A heavy door opened, and an amazing world appeared before the eyes of the astonished boy.
Right in front of him, two brown bear cubs hugged each other. Their elder brother-nanny did not take his eyes off the mischievous ones, and the bear-mother fell apart on a hillock and dozes.
Here, high in the air, an eagle froze without moving. Here is a duck that has taken off, froze over the nest; in the nest are eggs. The boy quickly stretched out his hand after them - and his fingers painfully hit something strong, cold ...
Glass. All animals and birds behind glass!
Are they not alive? Then, perhaps, they are bewitched, as in a fairy tale. To learn such a magic word to revive everyone at once. Who will teach him this word?
The boy ended up in the Zoological Museum of the Academy of Sciences. His father, a Russian naturalist, worked here. In the house opposite, a boy was born in 1894 - the future writer Vitaly Valentinovich Bianchi.
His father introduced him to nature. He took his son with him for hunting and for walks. I called him every herb, every bird and little animal. He taught him to recognize birds by flight, the beast - by trail, and - most importantly - taught his son to write down his observations.
By the age of twenty-seven, Vitaly Valentinovich Bianchi had accumulated entire volumes of diaries. And again, as in childhood, he wanted to find that magic word that would make all these birds and animals come to life.
This word became the artistic word of the narrator-writer.
The first V. V. Bianchi for children - "Forest Houses" - was published in 1923. For twenty-five years of his literary work, Bianchi wrote about two hundred fairy tales, stories, novels. Young readers are well aware of his collections: "Tales", "Forest Newspaper", "In the Footsteps", "Where Crayfish Winter", "Hunting Tales", "The Last Shot" and many others.
His works were published in twenty-eight languages of the peoples of our Motherland. His books have been translated into many foreign languages.
Knowing and passionately loving his native nature, Bianchi spends most of his life in the forest with a gun, binoculars, and a notebook. And his stories, fairy tales, stories reveal pictures of wildlife to young readers. In the most ordinary, he knows how to show the new, unnoticed by us.
Bianchi leads the young reader along the hunting trails of Altai, climbs with him without roads through the mountains of the Caucasus, wanders through the taiga, tundra, steppe ...
But most of all, Bianchi loves to talk about those animals and plants that anyone can meet in their garden, on the banks of a neighboring river, in the forests and fields of the northern and central Russian strip of our Motherland.
The writer opens his young reader's eyes to the world around him, answers his questions.
Many mysteries of nature have already been solved by our scientists. More needs to be explored, unraveled, understood.
And Bianchi's books call the young reader to observe, compare, think, be a good tracker, researcher. Bianchi not only shows - he teaches the young reader to reveal the secrets of the forest, to solve small and big riddles from the life of animals and birds.
After all, only those who know nature well can manage it, turning its wealth to the benefit of the Motherland.
The Soviet man is the master of his forests, fields, rivers, lakes, and he must know his economy well.
The young reader will learn a lot by reading Bianchi's stories and tales. He will learn to observe, he will become a thrifty owner of the riches of his native nature, he will love her.
The artistic word of the writer will help him in this.
Tired of the Puppy chasing chickens around the yard.
“I’ll go,” he thinks, “to hunt for wild animals and birds.”
He darted into the doorway and ran across the meadow.
Wild animals, birds and insects saw him, and everyone thinks to himself.
Bittern thinks: "I will deceive him!"
The hoopoe thinks: “I will surprise him!”
Vertishaka thinks: "I'll scare him!"
The lizard thinks: "I'll wriggle out of him!"
Caterpillars, butterflies, grasshoppers think: “We will hide from him!”
"And I'll drive him away!" thinks the Bombardier Beetle.
“We all know how to stand up for ourselves, each in his own way!” they think to themselves.
And the Puppy has already run to the lake and sees: Bittern is standing by the reeds on one leg knee-deep in water.
"Now I'll catch her!" - thinks the Puppy, and is quite prepared to jump on her back.
Bittern looked at him and stepped into the reeds.
The wind runs across the lake, the reeds sway. The reeds are swinging
back and forth
back and forth.
The Puppy has yellow and brown stripes swaying in front of his eyes.
back and forth
back and forth.
And Bittern stands in the reeds, stretched out - thin, thin, and all painted in yellow and brown stripes. Worth, swing
back and forth
back and forth.
The puppy bulged his eyes, looked, looked - he does not see Bittern in the reeds.
“Well,” he thinks, “the Bittern deceived me. Do not jump into the empty reeds! I'll go and catch another bird."
He ran out to the hillock, looks: Hoopoe is sitting on the ground, playing with a crest, he will unfold it, then he will fold it.
“Now I’ll jump on him from a hillock!” - Puppy thinks.
And the Hoopoe crouched to the ground, spread its wings, opened its tail, raised its beak up.
The Puppy looks: there is no bird, but a motley rag lies on the ground, and a crooked needle sticks out of it.
The Puppy was surprised: where did the Hoopoe go? “Did I really take this motley rag for him? I’ll go and catch a little bird as soon as possible.”
He ran up to the tree and sees: a small bird Vertisheyka is sitting on a branch.
He rushed to her, and Vertisheyka yurk into the hollow.
“Aha! - Puppy thinks. - Gotcha!
He got up on his hind legs, looked into the hollow, and in the black hollow the snake wriggled and hissed terribly.
The Puppy recoiled, raised his fur on end - and ran away.
And Vertisheyka hisses after him from the hollow, twists her head, a strip of black feathers wriggles down her back.
“Ugh! Scared how! Barely took his legs. I won't hunt birds anymore. I'd better go and catch the Lizard.
The lizard sat on a stone, closed its eyes, basking in the sun.
Quietly a puppy crept up to her - jump! - and grabbed by the tail.
And the Lizard twisted, left his tail in his teeth, herself under a stone!
The tail in the puppy's teeth wriggles,
Puppy snorted, threw his tail - and after her. Yes, where is it! The lizard has been sitting under a stone for a long time, growing a new tail for itself.
“Well,” the Puppy thinks, “if the Lizard got away from me, I’ll at least catch insects.”
I looked around, and beetles run on the ground, grasshoppers jump in the grass, caterpillars crawl along the branches, butterflies fly through the air.
Puppy rushed to catch them, and suddenly - it became a circle, as in a mysterious picture: everyone is here, but no one is visible - everyone hid.
Green grasshoppers hid in the green grass.
The caterpillars on the branches stretched out and froze: you can’t distinguish them from knots.
Butterflies sat on trees, their wings folded - you can’t tell where the bark is, where the leaves are, where the butterflies are.
One tiny Bombardier Beetle walks along the ground, does not hide anywhere.
Who sings what?
Do you hear what kind of music rattles in the forest?
Listening to her, one might think that all animals, birds and insects were born singers and musicians.
Maybe that's the way it is: after all, everyone loves music, and everyone wants to sing. But not everyone has a voice.
The frogs on the lake started at night.
They blew bubbles behind their ears, stuck their heads out of the water, opened their mouths...
“Kwa-ah-ah-ah-ah! ..” - air went out of them in one breath.
A stork from the village heard them. Rejoiced:
- A whole choir! I'll have something to eat!
And flew to the lake for breakfast.
Arrived and sat on the beach. Sat down and thinks:
“Am I worse than a frog? They sing without a voice. Let me try."
He raised his long beak, rattled, crackled one half of it against the other, now quieter, now louder, now less often, then more often: a wooden ratchet crackles, and nothing more! I got so excited that I forgot about my breakfast.
And Bittern stood on one leg in the reeds, listening and thinking:
And she came up with: “Let me play on the water!”
She put her beak into the lake, took it full of water, and how she blew into her beak! A loud rumble went across the lake:
“Prumb-boo-boo-boom!” roared like a bull.
"That's the song! thought the Woodpecker, hearing Bittern from the forest. “I will find a tool: why is a tree not a drum, but why is my nose not a stick?”
He rested his tail, leaned back, swung his head - how he would peck a branch with his nose!
Just like a drum roll.
A beetle with a long mustache crawled out from under the bark.
He twisted, twisted his head, his stiff neck creaked - a thin, thin squeak was heard.
The barbel squeaks, but all in vain: no one hears his squeak. He worked his neck - but he himself is pleased with his song.
And below, under a tree, a Bumblebee crawled out of the nest and flew to sing in the meadow.
It circles around the flower in the meadow, buzzing with veiny hard wings, as if a string is buzzing.
The song of the bumblebee awakened the green locust in the grass.
The Locust began to tune the violins. She has violins on her wings, and instead of bows, she has long hind legs with her knees back. There are notches on the wings, and hooks on the legs.
The Locust rubs itself with legs on the sides, touches the hooks with notches - it chirps.
There are many locusts in the meadow: a whole string orchestra.
“Oh,” thinks the long-nosed Snipe under a tussock, “I need to sing too! Just what? My throat is not good, my nose is not good, my neck is not good, my wings are not good, my paws are not good... Eh! I wasn’t there - I’ll fly, I won’t be silent, I’ll scream with something!
Jumped out from under the bumps, soared, flew under the very clouds. The tail opened like a fan, straightened its wings, turned over with its nose to the ground and rushed down, turning from side to side, like a plank thrown from a height. It cuts the air with its head, and in the tail it has thin, narrow feathers sorted out by the wind.
And it is heard from the ground: as if in the heights a lamb sang, bleated.
And this is Bekas.
Guess what he's singing? Tail!
Chick was a young red-headed sparrow. When he was a year old from birth, he married Chirika and decided to live in his house.
“Chick,” said Chirika in sparrow language, “Chick, where are we going to make a nest for ourselves, because all the hollows in our garden are already occupied.
- What a thing! Chick answered, also, of course, in a sparrow way. - Well, let's drive the neighbors out of the house and occupy their hollow.
He was very fond of fighting and was delighted with such an opportunity to show Chirika his prowess. And, before the timid Chirika had time to stop him, he fell off the branch and rushed to a large mountain ash with a hollow. His neighbor lived there - the same young sparrow as Chick.
The owner was not near the house.
“I’ll climb into the hollow,” Chick decided, “and when the owner arrives, I’ll shout that he wants to take the house away from me. The old people will flock - and now we will ask the neighbor!
He completely forgot that the neighbor is married and his wife has been making a nest in a hollow for the fifth day.
Only Chick stuck his head in the hole - rraz! Someone poked him hard on the nose. Chick squeaked and bounced off the hollow. And a neighbor was already rushing at him from behind. With a cry they collided in the air, fell to the ground, grappled and rolled into the ditch. Chick fought well, and his neighbor was already having a hard time. But at the noise of the fight, old sparrows flocked from all over the garden. They immediately figured out who was right and who was wrong, and gave Chick such a beating that he did not remember how he escaped from them.
Chick came to himself in some bushes, where he had never happened to be before. All his bones ached.
Next to him sat a frightened Chirika.
— Chick! she said so sadly that he would surely burst into tears, if only sparrows could cry. - Chick, we will never return to our own garden now! Where will we take the children now?
Chick himself understood that he could no longer catch the eye of the old sparrows: they would beat him to death. Still, he did not want to show Chirika that he was a coward. He straightened his disheveled feathers with his beak, caught his breath a little and said nonchalantly:
- What a thing! Let's find another place, even better.
And they went where their eyes look - to look for a new place to live.
As soon as they flew out of the bushes, they found themselves on the banks of a cheerful blue river. Behind the river rose a high, high mountain of red clay and sand. Under the very top of the cliff, there were many holes and minks. Jackdaws and red kestrel falcons sat in pairs near the large holes; from small burrows now and then swift shore swallows flew out. A whole flock of them hovered over the cliff in a light cloud.
Look how fun they are! Chirik said. “Come on, let’s make ourselves a nest on Krasnaya Gorka.”
Chick looked warily at the falcons and jackdaws. He thought: “It’s good for the coasters: they dig their own minks in the sand. Should I beat someone else's nest?" And again, all the bones ached at once.
“No,” he said, “I don’t like it here: such a noise, you can just go deaf.
Chick and Chirika sat down on the roof of the barn. Chick immediately noticed that there were no sparrows or swallows.
- This is where life is! he said happily to Chirik. “Look how many grains and crumbs are scattered around the yard. We'll be alone here and won't let anyone in.
- Chsh! Chirik shushed. “Look, what a monster there is on the porch.
And it's true: a fat Red Cat was sleeping on the porch.
- What a thing! Chick said bravely. What will he do to us? Look, that's how I do it now!..
He flew off the roof and rushed at the Cat so quickly that Chirika even screamed.
But Chick deftly grabbed a piece of bread from under the Cat's nose and - one-one! — was already on the roof again.
The cat did not even move, only opened one eye and looked sharply at the bully.
- Did you see it? Chick boasted. - And you're afraid!
Chirika did not argue with him, and both began to look for a convenient place for the nest.
They chose a wide gap under the roof of the barn. Here they began to drag first straw, then horsehair, down and feathers.
Less than a week later, Chirika laid her first egg in the nest - a small one, all covered with pinkish-brown mottles. Chick was so happy for him that he even composed a song in honor of his wife and himself:
Chicky, Chick, Chick!
This song meant absolutely nothing, but it was so convenient to sing it, jumping over the fence.
When there were six eggs in the nest, Chirika sat down to hatch them.
Chick flew off to collect worms and flies for her, because now she had to be fed delicate food. He hesitated a little, and Chirika wanted to see where he was.
As soon as she stuck her nose out of the crack, a red paw with outstretched claws reached out from the roof behind her. Chirika rushed - and left a whole bunch of feathers in the cat's claws. A little more - and her song would have been sung.
The cat followed her with his eyes, put his paw into the crack and pulled out the whole nest at once - a whole clod of straw, feathers and down. Chirika screamed in vain, in vain Chick, who arrived in time, boldly rushed at the Cat - no one came to their aid. The red-haired robber calmly ate all six of their Precious testicles. The wind picked up an empty light nest and threw it from the roof to the ground.
On the same day, the sparrows left the barn forever and moved to a grove, away from the Red Cat.
In the grove they were soon lucky enough to find a free hollow. They again began to carry straw and worked for a whole week, building a nest. In their neighbors lived a thick-billed Finch with a Finch, a motley Flycatcher with a Flycatcher, and a dapper Goldfinch with a Goldfinch. Each couple had their own house, there was enough food for everyone, but Chick had already managed to fight with the neighbors - just to show them how brave and strong he was.
Only Finch turned out to be stronger than him and patted the bully well. Then Chick became more careful. He no longer got into a fight, but only puffed up his feathers and chirped cockily when one of the neighbors flew by. For this, the neighbors were not angry with him: they themselves loved to boast to others of their strength and prowess.
They lived peacefully until disaster struck.
- Hurry, hurry! Chick called to Chirike. - Do you hear: the Finch stammered - danger!
And the truth is: someone terrible was approaching them. After the Finch, the Goldfinch shouted, and then the motley Mukholov. Mukholov lived just four trees from the sparrows. If he saw the enemy, then the enemy was very close.
Chirika flew out of the hollow and sat on a branch next to Chick. Neighbors warned them of the danger, and they prepared to meet it face to face.
Fluffy red hair flashed in the bushes, and their fierce enemy - the Cat - came out into the open. He saw that the neighbors had already betrayed him to the sparrows and now he could not catch Chiriku in the nest. He got angry.
Suddenly the tip of his tail moved in the grass, his eyes narrowed: the cat saw a hollow. Well, even half a dozen sparrow eggs is a good breakfast. And the cat licked his lips. He climbed up a tree and put his paw into the hollow.
Chick and Chirika raised a cry throughout the grove. But even then no one came to their aid. The neighbors sat in their seats and shouted loudly in fear. Each couple feared for their home.
The cat caught the nest with its claws and pulled it out of the hollow.
But this time he came too early: there were no eggs in the nest, no matter how much he searched.
Then he left the nest and went down to earth himself. The sparrows followed him with a cry.
At the very bushes, the Cat stopped and turned to them with such an air as if he wanted to say: “Wait, dear, wait! You won't get away from me anywhere! Build a new nest for yourself wherever you want, breed chicks, and I will come and devour them, and you at the same time.
And he snorted so menacingly that Chirika shuddered in fear. The cat left, and Chick and Chirika were left to grieve at the ruined nest. Finally Chirika said:
"Chick, I'm sure I'll have a new testicle in a few days." Let's fly quickly, find a place for ourselves somewhere across the river. The Cat won't get us there.
She did not know that there was a bridge across the river and that the Cat often walked along this bridge. Chick didn't know that either.
"Let's fly," he agreed.
And they flew.
Soon they found themselves under the very Red Hill.
- Come to us, fly to us! the shorebirds shouted to them in their own, in the swallow language. - We have a friendly, cheerful life on Krasnaya Gorka.
“Yes,” Chick shouted to them, “but you yourself will fight!”
Why should we fight? - answered the coasters. - We have enough midges over the river for everyone, we have a lot of empty minks on Krasnaya Gorka - choose any one.
— And the kestrels? And the jackdaws? Chick didn't hesitate.
— Kestrels catch grasshoppers and mice in the fields. They don't touch us. We are all in friendship.
And Chirika said:
- We flew with you, Chick, we flew, but we did not see a more beautiful place than this. Let's live here.
- Well, - Chick surrendered, - since they have free minks and no one will fight, you can try.
They flew up to the mountain, and it’s true: neither the kestrels touched them, nor the jackdaws. They began to choose a mink to their liking: so that it was not very deep, and the entrance was wider. Found two of these side by side.
In one they built a nest and Chirik to incubate the village, in the other Chik spent the night. At the coast, at the jackdaws, at the falcons - all of them have long hatched chicks. Chirika alone sat patiently in her dark hole. Chick brought her food there from morning to night. Two weeks passed. The red cat did not show up. The sparrows have already forgotten about him.
Chick was looking forward to the chicks. Every time he brought a worm or a fly to Chirika, he asked her:
- Do they knock?
- No, they don't knock.
- Will they be soon?
"Soon, soon," Chirika answered patiently.
One morning, Chirika called him from the mink:
- Fly quickly: one knocked!
Chick immediately rushed to the nest. Then he heard how, in one egg, a chick poked a little audibly into the shell with a weak beak. Chirika carefully helped him: she broke the shell in different places.
A few minutes passed, and the chick emerged from the egg - tiny, naked, blind. On a thin, thin neck dangled a large naked head.
- How funny he is! Chic was surprised.
- Not funny at all! Chirika was offended. - A very pretty chick. And you have nothing to do here, take the shells here and throw them somewhere far away from the nest.
While Chick was carrying the shells, the second chick hatched and the third began to tap.
It was then that the alarm on Red Hill began. From their mink, the sparrows heard the swallows suddenly scream piercingly.
Chick jumped out and immediately returned with the news that the Red Cat was climbing the cliff.
- He saw me! Chick shouted. “He will be here now and will pull us out along with the chicks. Hurry, hurry, let's fly away from here!
"No," Chirika replied sadly. - I will not fly anywhere from my little chicks. Let it be what will be.
And no matter how much Chick called, she did not budge.
Then Chick flew out of the hole and began, like a madman, to throw himself at the Cat. And the Cat climbed and climbed the cliff. Swallows hovered over him in a cloud, jackdaws and kestrels flew screaming to their rescue. The cat quickly climbed up and grabbed the edge of the mink with its paw. Now all he had to do was stick his other paw behind the nest and pull it out along with Chirika, chicks and eggs.
But at that moment one kestrel pecked at his tail, another at his head, and two jackdaws struck him in the back.
The cat hissed in pain, turned around and wanted to grab the birds with his front paws. But the birds dodged, and he rolled head over heels down. He had nothing to cling to: the sand poured along with him, and the further, the sooner, the farther, the sooner ...
The birds could no longer see where the Cat was: only a cloud of red dust rushed from the cliff. Plop! and the cloud stopped over the water. When it dissipated, the birds saw a wet cat's head in the middle of the river, and Chick kept up behind and pecked at the back of the Cat's head.
The cat swam across the river and got to the shore. Chick didn't leave him behind. The cat was so frightened that he did not dare to grab him, lifted his wet tail and galloped home.
Since then, the Red Cat has never been seen on the Red Hill.
Chirika calmly brought out six chicks, and a little later, six more, and all of them remained to live in free swallow nests.
And Chick stopped bullying the neighbors and made good friends with the swallows.
Whose legs are these?
The Skylark flew high above the earth, under the very clouds. He looks down - he can see far from above - and sings:
- I'm running under the clouds
Over fields and meadows
I see everyone below me
All under the sun and moon.
Tired of singing, went down and sat on a hummock to rest. Copperhead crawled out from under the tree and said to him:
You can see everything from above, it's true. But you won't recognize anyone from below.
- How can it be? Skylark was surprised. “I will definitely know.
"Come lie down next to me." I'll show you everyone from below, and you guess who's coming.
- Look what! - says the Lark. - I'll come to you, and you will sting me. I'm afraid of snakes.
“So it’s clear that you don’t know anything earthly,” said Copperhead. - First - I'm not a snake, but just a lizard; and the second - snakes do not sting, but bite. I am also afraid of snakes, their teeth are so long, and there is poison in their teeth. And look at me: tiny teeth. I’m not just from a snake with them, I won’t beat you off even then.
“Where are your legs if you are a lizard?”
Why do I need legs if I crawl on the ground like a snake?
“Well, if you really are a legless lizard,” said Lightsong, “then I have nothing to fear.
He jumped off the hummock, tucked his paws under him, and lay down next to Copperhead. Here they are side by side. Copperhead and asks:
“Come on, you skygazer, find out who is coming and why did he come here?”
Skylark looked in front of him and froze: tall legs walk along the ground, through large hummocks, as if through small lumps of earth, they walk, they press a footprint into the ground with their fingers.
Stepped their feet over the Lark and disappeared: not to be seen again.
Copperhead looked at Lightsong and smiled broadly. She licked her dry lips with a thin tongue and said:
“Well, friend, it seems that you didn’t guess my snack. If you knew who stepped through us, you would not be so afraid. Here I am lying and thinking: two legs are high, fingers on each count are three large, one small. And I already know: the bird is big, tall, loves to walk on the ground - stilts are good for walking. So it is: the Crane passed it.
Here Lark started all over with joy: the Crane was familiar to him. A calm bird, kind - will not offend.
- Lie down, do not dance! Copperhead hissed at him. —- Look: the legs are moving again.
And it's true: bare feet hobble along the ground, no one knows whose. The fingers are sheathed like patches of oilcloth.
— Guess! - says Medyanka.
The lark thought and thought—he can never remember ever seeing legs like that before.
- Oh you! Copperhead laughed. “Yes, it’s quite easy to figure it out. You see: the fingers are wide, the legs are flat, they walk on the ground - they stumble. It’s convenient with them in the water, you turn your leg sideways - it cuts the water like a knife; Spread your fingers and the paddle is ready. This Great Crested Grebe - such a water bird - crawled out of the lake.
Suddenly a black ball of wool fell from a tree, rose from the ground and crawled on its elbows.
Lark took a closer look, and these were not elbows at all, but folded wings.
The lump turned sideways - behind it there are tenacious animal paws and a tail, and between the tail and paws the skin is stretched.
- These are miracles! said the Lark. - It seems to be a winged creature, like me, but on earth I can’t recognize it in any way.
— Aha! - the Copperhead was delighted. - You can't find out. He boasted that he knew everyone under the moon, but he did not recognize the Bat.
Then the Bat climbed onto a bump, spread its wings and flew away to its tree. And other legs are climbing out of the ground. Terrible paws: short, hairy, blunt claws on the fingers, hard palms turned out in different directions. The Lark trembled, and Copperhead said:
- I lie, I look and I think: paws in wool - that means animal ones. Short, like stumps, and palms apart, and healthy claws on thick fingers. It is difficult to walk on the ground on such legs. But living underground, digging the earth with your paws and throwing it back behind you is very convenient. That's what happened to me: an underground beast. The mole is called. Look, look, otherwise he will go underground again.
The Mole dug into the ground - and again there is no one. Before Lark had time to come to his senses, lo and behold: hands were running along the ground.
What kind of acrobat is this? Skylark was surprised. Why does he have four arms?
“And jump on the branches in the forest,” Copperhead said. - After all, this is Belka-Veksha.
“Well,” says Skylark, “you took it: I didn’t recognize anyone on earth. Let me give you a riddle now.
“Guess,” says Copperhead.
Do you see a dark dot in the sky?
“I see,” says Copperhead.
Guess what her legs are?
- You're kidding! - says Medyanka. “Where can I see my legs so high?”
- What jokes are there! Skylark got angry. “Fly your tail as fast as you can before those clawed paws grab you.”
He nodded goodbye to Copperhead, jumped up on his paws and flew away.
Whose nose is better?
Mukholov-Ton sat down on a branch and looked around. As soon as a fly or a butterfly flies by, he immediately chases after it, catches it and swallows it. Then again he sits on a branch and again waits, looks out. He saw a grosbeak nearby and began to complain to him about his bitter life.
“It’s very tiring for me,” he says, “to get food for myself. You work and work all day long, you don’t know any rest, you don’t know peace, but you still live from hand to mouth. Think for yourself: how many midges you need to catch in order to be full. And I can’t peck at grains: my nose is too thin.
Yes, your nose is no good! Dubonos said. - Is it my business! I bite their cherry pit like a shell. You sit still and peck at the berries. Here's a nose for you.
Klest-Krestos heard him and said:
- You, Dubonos, have a very simple nose, like Sparrow's, only thicker. Look at my intricate nose! I shell seeds from cones for them all year round. Like this.
Klest deftly pryed the scale of a fir cone with a crooked nose and took out a seed.
- That's right, - said Mukholov, - your nose is cleverly arranged!
“You don’t understand anything in your noses!” croaked Bekas-Long-nosed from the swamp. - A good nose should be straight and long, so that it would be convenient for them to get boogers out of the mud. Look at my nose!
The birds looked down, and there a nose sticking out of the reeds was long, like a pencil, and thin, like a match.
“Ah,” said Mukholov, “I wish I had such a nose!”
Mukholov looked and saw two wonderful noses in front of him: one looks up, the other looks down, and both are thin as a needle.
“My nose looks up for that,” said Shilonos, “so that they can hook any small living creatures in the water.
- And my nose looks down for that, - said Curlew-Serponos, - so that they can drag worms and insects from the grass.
"Well," said Mukholov, "you can't think of anything better than your noses!"
- Yes, you, apparently, did not see real noses! Shrokonos grunted from the puddle. “Look what real noses are: wow!
All the birds burst out laughing, right in the nose of Shirokonos: “Well, a shovel!”
- But it’s convenient for them to alkalize water! said Broad-nosed irritably, and hastily tipped his head into the puddle again.
- Pay attention to my nose! - the modest gray Goat-Kozodoy-Setkonos whispered from the tree. - I have it tiny, but it serves me both as a net and a throat. Midges, mosquitoes, butterflies in droves fall into my mesh-throat when I fly above the ground at night.
— How is that? Mukholov was surprised.
- That's how! - said the Kozodoy-Setkonos, but as soon as the throat opens, all the birds shied away from him.
- Here's a lucky one! Mukholov said. - I grab one midge at a time, and he catches them in hundreds at once!
“Yes,” the birds agreed, “you won’t get lost with such a mouth!”
- Hey you little one! shouted the Sack-Bag Pelican to them from the lake. - Caught a midge - and are happy. And there is no way to reserve something for yourself. I'll catch a fish - I'll put it aside for myself in a bag, I'll catch it again - and put it aside again.
The fat Pelican raised his nose, and under his nose was a bag full of fish.
- That's the nose! Mukholov exclaimed. - A whole pantry! You can't think of anything more convenient!
“You must not have seen my nose yet,” said the Woodpecker. - Here, enjoy!
- And what about admiring him? Mukholov said. - The most ordinary nose: straight, not very long, without a net and without a bag. It takes a long time to get food for lunch with such a nose, but don’t even think about stocks.
“You can’t just think about food all the time,” said the Dolbonos Woodpecker. - We, forest workers, need to have a tool with us for carpentry and joinery work. We not only get food for ourselves, but also hollow out a tree: we arrange a dwelling for ourselves and for other birds. Here is my chisel!
- Miracles! Mukholov said. “I've seen so many noses today, but I can't decide which one is better. Here's what, brothers: you all get close. I will look at you and choose the best nose.
Dubonos, Krestonos, Dolgonos, Shilonos, Shirokonos, Setkonos, Meshkonos and Dolbonos lined up in front of Flycatcher-Tonkonos.
But then a gray Hook-Hawk fell from above, grabbed Mukholov and took him to dinner. And the rest of the birds frightened scattered in different directions.
High above the river, over a steep cliff, young shore swallows swam. They chased each other with a squeal and a squeak: they played tag. There was one little Beregovushka in their flock, so agile: it was impossible to catch up with her in any way - she dodges everyone. A tag will chase after her, and she will rush back and forth, down, up, to the side, and how she starts to fly - only the wings flicker.
Suddenly - out of nowhere - the Hobby Falcon rushes. Sharp curved wings whistle.
The swallows were alarmed: all scattered, in all directions, the whole flock scattered in an instant.
And the agile Beregovushka from him without looking back across the river, over the forest, and across the lake!
Very scary tag Cheglok-Falcon.
She flew, flew Beregovushka - she got out of her strength.
I turned around and there was no one behind me. I looked around - and the place was completely unfamiliar. I looked down - the river flows below. Only not his own - someone else's.
Beregovushka was scared.
She did not remember the way home: how could she remember when she rushed without memory from fear!
And it was already evening - the night was coming soon. How to be here?
Little Beregovushka became terribly. She flew down, sat on the shore and wept bitterly.
Suddenly she sees: a yellow bird with a black tie around her neck is running past her on the sand.
The shorebird was delighted, asked the yellow bird:
- Tell me, please, how can I get home?
Whose are you? asks the yellow bird.
“I don’t know,” the Coast Guard replies.
It will be difficult for you to find your home! says the yellow bird. Soon the sun will set, it will become dark. You'd better stay at my place for the night. My name is Zuyok. And my house is right here.
Plover ran a few steps and pointed to the sand with his beak. Then he bowed, swayed on his thin legs and said:
“Here it is, my house. Come in!
Beregovushka glanced - there was sand and pebbles all around, but there was no house at all.
“Can't you see? Zuyok was surprised. - Look here, where the eggs lie between the pebbles.
Forcibly, forcibly, Beregovushka made out: four eggs in brown specks lie side by side right on the sand among the pebbles.
- Well, what are you? Zuyok asks. - Don't you like my house?
The beregovushka does not know what to say: if you say that he does not have a house, the owner will still be offended. Here she says to him:
“I’m not used to sleeping in clean air, on bare sand, without a bedding ...
- I'm sorry I'm not used to it! Zuyok says. “Then fly over there to that spruce forest. Ask a dove there, named Vityuten. His house has a floor. Sleep with him.
- Well, thank you! - Beregovushka was delighted.
And flew into the spruce forest.
There she soon found the forest pigeon Vityutnya and asked him to spend the night.
“Spend the night if you like my hut,” says Vityuten.
And what is Vityutnya's hut? One floor, and even that one, like a sieve, is full of holes. It's just that the twigs on the branches are thrown at random. White pigeon eggs lie on twigs. You can see them from below: they shine through the holey floor. Beregovushka was surprised.
“Your house,” she says to Vityutnya, “has one floor, not even walls. How to sleep in it?
- Well, - says Vityuten, - if you need a house with walls, fly, look for Ivolga. You will like her.
And Vityuten told Beregovushka Ivolga's address: in a grove, on the most beautiful birch.
Beregovushka flew into the grove.
And in the birch grove one another is more beautiful. I searched, searched for Ivolgin's house, and finally I saw: a tiny light house hanging on a birch branch. Such a cozy house, and it looks like a rose made from thin sheets of gray paper.
“What a small house Ivolga has! thought the Shoreline. "Even I can't fit in it." As soon as she wanted to knock, wasps suddenly flew out of the gray house.
They swirled, buzzed - now they will sting! Beregovushka was frightened and quickly flew away.
Rushing among the green foliage.
Something gold and black flashed before her eyes.
She flew closer, sees: a golden bird with black wings sits on a branch.
"Where are you going, little one?" - shouts the golden bird to Beregovushka.
“Ivolgin is looking for a house,” Beregovushka replies.
“The oriole is me,” says the golden bird. - And my house is here, on this beautiful birch.
Shoreline stopped and looked where Ivolga was pointing to. At first she could not distinguish anything: everything was just green leaves and white birch branches.
And when I looked, I gasped.
High above the ground, a light wicker basket is suspended from a branch. And Beregovushka sees that this is indeed a house. Intricately so retinue of hemp and stalks, hairs and hairs and thin birch peel.
— Wow! - says Beregovushka Ivolga. “I will never stay in this rickety building!” It sways, and everything before my eyes is spinning, spinning ... And just look, it will be blown to the ground by the wind. And you don't have a roof.
- Go to Penochka! - the golden Oriole says to her offendedly. “If you are afraid to sleep in the fresh air, then you will probably like it in her hut under the roof.
Beregovushka flew to Penochka.
Little Yellow Warbler lived in the grass just under the same birch where Ivolgina's airy cradle hung. Beregovushka really liked her hut made of dry grass and moss.
“That's nice! she rejoiced. - There is a floor, and walls, and a roof, and a bed of soft feathers! Just like in our house!”
Affectionate Penochka began to put her to bed. Suddenly the ground beneath them trembled, hummed. Beregovushka started up, listens, and Penochka says to her:
- These are horses galloping into the grove.
“Will your roof stand,” asks Shoreline, “if a horse steps on it with a hoof?”
Chiffchaff just shook her head sadly and didn't answer her.
- Oh, how scary it is here! - said Shoreline and fluttered out of the hut in an instant. - Here I will not close my eyes all night: I will keep thinking that they will crush me. It’s calm at home: no one will step on you and throw you to the ground.
“So, it’s true, you have a house like Great Trestle’s,” Penochka guessed. - Her house is not on the Tree - the wind will not blow it away, and not on the ground - no one will crush it. Do you want me to take you there?
- Want! Beregovushka says.
They flew to Chomga.
They flew to the lake and see: in the middle of the water, on a reed island, a big-headed bird sits. On the head of a bird, feathers stand erect, like horns.
Here Chiffchaff said goodbye to Beregovushka and ordered her to ask to spend the night with this horned bird.
Beregovushka flew off and sat on an island. He sits and wonders: the island, it turns out, is floating. A pile of dry reed floats on the lake. There is a hole in the middle of the pile, and the bottom of the hole is covered with soft marsh grass. Chomgin's eggs lie on the grass, covered with light, dry reeds.
And the horned Grebe herself sits on the island from the edge, travels around the lake in her boat.
The shorebird told Crested Crested Grebe that she was looking for and could not find a place to sleep, and asked to spend the night.
- Aren't you afraid to sleep on the waves? Chomga asks her.
“Won’t your house land on the shore at night?”
“My house is not a steamship,” says Chomga. Wherever the wind takes him, there he swims. So we will swing all night on the waves.
"I'm afraid..." whispered Shoreline. - I want to go home, to my mother ...
Chomga got angry.
“Here,” she says, “how fastidious! You won't please! Fly, look for yourself a house that you like.
Chomga Beregovushka drove away, and she flew away.
It flies and cries without tears: birds do not know how to cry with tears.
And the night is coming: the sun has set, it is getting dark. Beregovushka flew into a dense forest, looks: a house is built on a tall spruce, on a thick bough.
All of boughs, of sticks, round, and warm, soft moss sticks out from the inside.
“This is a good house,” she thinks, “strong and with a roof.”
Little Beregovushka flew up to the big house, tapped her beak on the wall and asked in a plaintive voice:
- Let me in, please, hostess, to spend the night!
And suddenly a red-haired animal muzzle with protruding mustaches, with yellow teeth, suddenly sticks out of the house! Yes, how the monster roars:
- Since when do birds knock at night, ask to spend the night with squirrels in the house?
Beregovushka died - her heart sank like a stone - She recoiled, soared over the forest and headlong, without looking back, ran away.
She flew, she flew - she was exhausted. I turned around and there was no one behind me. She looked around, and the place was familiar. I looked down - the river flows below. Your own river, dear!
An arrow rushed down to the river, and from there - up, under the very cliff of the steep bank.
And in the cliff - holes, holes, holes. These are all swallow minks.
Beregovushka darted into one of them. She scurried off and ran down a long, long, narrow, narrow corridor. She ran to its end and fluttered into a spacious round room.
Her mother has been waiting here for a long time.
That night, the tired little Beregovushka had a sweet sleep on her soft, warm bed made of blades of grass, horsehair and feathers ...
The ocean wave is wide. From ridge to ridge - two hundred meters. And below the water is dark, impenetrable.
There are many fish in the Arctic Ocean, but it is difficult to catch them.
White gulls fly in a flock over the waves: they are fishing.
Hours on the wings, no time to sit down. They stared into the water with their eyes: they are watching to see if the dark back of a fish flashes somewhere.
The big fish are in the depths. Fry - he walks on horseback, in herds.
The herd seagull noticed. Slipped down. I plunged, grabbed the fish across the body - and again into the air.
We saw other seagulls. Flocked. Tumbling into the water. Grab. They fight, they scream.
Only in vain they quarrel: densely the fry goes. Enough for the whole artel.
And the wave rolls on the shore.
For the last time, it stood up like a cliff, burst - and ridged down.
It rumbled with pebbles, threw up foam - and back into the sea.
And in the garden - on the sand, on the pebbles - a dead fish remained, a shell, a sea urchin, worms. Just don’t yawn here, grab it, otherwise it will wash away with a crazy wave. Easy living!
Fomka the robber is right there.
Look at him - a seagull is like a seagull. And the growth is the same, and paws with membranes. Just all dark. And he does not like to fish, like other seagulls.
It's a shame right away: he wanders along the shore on foot, supplementing himself with dead meat, like some kind of crow.
And he himself looks at the sea, then at the shore: is anyone flying? Likes to fight.
That's why they called him a robber.
I saw - oystercatchers gathered on the shore, they collect sea acorns from wet stones.
In an instant, he scared everyone away, dispersed: everything is mine here - away.
A pied mouse flickered in the grass. Crowbar on the wings - and there. His wings are sharp and fast.
Pestrushka - run. Rolls like a ball, hurries to the mink.
Did not make it! Fomka caught up, tapped his beak. Pied spirit out.
He sat down, butchered the pestle. And again on the shore, wandering, picking up dead meat, looking into the sea - at the white gulls.
Here one separated from the flock, flies to the shore. In the beak is a fish. The children are carried to the nest. Hungry, go, little ones, while the mother was fishing.
Seagull closer and closer. Crowbar on the wings - and to her.
The seagull noticed, more often it waved its wings, side, side takes away.
Her beak is busy - there is nothing to defend against the robber.
Fomka behind her.
A seagull on the move - and Fomka on the move.
A seagull is higher - and Fomka is higher.
Caught up! From above, like a hawk, hit.
The seagull squealed, but did not release the fish.
The crowbar is picking up again.
Seagull back and forth - and rushes with all his might.
Yes, you can’t get away from Fomka! He is fast and agile, like a swift. Again hung from above - it's about to hit! ..
The seagull couldn't resist. She screamed in fear - she released the fish.
Fomka only needs that. He did not let the fish fall into the water - he picked it up in the air and swallowed it on the fly.
The seagull screams, groans from resentment. And what about Fomke! He knows that the seagull cannot overtake him. And it will catch up - it's worse for her.
He looks - is there another gull with prey flying somewhere?
Not long to wait: one after another, the seagulls pulled home - to the shore.
Crowbar does not let them down. He drives, tortures a bird, picks up a small fish from it - and that was it!
The seagulls were out of control. Look out for fish again, catch!
And it's in the evening. It's time for Fomka to go home.
I got up and flew into the tundra. There he has a nest between the bumps. The wife of the children hatches.
He flew to the place, looks: no wife, no nest! Around only fluff flies and egg shells are lying around.
He looked up, and there, in the distance, a black dot looms slightly on a cloud: a white-tailed eagle is soaring.
Then Fomka understood who had eaten his wife and ruined the nest. Rushed up.
Chased, chased - do not catch up with the eagle.
Fomka began to suffocate, and he rises higher and higher in circles, and look, he will still grab him from above.
Fomka returned to earth.
I spent the night that night alone in the tundra, on a hummock.
No one knows where the seagulls have a home. Such birds. You can only see: they rush in the air like flakes of snow, or they sit down to rest right on the waves, sway on them like flakes of foam. So they live between the sky and unsteady waves, but they definitely don’t rely on houses.
It's a secret for everyone where they take their children, but not for Fomka.
The next morning - he woke up a little - he flies to the place where a large river flows into the ocean.
Here, opposite the very mouth of the river, it is as if a huge white ice floe in the ocean.
But where does the ice floe come from in the summer?
Fomka has a sharp eye: he sees that this is not an ice floe, but an island, and white gulls are sitting on it. Hundreds of them, thousands on the island.
The island is sandy - a river of yellow sand has swept, and from a distance it is all white from a bird.
Above the island scream and noise. Seagulls rise in a white cloud, scatter in different directions to fish. Flock after flock flies along the shore, artel after artel begins to fish.
Fomka sees: there are very few gulls left on the island, and they all strayed to one side. It can be seen that the fish approached that edge.
Fomka sideways, sideways, above the water itself - to the island. He flew up and sat down on the sand.
The seagulls did not notice him.
Fomka's eyes lit up. Jumped to one hole. There are eggs.
With a beak, a cook is one thing, a cook is another, a cook is a third! And he drank everything. Jumped to another hole. There are two eggs and a chick.
Didn't feel sorry for the little one. He grabbed it in his beak, wanted to take a sip. And how the gull squeaks!
In an instant, the seagulls rushed in. Where did they come from - a whole flock! They shouted, rushed to the robber.
Fomka threw the gull - and fought!
He was desperate, but then he got cold feet: he knew that it was bad luck. Seagulls will be able to stand up for their chicks.
Rushing to the shore, and in front of him - another flock of gulls.
Fomka got into trouble here! He fought famously, but still two long, sharp feathers plucked seagulls from his tail. Barely escaped.
Well, let the fighter not get used to the beaters.
I spent the night in the tundra, and in the morning it was again drawn to the shore. Why starve when there is lunch lying under your feet!
Just arrived, he sees: something is wrong on the island. Seagulls hover over him, screaming piercingly. I didn’t have time to fly, and what a hubbub they raised!
I really wanted to turn back, looking - a huge white-tailed eagle was flying towards the island. Wide spread wings, does not move them. Glides from a height straight to the seagulls.
Fomka caught fire from anger: he recognized the enemy. He took off - and to the island.
Seagulls groan in fear, soar higher, higher and higher, so as not to fall into the claws.
And below, in the sandy holes, there are small chaichats. They clung to the ground, they are afraid to die: they hear - anxiety, and the spirit froze.
The eagle saw them. He outlined three in one hole and opened his claws. The claws are long, squiggles, they will grab all three at once.
Only once did the eagle move its wings - and rushed steeply down, straight at the chicks.
Seagulls scattered in front of him in all directions.
Only suddenly a dark shadow flashed in their white flock.
From above, Fomka fell on the eagle with an arrow and, with all his strength, hit him with his beak in the back.
The eagle turned around quickly. But he dodged even faster, Fomka soared. Once again he fell, hit his wide wing with his beak.
The eagle screamed in pain. I forgot the chaichat - he’s not up to them! He turned around in pursuit of Fomka. He waved his heavy wings once and twice, rushed after the impudent bully.
And Fomka has already made a circle in the air and is rushing to the shore.
The seagulls again huddled together, screaming, laughing piercingly.
They saw how the white-tail, without touching their chicks, chased Fomka.
A minute later, both birds - large and small - disappeared from their eyes.
And the next morning, the seagulls again saw Fomka: safe and sound, he flew past the island - in pursuit of a frightened crow.
“There is a kind of cheerful force in me. I see: everything that I had and have is good, bright in life ... - from this power. She is blessed both in me and in others - in people, birds, flowers and trees, in earth and water, ”Vitaly Bianchi wrote in his diary.
In the summer, the Bianchi family left for the village of Lebyazhye. Here Vitaly first went on a real forest journey. He was then 5-6 years old. Since then, the forest has become a magical land for him. Father constantly took little Vitaly with him into the forest, telling him about every bird and animal. Bianchi kept the tradition of spending the summer in nature, in the countryside, for life.
Vitaly studied at the gymnasium, then at the Faculty of Natural Sciences at the university, served in the army, and later worked as a school teacher. And Vitaly Bianchi always considered his father to be HIS main forest teacher. It was he who taught his son to record all observations. In numerous notebooks, Bianchi kept his notes on the habits of birds and animals, special local words, proverbs, hunting stories and stories of experienced people. Brother Anatoly, who often traveled with him, took photographs.
After many years, these observations were transformed into fascinating stories and fairy tales about nature.
Vitaly Bianchi wrote: “Forest houses”, “Whose nose is better?”, “Mouse Peak”, “Teremok”, “Like an ant hurried home”, “Latka” and many others. From 1928, the work of the writer begins and continues until 1958 - as much as 30 years, on his main book "Forest Newspaper", ten editions of which were constantly supplemented and changed by the writer himself and came out during his lifetime.
Most of Bianchi's stories are about the forest, which he knew well from childhood. Bianchi's works teach to love nature and take care of it, watch animals and be ready to always help the weak.
A great creative success was brought to Bianchi by the radio program "News from the Forest", which lasted for many years and was very fond of the audience, on which he worked with his students. The last book of the writer, "Bird Identifier in the Wild" remained unfinished.
Vitaly Valentinovich Bianchi died in 1959, when he was 65 years old.
Vitaly Valentinovich Bianki(1894 - 1959) - Russian writer, author of numerous children's works.
It is best to start a child's first acquaintance with the natural world with the help of the works of Vitaly Bianchi. The author managed to describe the inhabitants of forests, fields, rivers and lakes in a very detailed and fascinating way. After reading his stories, children will begin to recognize the birds and animals that can be found both in the city park and in more natural habitats.
Thanks to the creativity of the talented author, kids can easily penetrate under the dense canopy of trees, where tits, kinglets, woodpeckers, crows and many other feathered creatures live. Each work of the writer is filled with details of the daily life of all the inhabitants of the forest. After getting acquainted with the stories of V. Bianchi, the child will receive a large amount of entertaining information about the world around him.
Read stories by Vitaliy Bianchi online
The author paid considerable attention to the habits of living beings and their places of residence. Kids will learn how difficult it is for tiny creatures to survive if a formidable hunter has settled nearby. They will also understand that mutual assistance is not only among people. Fascinating stories by Vitaliy Bianchi can be read on our website; they are designed for children of all ages.
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