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Kornei Chukovsky

The Stolen Sun

The Stolen Sun

Translated by Dorian Rottenbehg
freebooksforkids.net
Illustrated by Petr Repkin

  

The sun went strolling in the sky
When suddenly a cloud came by.

The Stolen Sun

Bunny took a look outside.
“Oh, how dark it is!” he cried.

The Stolen Sun

And the magpies on the farm
Chattered loudly in alarm.
They hopped about the hills and plains
And shouted to the storks and cranes:
“Listen, listen, everyone,
The crocodile’s gobbled up the sun!”

The Stolen Sun

It got dark as dark can be,
Not a thing could people see.
He who ventured in the lane
Was never, never seen again.

So the timid little sparrow
Kept on sobbing in his sorrow:
“Please, dear sun, come out again!
We can’t see to peck our grain! ”

The Stolen Sun

And the rabbits wept
As they jumped and leapt:
Home was still so far away
And they couldn’t see their way.

The Stolen Sun

Only in the murky swamp
The pop-eyed lobsters dared to romp.

The Stolen Sun

And the wolves beyond the hill
Howled and growled around their kill.

The Stolen Sun

Early, early in the morning
While the land was wrapped in mourning
Loud and sharp came ”Rat-tat-tat!”
Goodness gracious, what was that?

Two black sheep were at the gate:
“Come out, folks, before it’s late!
Come and fight in heroes’ style
And save the sun from the crocodile!”

The Stolen Sun

But the shaggy folk were mute,
Afraid to deal with such a brute.
“Such great teeth! And he weighs a ton!
He’ll never give us back our sun!”

The Stolen Sun

So they ran to the bear in his lair.
“Now, Bruin, there's no time to spare.
Come, Lazy-Bones, leave off sucking your paw
Help us rescue the sun, let it shine as before.”

But, although he was big and mighty,
The bear didn’t feel like fighting.
He roared and sobbed and he sobbed and roared
As he called his cubs from the grassy sward:

“Oh, children, come back to your poor old father!”
He wept and he wept, searching farther and farther.

The Stolen Sun

And his wife, Mrs. Bear,
Looked around everywhere,
Under roots, under stumps, under stones, in despair:
“Oh, my Eddy, Teddy and Pronto!
Where, o where have you gone to!
Have you fallen into a ditch and drowned,
Or been torn to bits by a mad stray hound?

The Stolen Sun

She wandered all day over marsh and scrub,
But there wasn’t a trace of a single cub.
Only the black owls stared from the wood
When at last, tired out, at her lair she stood.

The Stolen Sun

But then Mr. Bunny popped out
And began to scold and to shout:
“Stop whimpering like a hare!
Don’t forget you’re a bear!”

“Go on, Bandy-Legs, and grab him,
By the scaly collar nab him,
Bash him up and underneath,
Tear the sun from his ugly teeth.

And as soon as it once more
Shines in heaven as before,
All your little ones,
All your pretty ones
Will come running from afar:
‘Hullo, Daddy, here we are!’ ”

The Stolen Sun

And the bear he reared
And the bear he roared
And the bear he ran
To the river ford.

The Stolen Sun

Where the crocodile lay
With the sun, of course,
Shining away
In his dreadful jaws —
The golden sun,
The stolen sun.

The Stolen Sun

Bruin crept up quietly
And he poked him lightly:
“Listen here, you ugly crook,
Give us back that sun you took,
Or I’ll take you by the scruff
And I’ll pound you into snuff!
Yes, I’ll teach you how to steal,
You, cross between a toad and eel!
All the world’s gone upside-down
And he won’t bother why or how! '

The Stolen Sun

But all the rascal did was laugh
Till he almost split in half.
“Get away, you big baboon,
Or I’ll gobble up the moon!”

The Stolen Sun

“That's too much to bear! ”
Roared the angry bear,
And his fangs went bare
At the enemy.

He hauled him up
And he mauled him up:
“Now, out with the sun, by golly!

The Stolen Sun

And the crocodile
Soon forgot his smile
And he yelled in fright
With all his might.

The Stolen Sun

From his jaw,
From his maw
The sun flew high
Till it reached the sky,
And its bright light fell
Over hill and dell.

The Stolen Sun

“Welcome, welcome, golden sun!
Gladly shouted everyone.
All the birds took wing
And began to sing.

The Stolen Sun

And the rabbits started dancing,
Turning somersaults and prancing
On the meadow by the spring.

The Stolen Sun

Then the bear-cubs came along
And like jolly kittens
Tugged and pulled at their shaggy dad
With their soft brown mittens,
Shouting, calling Dad and Mum,
“Hullo, parents, here we come!”

The Stolen Sun

Every little girl and boy,
Every beast just beamed with joy.
They thanked old Bruin for the rescued sup
And they all had lots and lots of fun.

The Stolen Sun

Author: Chukovsky K.; illustrated by Repkin P.

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