If a friend turns out to be Not a friend, not a foe, just so-so If you cannot at once understand If he is worthwhile or not Risk taking the lad into the mountains Do not abandon him alone Let him be tied together with you You’ll then understand who he is If the lad in the hills is weak If immediately he complains and comes down A step on to the ice, and fright One misstep, and cries out Then beside you is an outsider Do not berate him, instead chase away. Ones like that are not taken up, and here They are not sung about. If instead he did not whine or complain Perhaps frowning and scowling, but went And when you fell off the cliffs He groaned, but held on If he went after you, as into battle Drunken, stood on the peak with you Then, like on yourself You should rely on him.
© Anna Tonkonogaya. Translation, 2002