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Kornei Chukovsky

The telephone

The telephone

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

The telephone

My telephone rang. "Hello,
Who's speaking?" "The Elephant." "Oh,
Where do you happen to be?"
"Jungle-Town, Camel-Street, 3."
"What do you want?"
"Some chocolate, sweet,
To give my sonnie a bit of a treat."
"A pound or two?"
"Oh, a ton will do.
He just wants a bite,
He's a wee little mite."

The telephone

The Crocodile phoned me next.
And his voice was terribly vexed:
"I'm sorry, dear friend,
But I wish you could send
A couple of pairs of galoshes
For me and my wife and Totosha."
"You do wear them fast!
Why, Wednesday last
I sent you a dozen or two,
Splendid ones too, quite new!"
"Ah, those that you sent us
On Wednesday last
Were all eaten up very fast.
And now we are waiting
(I hope not in vain)
To have some galoshes
For dinner again.
A dozen of sweet new galoshes!"

The telephone

The telephone

Then some Bunnies called, wheezing and sneezing:
"Send us mittens,
Our paws are freezing."

The telephone

Then a call came from two Chimpanzees:
"Send us some books, will you please."

The telephone

The next one to call was Bruin:
"My ear-drums were threatened with ruin."
"Now look here, my friend, don't bellow!
Can't you speak like a decent old fellow!"
But he kept on mooing and booing,
Such a worrisome, bothersome Bruin!
"Hang up the receiver, please!"

The telephone

Next called some Cranes from the bogs:
"We've got indigestion from frogs,
And the pain in our tummies is hateful!
Besides, we've got chills,
Do send us some pills
We'll be awfully, awfully grateful!"

The telephone

Then the Sow called: "Hullo, hullo!"
And she asked me: "Perhaps you may know
Some Nightingale who would agree
To sing a duet with me.
If you do, please send him along
And we'll sing a nice little song."
Well, I felt like starting a row.
"A Nightingale sing with a Sow?
Better call for a Crow right now!"

The telephone

Then again from the Bear:
"Come and rescue the Seal.
He's touched an electric eel!"

The telephone

All day long it's the same old thing:
Ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling, ting-a-ling —
They ring,
And they ring,
And they ring.

The telephone

Not so long ago a pair
Of Gazelles rang in despair:
"What has happened with the fair?
Are the seesaws no more there?
It's a loss we couldn't bear!"
"Tut-tut-tut! There, there, there!
Nothing's happened to the fair!
Swings and seesaws are all there.
All this racket, I declare,
Is too much for me to bear!
Off with you, now, to the fair!"
Still those silly good-for-nothings
Whined and wailed about the fair.
What a very stupid pair!

The telephone

Last Friday the Kangaroo called:
"This is Wash 'Em Clean's flat, I am told."
I got frightfully angry at that,
So I yelled, "No, it isn't his flat!"
"Then where's Wash 'Em Clean?"
"I'm afraid I don't know
Try seventy-seven-six-o."

The telephone

I've been burning the lights
Three nights,
I'm dreaming of bed,
I'm half dead.
When will it leave me alone,
That phone?
"Who is it?"
"The Rhino."
"Well?"
Come quickly, It's dreadful to tell!"
"What's happened?
Earthquake or fire?"
"No — Hippo's got stuck in the mire."
"Stuck in the mire?"
"And how!
He'll be up to his ears by now.
Oh dear, if you don't hurry here
Poor Hippo will soon disappear,
Ah, Hippo will die
Like a fly!"

The telephone

"Now, now, I'm coming, don't shout,
I'll help you to pull him out."
By golly, it is quite a job
Pulling Hippo out of the bog.

The telephone

The telephone

Author: Chukovsky K.; illustrated by Suteyev V.

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