SERGEI KOZLOV SHORT STORIES

I love short stories by russian author Sergei Kozlov.  This story is called Good Elephant (I am sorry about translation. It was translated through Babelfish). On snow covered cold February,  Hedgehog has been trying to heat the furnace for days and nevertheless he could not get up in the morning -  it was that cold in the house. “Is this a punishment? “- muttered hedgehog, putting paws into the felt boots and getting up from the bed. - Another week and I will burn all the firewood I have and freeze! ” Hedgehog shuffled burned wood, moved aside shutter and started new fire. Hedgehog started thinking about his disastrous position. “Forest is completely covered with snow”- he thought - “All the small trees are under the snow and I cannot cut down a big tree. “It would be nice if Bear came over.  He has a sharp saw and special sleds to carry firewood.  Donkey and Bear would come and say:“Hedgehog, probably you have no more firewood? Let’s go collect more! ” Hedgehog thought:  I would make them tea.. But now… Bear is probably asleep and does not even think about me… ” Hedgehog became so sad, that he tossed up two additional firewood and began to look at the flame without thinking. Furnace was burning, the house became very warm, and hedgehog no longer believed that firewood can end and that he might freeze. ” Hedgehog started dreaming: “Firewood will end and I will begin to freeze.  The elephant in the zoo will find out about this and he will come running into the forest, find my house, insert his trunk into the chimney and instantly it will become warmer from his breath. I will say: ” Thanks, elephant for giving me your heat.  Now go warm up my friend Bear - he probably also has no more firewood… Elephant will run away from the zoo each night and breathe into my chimney, and my friend Bear’s too, so we would not freeze”.  While Hedgehog was dreaming of this, the frost, wind and cold grew harsher. Hedgehog’s firewood soon entirely ended. For the last time he warmed up the house very well, piled up all the blankets on his bed, put on a wool coat and felt boots. Then, he climbed under his blanket mountain and began to wait. First it was hot, and then, when furnace cooled, it became very cold. With each hour it became increasingly colder. ” I w-w-wiish elephant would come here f-f-f-aster-r-r ! - whispered Hedgehog, rolled as a bagel under his blankets. Frozen Hedgehog could not even whisper anymore because of cold but the elephant still did not come… - Elephant-t-t! - called Hedgehog. - I am f-f—freezing… ar-r-rive, p-p-p-lease, elephant! Hedgehog called elephant three days and two nights. But on third night he became warmer. So warm that he even took off his wool coat and felt boots. This is because the cold finally started leaving. To Hedgehog, it seemed as though an enormous elephant has been walking between pine trees and breathing into his chimney.

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December 11, 2008