comments to "The Two Lazybones"

  1. Thanks for posting. Yes, a bit long but rather interesting. Lots of new vocabs for me.



  2. What a grim ending! Just wanted to comment that Uighur names are like English ones, a first name and a surname. So the first guy’s name is Hassan someone… and the second probably Saoud…


  3. 全部你发的小文章都有挺意思的!谢谢!

  4. I love this story! I know this is a long shot, but I would love to see an alternate option using traditional characters written in the traditional form of right to left! BTW in your description you said you can’t tell ‘weather’ you should be offended. should be whether. Love the website, thanks a lot!

  5. Those of us who remember our 1001 Nights and tales of Sindbad from childhood know about the roc. The name “roc” comes from Arabic, but this article
    traces it back it back to India.

    • DP111: The reason we can be bled white is that we issnit in fighting a PC war. There has never been a PC war. War is bloody, and must be so, if we want to win. It must also be sufficiently ruthless to make one side give up.I agree. It’s why they call it “war” and not “fisticuffs”. If you want to see what happens in a PC “war”, watch that interminable farce known as the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.u.l.: No, China first and foremost looks after her own interests and that is only natural, or it used to be in the West, before PC demanded that we apologise for anything that has been done or has not been done to anyone by us or our forefathers during the past 2000 years. I could not imagine to say this a few years ago, but I am 100 percent with the Chinese Government on the Uighur issue.China in a manner nearly identical to Russia does not look “after her own interests”. The Mandarins in Beijing look after their own and nobody else’s. There is a huge difference and people at this site continue to conflate the retention of power by a controlling oligarchy with the legitimate maintenance of a nation’s healthy self-interests.Should you desire an example: China depends entirely upon its ability to sell its worthless knocked off and pirated crap here in America.In China’s obsessive quest to destroy America’s well-deserved global hegemony they continue to roil any possibility of peace in the MME (Muslim Middle East).In doing so they as is usual with socialists and the Law of Unintended Consequences inadvertently contribute to instability and gradual escalation of oil prices coming from that same MME.If those oil prices as in bunker oil, the stuff container transport ships run on increase sufficiently, the cost of long haul trans-Pacific shipping runs to America will erode all profitability for the Chinese.That is but one example of how the duplicity of Beijing’s Mandarins do not serve the actual and honorable interests of the Chinese people.This is the proper end result for unfair players who pretend to participate honestly in the legitimate world economy whilst pursuing sub rosa agendas that are detrimental to global security. See: Having Cake and Eating it Too.For all of its hamfisted efforts, at least America’s fight against Islamic terrorism is a legitimate attempt to stabilize the MME, if that is even possible. China’s efforts with respect to jihad are entirely hypocritical and nothing more than window dressing compared to their overall human rights record.

  6. Reply Ngọc Diệp says: November 7, 2019 at 2:30 am

    Hashandaiwulake is symbol for River
    Shawuticakebake is symbol for Cake

  7. Reply Ngọc Diệp says: November 7, 2019 at 2:32 am

    Why do you called Two Lazybones?

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