Stories About Irina

excerpt IRINA'S AND TOPKI'S GANG First of all, let's all give a hearty laugh. Like this: ha-ha! Ho-ho! Did you all laugh? It's good that you laughed, because now you can sit quietly and listen properly to the STORY. Chapter OneChapter One doesn't exist. We shall begin by going straight to Chapter TwoThe most terrific thing in the world is a child. This child is a wonderful little girl called Irina. Irina is exceptionally well behaved, she studies terribly hard, she is jolly and playful and, just like that, the most terrific thing in the world becomes a hundred times more terrific. Chapter ThreeShall we have a break? No! No? Very well then. No break. Why is it terrific that she's called Irina? Because Irina means "peace." In what language? In Greek, yes. In ancient Greek. Isn't that terrific? Who knows ancient Greek? No one? No one at all? Alright, alright… I mean, what do you expect me to do? To teach you Greek? Not even I know Greek! Let's all give another laugh! But a short one. Like that! That's good! Chapter FourI don't know where I have put Chapter Four. It's not here! It's not here and it's not there. That means I've lost Chapter Four. No matter. We shall continue with Chapter FiveHooray! Children! I've found the manuscript for Chapter Four. In that case, we shan't continue with Chapter Five. We shall continue with Chapter Four. I don't know what to do with all these chapters. I've mixed them all up. I say that I should carry on with the story and perhaps we should continue by going straight to Chapter Ten. So that there will be lots of chapters. It's terrific to have a whole heap of chapters. A great big heap of chapters! Chapter TenOnce upon a time… Once upon a time one day! What I mean to say, dear children, is that it happened one morning. Do you understand? It was a wonderful morning. In the first place because it was one morning in the holidays. In the second place because Irina had gone fishing. Where? Here begins the mystery. A mystery which we shall solve in Chapter ElevenRight next to Irina's block of flats there was a pond. A very beautiful pond with two or three trees next to it. And one of the trees was just two paces away from the pond. This tree used to rustle the loudest. But it didn't go swish-swish. It used to go swish-swoosh and sometimes swoosh-swish. Like that! Now there comes an absolutely marvellous bit! Only the children knew where the pond was and only the children knew the way to the pond. It is a rather complicated business. Ten or fifteen paces away from the block of flats, there was a children's playground. And next to the playground, there was a bench for grandmas and mums. But there was also a rule. In fact, there were two rules. The first: no grandmas and no mums were allowed to play in the children's playground. Or to go on the slide, or to go on the swings. Nothing! They weren't allowed to play at all. Not even hide-and-seek. The second rule: no grandmas and no mums were allowed to know where the pond was. The pond had a name too. You will find out its name in… Chapter TwelveIt had a very beautiful name: Azure Pond. That's what the pond was called: Azure Pond. Ion Creangă, 1985

by Leonida Teodorescu (1932-1994)