visiting grandpa english

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The famous Children's Book Written by Nokolai Nosov


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  • N. NOSOV


    Translated from the Russian by FAINNA SOLASKODrawings by I, SEMENOV


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  • Shurik and I spent last summer visiting Grandpa.Shurik is my kid brother. I was seven and already atschool, but he wasn't. Still, he never obeys me. Well, Idon't care. The day we arrived we explored the yard,the sheds and the attic. I found an empty jam jar andarr empty box of shoe polish. Shurik found an old doorpull and a big galosh. Then we nearly had a fight overa fishing rod in the attic. I saw it first and shouted,"That's mine!"

    Then Shurik saw it and he shouted, "It's mine!"I grabbed one end, he grabbed the other and we

    pulled. I got so mad I yanked it hard and he tumbled

  • over backwards. Then he said, "Who needs your oldrod? I have my galosh."

    'oYou can kiss your lovely galosh, but don't you daretouch my rod again."

    I found a spade in the shed and went off ro digworms, for I had decided to go fishirg. Shurik wenr toask Grandma for some matches.

    "What do you want them for?" she demanded.o'I want to make a fire in the yard. Then I'll put the

    galosh on top of the fire and when it melts it'll berubber. "

    "What will you think of next! Why, you'll burn thehouse down if I don't keep an eye on you. I.{o, mydear, don't even ask me for them. Children should

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  • never plry with matches. Imagine such mischief !"so Shurik tied one end of a piece of string to the

    door pull and the orher ro his galosh. He marihed ,pand down the yard, dragging the galosh along. whenhe came over to me and saw me digging for worms hesaid, "You're wasting your time. You won't catchanything anyway."

    "Why not?""I'll put a spell on the fish.""Don't scare me," I sneered.I drg some worms, put them in a box and went off

    to the pond. The pond was behind the house, wherethe collective farm's gardens began. I put a worm onmy hook, cast my line and sat down to wait for a bite.



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  • Shurik crept on me.Suddenly, he beganyelling at the top ofhis voice: Be he aliue,or be h,e dead, I'l,l grindhis bones to mahe mybread!

    I decided not tosay anything, becauseI knew that if I did,it would only makehim shout louder. Hefinally got tired ofshouting his evil spelland tossed his galoshinto the water. Thenhe pulled it up by thestring. Then hethrerv the galosh in-to the pond andtried hitting it withstones in order tosink it.

    For a moment ortwo I didn't say aword. Then I hol-lered, "Get out ofhere! You've scaredall my fish awayl"

    "You won't catchanything anyway. I6


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    put a spell on them.And he tossed hisgalosh into the mid-dle of the pond!

    I jumped up andgrabbed a stick.Shurik ran off, withthe galosh dancingalong crazily behindhim. He was lucky Ididn't catch him.

    I went back to thepond and sat downto fish again. Thesun was high over-head by then and Istill hadn't had zsingle bite. What waswrong with thosefish? I was so mad atShurik I could havebeat his brains out. Ididn't believe in hisspell, but I knew tharif I came home emp-ty-handed he'd laughat me. I tried every-thing: casting far intothe pond and closeto the bank, sinkingmy hook deeper




  • into the water, but norhing helped. Finally, I decided togo home. Besides, I was very hungry.

    There was a great hammering at our gate.when I got closer I saw it was shurik, hammering

    the door pull to the gate. I don't know where he hadgot the hammer and nails. "Why are you nailing thishere? "

    He was huppy to see me. "Ah, the fisherman's back!Where's your catch?" he asked and giggled.

    "Why are you nailing this to the gate? There is ahandle here. "

    "So what? Now there'll be two. In case one comesoff."

    When he was allthrough hammeringhe had one nail left.He couldn't decidewhat to do with it. Atfirst, he wanted todrive it into the fence.Then he got a betteridea. He held his ga-losh to the gate withthe sole against thewood and nailed itthere.

    "What's that for? ""Nothing special. ""That's stupid. "Then we saw Grand-

    pa coming home for

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  • lunch. Shurik was scared. He tried to pull the galoshoff the gate, but it was nailed fast. Then he stood in'front of it, to hide it from view. Grandpa came up to usand said, "Good for you, boys! You've got down towork your very first d^y. Whose idea *"r it to nailanother handle to the gate?"

    "Shurik's," I said.Grandpa cleared his throat. "Well, now we'll have

    two handles on the gate, one higher up, the orherlower down, so that when a very short person comescalling he can pull the bottom one. " Then he noticedthe galosh. "'What's this?"

    I snorted, knowirg that Shurik was in for it. Shurikturned red. He didn't know what to say.

    "What's this, a mailbox?" Grandpa asked. o'If themailman comes round and sees nobody's home he canput our letters in the galosh. That's a very clever idea."

    "I thought of it myself.""Indeed?""Honest!""Good for you."All during lunch Grandpa kept telling Grandma

    what a smart fellow Shurik was."It's really amazing. We'd never have thought of it.

    Imagine, he nailed a galosh to the gate! I've been say-irrg we needed a mailbox, but never got around to it. "o'I can take a hint. I'll get us a mailbiix," Grandmasaid. "Meanwhile, the galosh can serve as one."

    After lunch Shurik ran off to rhe orchard. Grandpasaid to me, "Shurik has really been busy this morning.I'm sure you were up to something, too, Kolya. You10

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    might as well confess and make your Grandpa hap py.""I went fishing, but I didn't catch anything. ""Where'd you go?""To the pond.""No wonder. They've just drg it. I don't even think

    there are frogs in it yet. I'll tell you what. You go downto the river. The current is fast under the woodenbridge. That's where you fish." Grandpa went back towork. I got my rod and said ro Shurik:

    'ol-et's go down to the river to fish.""You're trying to make up to me, aren't you?""What for?"


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    "So I won't put arrymore spells on the fish."

    "I couldn't care less."I took my box ofworms and the emptyju* ju. for my fish andset off . Shurik taggedalong behind. When wegot to the river I founda good spot near thebridge and cast my line.

    Shurik stayed close toffie, mumbling,Be he ali,ae, or be he dead,I'll grind his bones to makerny bread!

    He'd be stillmoments andup again.Be he al,i,ue,dead...

    for a fewthen start

    or be heSuddenly, I had

    bite. I yanked at theline. The fish glitteredin the air, slipped offthe hook and fell wriggl-irg onto the grass at thevery edge of the bank.

    "Catch it!" Shurik yel-led and threw himself




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    on the fish. It slipped away and was thrashing about atthe water's edge. Shurik finally got hold of it. I filledthe jrr with water and he dropped the fish in.

    "It's a perch," he said as he examined it. "I'm sure itis. See the lines on it? Can it be mine?"

    "All right. We'll catch a lot more."We fished for hours that duy and caught six little

    perches, four gudgeons and one small ruff. On the way

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  • home Shurik carried the jar of fish. He wouldn'r ler mehold it. He was so proud he never minded his galoshmissing from the gate. There was a shiny greenmailbox in its place.

    "Who cares?" he said. "And anyway, the mailbox isnicer." Then he ran off to show Grandma the fish. Shewas very pleased.

    After a while I said to Shurik, "See, your magic spelldidn't work. It's not worth much, is it? And I don'tbelieve in it. "

    ool don't either. You have to be real dumb to believein magic. Or very old."

    This made Grandma laugh, because she was very old,but she didn't believe in magic spells, either.

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