Виталий Е. Ермолин, студент холодных вод (seminarist) wrote,
Виталий Е. Ермолин, студент холодных вод

Аверченко, "Мать", часть III

(оригинал здесь, начало перевода здесь)

Замечания и критика всячески приглашаются.


In silence the three of us – my wife, myself and Little Paul – made our way to the cottage.
On the road Little Paul started talking. He expressed himself with great force and clarity.
- What the devil do I want with the old hag’s canary?!– he growled. – I’ll throw it away.
With childish simplicity he gave the wire cage a broad swing and chucked it into the bush.
- But that is cruel! – my wife protested. – Just let the bird out.
- You think so? Right. To hell with it!
Little Paul picked up the cage and groped clumsily for a door but could not find it; so with a brief effortless pull he tore the cage apart. The canary dropped to the ground, bounced up and flew away.
Silently we walked along.
- Any fish in that river? – Little Paul asked abruptly.
- You like fishing?
Suddenly grabbing his sides, Little Paul burst out laughing.
- Yes, I like fishing… With my bare hands, in a frying pan! I am a pro fishes-eater!
As we approached the house, he broke the silence once more:
- Any forest here? Any mushrooms?
- You want to pick some?
- Who? Pick some girls, all right! I’d say there ought to be some very inoffensive girls around, hanging about the forest, picking mushrooms. Ha-ha…
And he roared again.

We left him sitting in the garden for a minute and entered the house. My wife started to cry.
- What is all this?
- All your idea! – I snapped. – You wanted a tiny little child? Rock him to sleep on your breast if he has a toothache? Well, go and try to rock him.
- But where shall we put him? – My practical wife was brushing off her tears. – That bed would be too small even if he folds in half.
- He may take my room, - I answered morosely. – I’ll have to make do here, on the floor… Or sleep in your bedroom…
- And I bought him this little blanket… There is no other.
- It will make him a nice handkerchief. He may use this carpet for a blanket – surely that wouldn’t kill him.
The maid entered.
- Here’s some warm milk, ma’am…
- Thank you, - I said, - better serve brandy for supper.
Little Paul stuck his head through an open window.
- Brandy? That’s grand. You must be a brainy chap. Will there be cutlets?
- Yes.
- And fish?
- Yes.
- Grand. So we’ll have a swig today, for new friendship’s sake!
- You, sir, may have a swig, - my wife said dryly, - but he mustn’t.
Tags: Аверченко
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