The far constellation of Tau-Ketite Became very weird and queer; We send them a message: “Are you, folks, all right?” But they send us back in high gear! On Tau-Ketit Life seems to be tight, But still they are able to interact - Our brothers and cousins of intellect! I’m gliding along beams of glittering light, My shuttle’s propelled by this glare; I’m flying directly to Tau-Ketite To see what is happening there. On Tau-Ketite We spotted some blight - We see that the local society Went nuts - it’s a cause for anxiety! I landed my shuttle successfully, but My buttocks are still feeling low; I greeted the Tau-Ketiters: “Vivat!” Which means nothing more than “Hello!” The language of theirs Is poor and scarce, Their bourgeois system is naughty, Their humor is nasty and dirty!                 The Tau-Ketiters, of course, are a race Like Papuans, as far as I know; I cried: “In our cosmos you are a disgrace!” They winked back at me with some glow... On Tau-Ketite The weights are so light, There’s no atmosphere, no air But Tau-Ketiters don’t care! I shouted: ”Bastards, you want me to act?” My robot with lamps and antennas, Translating my question, was so exact, That I felt ashamed of my manners On Tau-Ketite They’d come into sight, Then suddenly they’d disappear - They must have consumed too much beer! “Is any man here?” I yell like a beast, I see no man - oh, dear! One local woman I grasped by the wrist: “Confess, what is happening here?” She said: “We’ve progressed, we need males no more! With males we keep no relations, Instead, we do inoculations!” I rushed to my shuttle, I started back fast I’m flying away from these creatures; But - gosh! - on the Earth several ages have passed According to what Einstein teaches. I fear the mankind’s got too much ahead, I fear the new generations Have turned to these inoculations!
© George Tokarev. Translation, 2001
Edited by Robert Titterton