The Elephant by Alexander Kuprin

Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryAlexander Kuprin – The Elephant – Contents

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“Dear Nadya, my dear little girl,” said mother; “isn’t there anything you would like to have?”

“No, mother, I don’t want anything.”

“Wouldn’t you like me to put out all your dolls on the bed? We’ll arrange the easy chair, the sofa, the little table, and put the tea-service out. The dolls shall have tea and talk to one another about the weather and their children’s health.”

“Thank you, mother…. I don’t want it…. It’s so dull….”

“Oh, very well, little girlie, we won’t have the dolls. Suppose we ask Katya or Zhenochka to come and see you. You’re very fond of them.”

“I don’t want them, mother. Indeed, I don’t. I don’t want anything, don’t want anything. I’m so dull!”

“Shall I get you some chocolate?”

But the little girl didn’t answer, she lay and stared at the ceiling with steadfast, mournful eyes. She had no pain at all, she wasn’t even feverish. But she was getting thinner and weaker every day. She didn’t mind what was done to her; it made no difference, she didn’t care for anything. She lay like this all day and all night, quiet, mournful. Sometimes she would doze for half an hour, and then in her dreams she would see something long and grey and dull, as if she were looking at rain in autumn.

When the door leading from the nursery into the drawing-room was open, and the other door into the study was open too, the little girl could see her father. Father would walk swiftly from one corner of the room to the other, and all the time he would smoke, smoke. Sometimes he would come into the nursery and sit on the edge of Nadya’s bed and stroke her feet gently. Then he would get up suddenly and go to the window, whistle a little, and look out into the street, but his shoulders would tremble. He would hurriedly press his handkerchief first to one eye and then to the other, and then go back into his study as if he were angry. Then he would begin again to pace up and down and smoke … and smoke … and smoke. And his study would look all blue from the clouds of tobacco smoke.

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Russian LiteratureChildren BooksRussian PoetryAlexander Kuprin – The Elephant – Contents

Copyright holders –  Public Domain Book

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