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Kornei Chukovsky

Doctor Powderpill

Doctor Powderpill

Translated by D. Rottenberg
freebooksforkids.net
Illustrated by V.Suteyev

1

Dear old Doctor Powderpill,
If you're ailing, if you're ill
Come and see him and be healed,
Beast and bird of wood and field,
Worm and bug and wolf and bear,
Cow and sheep and goat and hare!
Everyone from everywhere
Will receive his aid and care!

Doctor Powderpill

2

Once a fox came and paid him a call:
"Oh, a wasp stung my back!" Did she squall!
Then a pup came to see him, morose:
"Oh, a hen pecked my poor little nose!"

Doctor Powderpill

Mrs. Bunny ran up in a flurry
"Oh, how sad, how unhappy I am!
My sonny fell under a tram,
My sonny, my bunny
Fell under a tram!

"He hopped and he skipped in the street
When a tram came and cut off his feet.
And now he's in bed, poor bunnikin-boy,
My sonny, my bunny, my only joy!"

But the doctor exclaimed, "Never fear!
Just bring your bunnikin here.
I'll make him a new pair of feet
And again he'll skip in the street!"
And they brought him the bunny, poor dear,
So ill, without any feet.
And the doctor sewed on a new pair
And again he could skip in the street.

Doctor Powderpill

And his mother, the old Missis Bun,
Danced around and around with her son.
She laughed and she wept with her joy:
Thank you, Doctor, for curing my boy!"

Doctor Powderpill

3

Then a jackal on a mare
Galloped up from god knows where:
"Here's a telegram for you
from the Hippo, just come through!"

"Come and see us, Doctor,
In Africa, be quick.
Save our children, Doctor,
They're very, very sick!"

Doctor Powderpill

"Really? Truly? What is wrong?
Have they been laid up for long?"

"Yes, oh yes, they've got the 'flu,
Chickenpox and smallpox too,
Measles, mumps, appendicitis,
Malaria and bronchitis.

"Come, dear Doctor Powderpill,
All depends upon your skill!"

Doctor Powderpill

"Very well, I'll come, all right,
And help your children in their plight.
Only your address — what is it?
Hill or swamp — what shall I visit?"

"Well, we live in the Sahara,
In the scorching Kalahari,
Up on Mount Fernando-Po,
Where the grumpy Hippo-Poppo
Roams the mighty Limpopo."

Doctor Powderpill

4

Then he goes, Powderpill,
And he runs, Powderpill,
Over marsh, over mire, over dale, over hill.
And one single word he repeats, Powderpill,
"Limpopo, Limpopo, Limpopo!"

The snow fell thick and the night was black:
"Hey, Powderpill, turn back, turn back!"
 And he dropped, Powderpill, on his face in the snow:
"I'm tired, too tired to get up and go!"

Doctor Powderpill

All at once grey wolves rushed out from a wood
And ran to the spot where the doctor stood:
"Come, mount us. Doctor, and let's be gone.
Quicker than lightning we'll speed you on!"

Doctor Powderpill

On a big grey wolf gallops Powderpill,
And one single word he repeats, Powderpill:
"Limpopo, Limpopo, Limpopo!"

Doctor Powderpill

5

But soon they arrived at a sea,
Roaring, stormy and free,
With waves so fearfully tall
They'd swallow the doctor, his hat and all!

"Oh dear, if I ever drown
In the waves and go deep, deep down —
What'II happen to my poor friends
Whom nobody nurses or tends?"

Doctor Powderpill

Then a whale from the waters chill
Rose and said: "Climb up, Powderpill,
And like a great big ship
In a jiffy I'll make the trip!"

Doctor Powderpill

Up on the whale he gets with a will.
And one single word he repeats, Powderpill:
"Limpopo, Limpopo, Limpopo!"

Doctor Powderpill

6

Then mountains he met of great height,
And he climbed and he climbed until night.
But the mountains grew steeper, the mountains grew starker,
And the sky became darker and darker and darker.

"Oh, if I don't reach my goal,
If I never get there at all,
What'll happen to my poor friends
Whom nobody nurses or tends?"

Doctor Powderpill

And at once from a great big rock
Eagles flew down in a flock:
"Mount us, Doctor, and let's be gone.
Swift as lightning we'll speed you on!"

There on an eagle he sits, Powderpill,
And one single word he repeats, Powderpill:
"Limpopo, Limpopo, Limpopo!"

Doctor Powderpill

7

In Africa, in Africa,
By the mighty Limpopo,
Weeping out his poor old heart,
Sits woeful Hippo-Po.

Doctor Powderpill

In Africa, in Africa
He sits beneath a tree
And looks and looks from Africa
Upon the deep blue sea:
"When will the doctor's ship arrive,
Dearie, dearie me!"

The rhinos and the elephants
Keep running up to telephones
Asking with impatience:
"When will he see his patients?"

Doctor Powderpill

Nearby the baby hippoes
Lie suffering from hiccoughs,
Holding their poor tummies,
Their tummies torn by pain.

Doctor Powderpill

The ostrich-chicks, so bad they feel,
Like little pigs they wail and squeal,
The poor dear baby ostriches
Whimper and complain.

They've mumps, appendicitis,
Measles and bronchitis,
Soar throat and tonsillitis,
Their cries are loud and shrill.

They moan and groan in fever:
"Must we wait forever,
Must we wait forever
For Doctor Powderpill?"

Doctor Powderpill

Beside them sprawls a sharp-toothed shark,
A sharp-toothed shark,
A deep-mouthed shark
Whose tots are very ill.

Her poor dear darling sharklings
Are in a dreadful plight:
Their teeth so sharp and sparkling
Keep aching day and night!

Doctor Powderpill

Poor grasshopper — o me, o my!
He's hurt his foot and sprained his thigh.
He doesn't jump, he doesn't leap,
But all he does is sob and weep
With tear-drops falling fast:
"Oh, where is Doctor Powderpill,
When will he come at last?"

Doctor Powderpill

8

But look — in the sky two great eagles appear.
Another ten minutes and they will be here.
On one sits the doctor of world-famous skill —
The doctor, their saviour, the dear Powderpill.

Doctor Powderpill

"Hullo to you, Africa," loudly he cries.
"Hurrah!" they all greet him with tears in their eyes.

Doctor Powderpill

The eagle flies slower and slower,
The eagle comes lower and lower.
The doctor lands and runs to their aid
With jam and treacle and marmalade.

He pats the poor hippoes' bellies
And treats them to sweets and jellies.
And takes the poor darlings' temperature.

Doctor Powderpill

Then he runs to the tiger
Who came from the Niger
And then to the ape
Who came from the Cape
And gives them all honey
Hot milk, egg and honey,
Hot milk, egg and honey,
Hot milk, egg and honey to cure them.

Doctor Powderpill

Ten nights and ten days
Without sleeping he stays,
Ten days and ten nights
He tends the poor mites
And takes the poor darlings' temperature.

Doctor Powderpill

9

Now at last he's cured the lot,
Limpopo!
Every ill and ailing tot,
Limpopo!
And they all began to giggle,
Limpopo!
Jump and caper, dance and wriggle,
Limpopo!

Doctor Powderpill

And the huge and fearful shark
Winked its eyes from waters dark
And it laughed and laughed and laughed
As if it suddenly went daft!

Doctor Powderpill

And the hippoes, dear, wee fellows,
Puffing, whoofing just like bellows,
Roared and laughed and guffawed so
That the oaks rocked to and fro!

Doctor Powderpill

Here comes Hippo, here comes Poppo,
Hippo-Poppo, Hippo-Poppo!
Here comes Hippopotamus,
From the great Kilimanjaro
Through sands of the Sahara,
Singing gaily, "Long live doctors
Bringing health to all of us!"

Doctor Powderpill

Doctor Powderpill

Author: Chukovsky K.; illustrated by Suteyev V.

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