Where the wild things are short story

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Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Plot Summary of “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality study guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.

Where the Wild Things Are (1963) by Maurice Sendak is a children's picture book that follows Max, a young boy dressed in a wolf costume, as he conjures up a wild adventure in his bedroom.

At the beginning of the story, Max is in his wolf costume hammering knotted clothes to the wall and chasing his dog with a fork. As a result, his mom tells him he is a "wild thing," and Max replies that he will eat her up. She sends him to bed without supper.

In Max's bedroom, a forest begins to grow. At first, just a few trees appear, but soon, his whole room is a forest. Max goes into the woods and finds an ocean where he boards his private sailboat. He sails in and out of weeks and for a year, and then arrives at the land where the Wild Things live. There, the monster-like Things gnash their teeth and roll their eyes in an attempt to scare Max, but Max isn't afraid. He uses a "magic trick" where he stares directly into their eyes, quickly gaining control of them. The Things make him the "King of all Wild Things. He plays with his new Wild Thing crew. Together, they howl at the moon, hang from trees, and Max catches a ride on one Wild Thing's back.

Max then orders the Wild Things to stop and sends them to bed without supper. He smells his dinner from across the ocean and starts to feel lonely. He wants to go back to where "someone loved him best of all."

As he boards his boat to head home, the Wild Things try to get Max to stay. They gnash their teeth and roll their eyes, saying, "We'll eat you up—we love you so!" Max waves goodbye. Max sails in and out of weeks, for a year and arrives back at his room. There, he finds his supper waiting for him, and it is still hot.

A significant theme the book explores is handling one’s emotions. Max is frustrated and angry when his mother sends him to bed, but he escapes into his imagination where he can expend his energy having a “rumpus” with the Wild Things. There, he observes reality from an outside perspective and decides to return to "where he's loved."

Originally an illustrator, Sendak began writing and illustrating his own books in the 1950s. Earlier drafts of Where the Wild Things Are saw Max escaping to a land of wild horses, but Sendak found that drawing horses was too difficult. His editor suggested the "Wild Things" of the current version.

Sendak's Jewish-Polish background shaped many aspects of the book. "Wild Things" comes from a Yiddish term used to describe ornery children: "vilde chaya," or "wild animals." Sendak used caricatures of his relatives, poor Jewish-Polish immigrants, as the faces of the Wild Things. On visits to these relatives as a child, Sendak would retreat into his drawings to get away from the "crazy faces and wild eyes" of the desperate, uneducated immigrants.

Sendak credits his successful career with his dark, unhappy childhood. He recalls in one interview how angry he was at his father for not coming to his bar mitzvah when, unbeknownst to him, his father had just learned that all of his family back in Poland were killed the Holocaust.

Sendak prided himself on never lying to children and in presenting real-world problems, such as homelessness. "Solving the problems of homelessness, or any other social problems isn't the real purpose of this book," he said, "These are difficult times for children. Children have to be brave to survive what the world does to them. And this world is scrungier and rougher and dangerouser than it ever was before."

Despite some initial negative reviews, the book was popular with children. Two years later, the book was revisited, receiving more-favorable reviews. Francis Spufford, for example, called it "One of the very few picture books to make an entirely deliberate and beautiful use of the psychoanalytic story of anger. "

In 2007, the book was named one of the Teachers' Top 100 Books for Children by the National Education Association, and in 2012 a survey conducted by NYPL librarian Elizabeth Bird concluded that Where the Wild Things Are was still number one.

Despite refusing to write a sequel to the book, once calling such a thing "the most boring idea imaginable," Sendak did make a connection between the themes of Where the Wild Things Are and two of his other books, In the Night Kitchen and Outside Over There.

There have been several different adaptations of the book, with an animated short directed by Gene Deitch in 1973, an opera composed by Oliver Knussen in the 1980s and a live-action film directed by Spike Jonze in 2009.

Connecting through play with "Where The Wild Things Are"

Good readers think actively as they read and make connections with what they are reading. They connect with the characters in the story, the situations the characters find themselves in and the setting in which the story takes place.

Good readers grasp the mood of the story, anticipate upcoming events, reflect on past events and become emotionally involved in the text. Making connections is one of the key reading strategies children can use to enable them to better process the words and ideas which they read about.

If we, as parents, want to help our children become good readers, we can help them to discover these connections and read more deeply into books. One way of doing this is by asking your child to re-tell a story which you have just read to them, or which they have just read on their own. In order to re-tell the story your child will have to digest the information in the story, reflect on it and then reproduce it in their own way. In so doing they will inevitably start to connect more with the characters and events taking place.

A fun way for young children to re-tell a story is by acting it out with props. With young children any purely verbal narration of the story is likely to be pretty short. However, with props you can hold the interest of your child for longer and encourage them to tell the story in more detail. This will provide more opportunities for them to start building connections with what they have just read.

My sons love playing with Gormiti figures at the moment. That gave me the idea of asking them to re-tell the well-known story by Maurice Sendak, Where The Wild Things Are, one of the best loved children's picture books around. I reckoned that a Gormiti is a pretty good approximation to a Wild Thing! Keep reading to see what we did.

With a lot of help from Lego, Playmobil and Gormitis we built miniature 'sets' for different scenes in the book. This was a fun activity in its own right, and I must say I enjoyed helping out! As you can see my little wild ones also enjoyed themselves.

We then sat down and read the book. My children are already familiar with the story so I only read it once, but if it had been a book they knew less well I would have read it a few times.

I then encouraged my sons to take turns to re-tell the story, using the different scenes and props which we had laid out on the table. Both boys did really well and had fun. I needed to prompt them every now and again to encourage them to describe the story in as much detail as possible, and not just act it out silently. But once prompted they rose to the challenge.

I was interested to see that, since they know the book quite well, they occasionally quoted verbatim from the book, particularly when they got to the bit about how the Wild Things "roared their terrible roars and gnashed their terrible teeth and rolled their terrible eyes and showed their terrible claws". It would be hard to paraphrase that line of Sendak's!

Here are some pictures of the sets we played with. The quotes are all taken from the book:

"His mother called him "WILD THING" and Max said "I'LL EAT YOU UP!"

"That very night in Max's room a forest grew"

". ..and an ocean tumbled by with a private boat for Max"

"And when he came to the place where the wild things are they roared their terrible roars"

"...till Max said "BE STILL!" and tamed them with the magic trick of staring into all their yellow eyes"

"And now," cried Max, "let the wild rumpus start!"

At this point I played "Wild Thing" by the Troggs and we all danced around wildly to the music roaring, gnashing our teeth and showing our claws. That took me back a few years to the discos where I used to dance to that record, although hopefully my dancing style was a little better back then...

"...where he found his supper waiting for him"

At the time my children only wanted to re-tell the story once each. However, I would like to return to this activity again soon and use it to talk with them in more detail about elements of the story, in order to deepen their thinking about the book and so further increase the connections they make with it.

For example, I would like to explore Max's emotions at different parts of the story - when he is told off by his mother, when he sails away on his own, when he sees the Wild Things for the first time etc. I will ask my sons to think about what Max is feeling at these moments and try to give examples of when they have felt the same sort of emotion.

I will also ask them to think of other ways in which the story could have ended, and act out these alternative endings.

This method of re-telling a story is limited only by your imagination and can be applied to all sorts of books using any props you find lying around the house.

So go and have fun with story-telling, whether with Where The Wild Things Are or another of your children's favourites, and watch your kids play "happily ever after".

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Stories of the finalists of the second season of the competition

Dudko Maria. Keys

So... Tick... So...

The voice of the old grandfather clock from the hallway already met me, but I could not open the door. Well, where are these keys?... Really lost? Only this was not enough, and so the day didn't work out!.. Ah, no, that's it...

The clock struck eight when I stepped on the creaky parquet of the hallway. How I missed the quietness of my apartment! I just wanted to fall apart on a shabby sofa, and lie there until the morning . .. But instead, I trudged to the computer. While the old unit, inherited from the dinosaurs, turned on, I made myself coffee. Today you will need more than one mug. Article for the night, and inspiration from gulkin's nose. They also threaten to make layoffs at work. You can not delay, otherwise the dismissal cannot be avoided. And it would not be bad to update the blog, otherwise the last subscribers will soon scatter. Eh…

I worked in the editorial office of a magazine that was in demand in our district, and in the city in general. The editor - Fedot Stepanovich - always put only the best into print.

The best. Yes. It means not me. For some reason, lately my writing has not been impressive at all. Even myself. Honestly, not surprised. It looks like I've lost the spark, like there was nothing to write about. It's funny somehow: I live in a metropolis, where something happens every day, but I look as if into a void. Other people's problems ceased to excite, everyone here is a drop in the ocean. So my news is gray, alien, distant and unnecessary, in general, to no one.

What did I write about? As I then still thought, about the important. About eternal, to some extent. I noticed that the people around were so closed that they seemed to stop seeing each other, let alone feel and understand. Everyone at some point withdraws into himself and loses the key to the door he entered. Locks up the heart. Puts on a mask. Indifferent. And silently walks along the gray stones of the pavement...

I just wanted to be heard... I thought I would become the key to the world on this side of the mask. I will help those in need with my word, I will teach people to listen and hear, I will save the world... But it seems that something went wrong. And now... Now I don't even know how to save myself. So in response I get the cry of tearing paper and the famous last warning from the lips of Fedot Stepanych. Last chance. Tomorrow I will not come with a sensation - that's it. Well... It looks like it's time to forget about your reasoning for a while and plunge into the world of human intrigues. Write what will be read. What is expected of me. No not like this. What do you expect from an article in our magazine.

What are the stone jungles talking about these days? What is the wind of change carrying along their paved paths? The most discussed topic was a series of strange deaths, however, as is usually the case. For a long time now, criminals taken into custody have been dying one after another. The most different: from simple pickpockets to almost murderers, adults and still teenagers of fourteen years. Most of them haven't even been sentenced yet. And they all have the same diagnosis - poisoning. What is still a mystery. This happened with some frequency in different parts of the city, but most often in our police department. And, by pure chance, none other than my older brother, officer Yuri Diskarin, worked there.

How I could use his help now... But no. My brother and I don't get along. And they never got along. It just so happened ... Probably, we are just too different. Yurik is secretive, distrustful. He never told me anything, he preferred to do everything himself, and I felt that he did not need me at all. I must have been a little jealous of my brother. He is successful, just the pride of the family, and I grab the last chance to stay at work.

...Grabbing for one last chance to stay at work. Although ... You can try to find out about the high-profile case first hand, so to speak. This, for sure, would interest Fedot Stepanych, but he would have to turn to his brother for help. Yeah ... And once again become a loser in the eyes of a whole family. Hell no! Even for the sake of work, I will not ask for the help of this person!

Well, nothing. I prepared, collected materials, now I will write and saved! I manage myself. If only I could make it in the morning…


The sound took me by surprise. It was a signal that the factory was over, from the old watch in the corridor. The matter is fixable. I got up, went to the clock, opened the lid and reached for the key with a familiar gesture. Only the key was missing. What's the strange thing? In my house, I appreciated order, but such incidents just unsettled ... What should I do now, look for this lost key? Looks like I'll have to...

Casting a sad glance at the computer, I began to remember where I could put this old piece of iron. So I have already climbed several shelves, looked into the boxes and ...

What is this? There was an envelope in the dresser. And, if I was ready to see the key to the winding mechanism among the socks, with my absent-mindedness, then there’s no strange message at all. Although, maybe I'm too naive? Oh, I don't like it all...

Naturally, I opened the envelope and immediately recognized Yurik's handwriting.

"I'm not sure I wasn't followed. Check your mail. I never forgot your birthday!

What jokes? I knew that it was necessary to take away the keys from him when he moved in! Wait, there's something on the back...

"KeyHole4u. .."

I scanned the hastily written lines again. The text seemed devoid of meaning and meant nothing to me.

What is he? For henbane, it seems, it’s not the season ... Just in case, I checked the calendar and made sure that my birthday is not today and not even in the coming days. The only thing that made sense was to check your email.

What am I doing with my time? Before my hand could close the text editor, a window popped up asking if I really wanted to do it. Here, even it is mocking...

I actually received one letter in the mail. So, why is Yurik doing this: invading my house with a strange note and tweeting on the Internet at the same time? After all, isn't it easier to call? Of course, I would not jump with delight when something would make our little star descend to mere mortals, but why reinvent the wheel?

So I thought as I sipped my cold coffee while waiting for the text to load. Finally, the following lines loomed before my eyes:

“Hello, Egor.

I know you will be surprised by my letter, but I wouldn't bother you if it wasn't really serious. I wanted to call, but my new phone didn't have your number. My number hasn't changed, if you're interested...

Let's get down to business. We need to talk. But the conversation must be face to face. Come today at nine at the intersection of Pskovskaya and Myasnaya, there, in the courtyard of house 26, I will be waiting for you.

It's about a series of prisoner deaths. Correction, about a series of murders... I thought it might interest you, I'll explain everything at the meeting, if, of course, you show up... your guilt. But I ask you to believe me one single time. You are my last key to hope. I expect you to read this letter and come.

Your brother Yuri Diskarin


Everything is more and more wonderful, as the heroine of a famous fairy tale used to say…

I re-read the message several times to make sure that I had really ceased to understand anything. Except, perhaps, for the fact that some kind of mystery lies in this whole affair, and Yurka for me now is the key to all answers. Besides, since he himself calls me to talk, I will not fail to interview the lead investigator ... Unless, of course, this is a stupid attempt at a joke ... But it is unlikely that he would write to me for fun.

And what, now it's raining again, right?.. But he came home! Okay, I’ll figure it out quickly, and I’ll have another six hours for the article ... I glanced at the clock, belatedly remembering that this was pointless. Another advertising message comes to the phone, helpfully suggesting that I need to go out if I want to be in time for a meeting. Having extinguished the monitor that had just woken up and abruptly grabbed my raincoat, which had not yet dried out after a day's walk, I jumped out into the entrance.

Only at the car I hesitated a little. Isn't it too easy for me to fit in? Just a couple of minutes ago, I was sure that for the sake of my brother I would not lift an eyebrow, and for my own sake I would not mess with him. What did this message do to me?

It filled me with a sense of self-importance. Finally, something depended on me, on me alone! Probably, I was driven by the desire to prove that I was worth something ... But I didn’t want to admit such motives. From this, an incomprehensible annoyance settled in my head, but I stubbornly explained it only by the time spent, taken away from writing the article.

Stopping at the appointed place, I looked at my watch. Another full five minutes ... It was possible to leave later, although ... as if it would give me something. Around no one like Yuri.

An unpleasant, vile fog reigned in the street. I hid from him in the car.

The sun has long since set behind the clouds, and the city has lit its fires. Lanterns, not stars. I sometimes thought about how this noisy world lacked stars. Each of them is unique, even though there are billions of them in the darkness of the sky. It's the same with people, isn't it? But we almost purposely forget about that, therefore we hide from condemning burning looks from the depths of the immense.

And just now the thought flashed through my head: how often do I myself think about others? It would seem that constantly ...

I digressed from philosophical reflections to look at the time. Five minutes. There was no one even humanoid in sight, the yard was empty.

Ten... I'm checking my phone, mail. Not a line about being late.

Twenty! No, it's not serious anymore! I shouldn't have come... Nervously dialing a number, preparing a scathing speech. In response, only long beeps are heard. Okay... Let's wait... You never know. He's got a job too... Trying to calm down seems to be working until I remember that damned article not started at all! Where the hell are these fools?!

"I'm waiting another fifteen minutes and I'm leaving" - I angrily type a message and press "Send" furiously.

Time is running out and the message hasn't even been read! Twenty-five minutes... thirty... Still silence. There is no point in waiting any longer.

To clear my conscience, I call again. A melodious female voice is heard from the handset:

- The device of the called subscriber is turned off or is out of coverage area ... - the lady says, slowly repeating the phrase in English.

- Damn you! .. - hissing irritably, I throw the phone on the next seat. - So... Okay... I warned you, I waited... waited longer than promised. Now you can go home with a clear conscience.

As I looked down the road, I was surprised to find myself not so much angry as nervous. It pissed me off even more…


There was less and less time left for work, and I continued to pace the apartment. Usually such a calm creak of the floorboards now mocked my poor hearing with all its might. It was by no means the article that occupied my thoughts, despite the fact that they would not forgive me if I screwed up such material...

Minutes passed slowly. I felt them even without the usual ticking of the clock. OK. I will be frank with myself, because my strength is no more, and then to work! All this is strange! What exactly? That I couldn't get through. Yura does not turn off the phone and diligently monitors its charge, he should always be in touch, should I, as a brother, know about this. Also this line from that note, it is no coincidence that it is the very first ...

So... don't panic. What the hell is this blockhead in general so businesslike settled in my head?! Anything happens. Everything! Article. Only an article.

By an effort of will, I managed to sit down in front of the monitor and even write a couple of lines before I again plunged into thought. And yet... what could have happened?..


The days passed like clockwork, but not mine. I never found the key, and I haven’t tried, to be honest, since that evening. They froze, showing half past nine, as if that day had not yet passed. I didn't show up for work the next morning. I don't believe it myself... how could I put everything on the altar for the sake of a person whom I was mortally envious of, whose disappearance I dreamed of... the one whom I knew all my life and with whom I was still connected invisibly?!. .

And the apartment! Oh... if the old me had seen what my temple of comfort had turned into... however, he would have shot himself right away, leaving behind only the gloomy aesthetics of a broken creator... All the tables were cluttered with dirty mugs and fast food packages. The entire floor is full of shoe marks. Here and there were meticulously compiled lists of those with whom my brother could communicate, where he could go, who could wish him harm...

But none of that mattered anymore...

“- Yegor Diskarin? - I heard a calm male voice from my phone this morning.

- Yes. I answered nervously.

- The police are bothering you - my heart threatened to break my chest. It must be from stress and lack of sleep ... And in the meantime, in my head: "If only they could find ...".

- Your brother was found today at noon, - a slight pause, as if to realize what was said, - He is dead. The circumstances of death are being investigated. - just as calmly, as if nothing had happened, the man on the other end of the wire continues. - We offer our condolences. Today you should come to the department ... "

Followed by instructions and occasional questions to which I answered things like “yes”, “no” and “understood”. Be afraid of your desires. Found...

I spent the next half day in the same department. Some papers, some formalities, a funeral... And a conversation.

From that conversation I learned something that struck me. Yura was suspect. They said that he killed the prisoners by slipping poison into their food or something like that. There was not much evidence, so they only planned to arrest him, but now the main version of my brother's death is suicide during an attempt to escape from justice. What heresy… But at that moment I could not object anything. Exactly like believing even a single word.

And now I'm back in my home again. Devastated, with only one thought in his head: “he is no more”…

What are words? A set of letters, a set of sounds, nothing more. .. But some become keys. This key with three heavy teeth will open one of the most terrible doors: the door of despair and pain. Maybe I should have phrased it a little more bluntly? But as? What would it change? There is only one key, no matter how you decorate it, and there is only one door, and you are standing on the threshold. You can't go back. And the castle succumbed. Started...

I look around the apartment with a detached look, slowly falling into a rage.

- Damn! - comes out of the chest. How long have I not uttered this word, - Damn! - I repeat louder, clasping my hands sharply. My whole army of mugs is flying down to the sound of glass. A blanket of scribbled sheets covers them from above.

- Dunce! Brat! Freak! I scream, not remembering myself.

- Look... Look what you've done, you bastard! I lost everything because of you! Inspiration! Work! Dreams! How can I pay my bills now? I've wasted so much time on you, damn it, even the key to the clock. .. - silence hurt my ears, so I continued to throw empty phrases, trying to throw out everything that had accumulated inside me. My voice broke, growled and wheezed, turned into hysterical laughter, and I didn’t even understand why I was so angry ... At myself?

Yes… I was jealous of my brother in black! The pride of the family, a great future, office authority, lofty goals, a dream job - everything I wanted to hear about myself, I heard about Yurashi! I remained his little brother, always second, always underestimated. It was an axiom that everything was easy for him. But for some reason it did not occur to me that we were actually brothers. Our conditions were the same. And I seemed to be blind, I did not see what he had to go through. And what did I do when I got tired of being a shadow? Exactly. He erected that very wall, the wall of indifference. I didn't care. And there is one more drop in the ocean. It was not Yura who closed himself off from me, but I from him. And what did it lead to? “He is no more,” and I can’t even say with certainty that I’m not the brother of the killer! And all because I don't know! I don’t know how he lived all these years, I don’t know what was going on in his soul, I don’t know if he called me to stop the rumors in the bud, or to repent of what he had done even a little to his own creature, albeit such a vile one, how I . .. And I will probably never know, my key to this secret is forever lost ... What a blockhead I am ... What are all my arguments about feelings, words, stars, but all about the same keys worth now! How could I have changed the world when I myself could not find those vices for which I reproached mankind?! That's why my articles weren't being read. When changing the world, start with yourself, otherwise everything is empty words. Gray, alien, distant and unnecessary, in general, no one ... Such words will not become keys ... Keys ... I return to them over and over again. Oh, this world is really crazy about them! We have the keys to everything, they are even where we don’t think to find them, because they have entered our lives so deeply that everything now rests on them alone, and we don’t even notice. Yes, and life itself is like a constant picking of locks! But even that is not important. The important thing is that there is no key leading from There. This is what gives meaning to all other keys. No matter how hard I try, I won't start Yurik's time again like the old clock. But who knows from what doors, I would have taken him away, if only I was there ... It's a pity, I realized it too late ...

- I'll never sit down to write again... - I said to myself, almost delirious, barely recognizing my own hoarse voice. After that, I fell asleep and didn’t think about anything anymore.


I spent the next day almost without getting up. Only in the evening I somehow tried to eliminate the consequences of my yesterday's insanity ... But the attempt was nipped in the bud, as soon as the very note that I found among the socks caught my eye ... Surprisingly, all the time while I was busy looking for my brother, I almost did not remember her, as a thing that does not carry any meaning in itself. But there were so many questions connected with it! I re-read it. As expected, nothing new appeared ... And yet ... Why was she needed?

I immersed myself in memories of the day when I lost the key to the clock, which was so silent for the last week… It seems that since that time I have not turned on the computer… How is it, my old man?

The legacy of the ancestors, as expected, grumbled and buzzed at my long absence, but in the end it had mercy and opened my e-mail page for me. Yurik's letter has not disappeared anywhere. I didn't reread it. One thing is a note with unclear text, and another is an invitation to a meeting that was not destined to take place ...

"Check your mail..." echoed in my ears. The sudden realization made me jump. What if... This strange text on the back is nothing but a username?..

What nonsense... I'm chasing again, I don't know what... Stupid assumption! But my hands are unstoppable...

Hastily logging out of my account, I entered the characters into the appropriate box. But you need a password... Password... Another stupid thought... "I never forgot your birthday!" I enter.

Only one digit changed on the monitor, but I didn't believe it. This eternity could not last for one miserable minute.

- It worked… - I said, looking into this luminous box in a frenzy. Another account. And only one letter.

The entire apartment fell into absolute silence as I read what was written here.

“Egor, I knew that you would solve my message! Help out, brother! I need you, we all need you!

For several months now I have been busy with the death of several criminals in custody. These are not just deaths, Yegor, these are murders. I'm sure I got very close to the solution. I have two prime suspects. But there's a problem. Both of them are my work colleagues. And I don't know if any of them acted alone or in concert. In other words, I don't know who in the police force I can trust with regards to this case.

Also, I notice that I am being watched. Apparently, the attacker feels that I got too close, and will soon try to eliminate me. Well, that's what I use to pinpoint the culprit. How? I told one of us about our upcoming meeting. If I guessed right, and he's not a criminal, then you don't have to read this, I'll tell you everything myself. But, if I made a mistake, and you are still reading this, then most likely I am already dead ...

Brother, now only you can solve this case. And only you can I trust him. To this letter I will attach documents in which my evidence is collected, there you will find the details of the plan, all the names, all the evidence. Publish them in your journal, let everyone know, and then the villains will have nowhere to go! I hope for you. I know you won't let me down..."0041

For some reason, my heart skipped a beat. Brother... I won't let you down!


Never say never. For the next few days, I did not let go of the keyboard. I know, I promised myself, for writing, no, no, but the last, last time! For Yurik! This will be my best article...

And it really became the best. Where did I get it from? Just my blog would not be enough for such an important mission. So I had to visit Fedot Stepanovich. I almost begged him on my knees to read my work. But he still read it. Read it and put it on the first page!

A few days later I had to go to our police station again. There, of course, there are again formalities, thanks, apologies ... But they did not interest me. He was arrested. I wanted to talk to him. With a killer. I wanted to look into his eyes. For help in solving the case, I was even allowed to do so.

I was taken to a special room. He sat opposite me and froze with his cold gaze. But there was nothing in the eyes... He was... Empty. However, the first one spoke.

- Because I saw how souls died, - he answered my question before I could ask him, - Every criminal who was brought here did not set foot on this path from a good life. The world has treated them cruelly. It's wild, but for some, crime is still a way to survive. Not for everyone... But I didn't talk to everyone. Do you know why? Because they don't listen, you know? And when I talked to them in this very room, they just wanted to be heard ... And I listened to them, watching how the eyes on the contrary go out, and how hopelessness penetrates into the very heart. They had not yet been sentenced, but they no longer believed that something could be changed. Outcasts of humanity. They could only hide in themselves and wait for the end. Then I gave them the key to freedom. An ampoule with poison, as the end of all torment. You won't understand, must be...

- And now, being in their place, would you like the same? I asked quietly. My interlocutor was silent. And I continued, - Do you know why? Because there is no key from there. As long as you're alive, you can still fix it...

We talked with him for a while, and then I went out into the street. It was already getting dark and the lights were on. The downpour threw fragments of stars right under my feet, and they flared for a moment with earthly human light, breaking on the wet asphalt. I silently walked along the gray stones of the pavement, finally throwing off my indifferent mask. Raindrops on my cheeks from something became salty. His image stood before my eyes. Indifference. The way I saw him once on Bolotnaya Square - not seeing, not hearing, impregnable. The source of human vices. I wanted to run away from him, and I even ran, as if it could help. God! Who would have known that it hurts so much to open your heart to the world! The dialogue with the murderer still sounded in his thoughts, and his brother's voice echoed in his soul. But, if you were already hiding from all this behind a wall of indifference, then only after going through this pain you can go back, again know the truth. Insults, murders, wars... How many more lives will be shed before each of us conquers this evil in ourselves? The hearts of the people are closed and the key is lost. But what can I do?..

I thought about it already at the entrance, slowly going up the stairs. Perhaps... No, but I promised myself... And yet...

Keys. I could turn words into keys. I could write again. Opening people's hearts and helping to cope with pain. No, I'm not going back to the editorial office. No articles. I will write a book. I can't shut up now. "It's decided!" I thought as I opened the door. But first…

Slowly, slowly, I picked up the key from the floor. He opened the glass door. Inserted into the well. And turned. The voice of the old grandfather clock in the hallway greeted me again. He said, fix it ...

Tick... Tick... Tick. ..

20 stories about animals that will make you kinder

July 11, 2019BooksLikbez

Warm stories about amazing creatures inhabiting the planet will appeal to readers of any age.



1. "Billy Badlands, the Conquering Wolf" by Ernest Seton-Thompson (from The Beast)

The hungry wolf cub, nicknamed Billy, had almost no chance of surviving after the death of his mother. But he was found, left and raised by a she-wolf, who herself lost her puppies. Hunting together, they struck fear into the farmers and their livestock. No matter what tricks people go for, the she-wolf and Billy always seem to be one step ahead.

Ernest Seton-Thompson is America's most famous animal writer. He was one of the founders of the scouting movement, loved nature and could hardly endure city life.

With tenderness, awe and respect, the writer talks about the animals that coexist with man and often surpass him in ingenuity and cunning. The story "Billy Badlands, the Conquering Wolf" was first published in Russian as part of the collection "The Beast".

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2. Domino. The Story of a Black and Brown Fox, Ernest Seton-Thompson (from Animal Stories)

The story of Domino is especially noteworthy in the book Animal Stories. The black fox cub stood out against the background of brothers and sisters with dexterity and cunning. From early childhood, he had an enemy - a farmer's puppy who lived near the fox hole. They grew up together and constantly clashed, but Domino always managed to outsmart the dog.

While hunting in a chicken coop, already an adult black-brown fox became the main enemy of man. So the hunt for Domino began. To avoid death, he will have to show miracles of dexterity and ingenuity. Seton-Thompson does not even hide the fact that his sympathies are on the side of the brave fox, and not at all people.


3. Call of the Wild, Jack London

A young playful dog named Back grew up on a farm in warm California. But he was stolen and taken to Alaska, where he fell into the hands of gold miners. In harsh natural and weather conditions there is no place for affection. The dog is fastened to a heavy harness and forced to work. From a pet, Buck turns into an almost slave. He will have to adjust to his new life.

The story of this hero is somewhat similar to the life of London itself. He was also born in a sunny state, but moved north. It was there that he first encountered sled dogs and was inspired by their stamina and endurance.

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4. About the Elephant, Boris Zhitkov

Sailors who arrived in India at the beginning of the last century saw an elephant for the first time. He impresses them not only with his size, but also with his wisdom and slightly haughty demeanor. The elephant shows travelers the way to his master's house and demonstrates how he can draw water from a well. People began to use the agility and strength of these animals to work in logging.

Boris Zhitkov was not only a writer, but also a traveler. In his stories, he transferred the experience experienced during trips to exotic countries. “About the Elephant” is a story not only about a giant unusual for Russia, but also about the traditions and life of mysterious India.


5. "About the Monkey", Boris Zhitkov

A classmate of a 12-year-old boy offers to take home a strange animal. So a new tenant appears in an ordinary apartment - the macaque Yashka. In appearance, a small and shy Yashka quickly settles down and begins to manage. He jumps on the furniture, demands sweet treats and attacks the dog, becoming the king of beasts in the yard. The boy and his parents will now have to somehow get along and reckon with the furry family member.


6. "White Bim Black Ear", Gavriil Troepolsky

This is an incredibly touching and sad story about a white dog with a black ear. When his owner is admitted to the hospital, Bima is taken care of by a neighbor who cannot cope with her duty.

Through the perception of the dog, Troepolsky actually tells about people. On the way Bim comes across those who want to help him, but there are those who are cruel to the dog. This story is primarily about kindness, love, devotion and how one good deed could prevent a tragedy.

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7. "Fomka the White Bear Cub", Vera Chaplina

The zoo's inhabitant, the bear cub Fomka attracted attention with his unusually meek disposition for such a formidable animal. He was modest, never went to conflict, got along well with the rest of the cubs, and the tiger cub became his best friend. Only here with people the bear behaved uninhibitedly and often made fun of the caretakers.

Vera Chaplina worked at the Moscow Zoo. It was then that she wanted to write about her wards. Even after leaving her former position and taking up literature, Chaplin made animals the main characters of her works. The result of her work was the collection "Pets of the Zoo", in which she showed the life of the otter Naya, the elk Loska, the cat Tsutsykarikha, the walrus Nyurka and many others.

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8. "Smart Dog Sonya", Andrey Usachev

The mongrel Sonya was nicknamed the royal dog not only because of the name of her owner, Ivan Korolev, but also for her majestic appearance. The curiosity of the dog constantly drags her into all sorts of interesting adventures. Either she becomes ill from the mustard, which she tried for the sake of interest, or she played too much in losses and lost sight of the owner.

But that's what Sonya is smart for, to draw conclusions from every situation and wind them around her dog's mustache. Based on the stories of Usachov, there are wonderful cartoons.


9. "White Poodle", Alexander Kuprin

The dog Arto was a member of a traveling circus troupe. In addition to the poodle, there was an elderly organ grinder and acrobat Seryozha in it. They traveled from city to city, but did not find hospitality and recognition. Once they came to them with a proposal to buy the dog, because she really liked one capricious boy. Having received a refusal, the attacker steals Arto at night, but Seryozha will not refuse his friend just like that.


10. "Kashtanka", Anton Chekhov

A dog of an unknown breed named Kashtanka was lost. She was picked up by a clown who gave her a new nickname and forced her to perform in a circus. Kashtanka did not like such a life, and the mongrel greatly missed her old master. He also did not lose hope someday find his faithful comrade.

The idea for the story was suggested to Chekhov by the famous trainer Vladimir Durov. A similar situation once happened to him, but, by his own admission, he could not have told this story better than Anton Pavlovich.


11. "About Cats", Charles Bukowski

The collection "About Cats" contains excerpts from Bukowski's works dedicated to those whom the author loved unconditionally - cats. The harsh and sometimes cynical manner of presentation of the writer became soft as soon as it came to these animals. “They don't know how to lie. They are a force of nature,” Bukowski said of them.

For example, in the story “The Consequences of a Verbose Refusal”, the cat is far from the first place, but all the attention of the characters is riveted to it. The caudate is treated as a full-fledged participant in the conversation, putting other worries aside for later. The world freezes for a moment and focuses on the fluffy.


12. "Mouse Peak", Vitaly Bianchi

Even such a tiny creature of nature as a mouse can have a huge brave heart. Peak travels on a raft, and danger lies in wait for him everywhere. He is fighting for life with the elements, as well as with predators who are just waiting for the right moment to devour the little rodent.

A noisy gull is circling overhead, a toothy pike is stalking under water, and a slippery snake is already lying in wait on the shore. The history of Peak is not only exciting, but also inspiring to exploits.

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Rikki-Tikki-Tavi by Rudyard Kipling (from The Jungle Book)

A wild mongoose loses its parents due to a flood and is abandoned in an unfamiliar area. Here he finds a new home among the people who fell in love with the animal and gave him the nickname Rikki-tikki-tavi. But they are in mortal danger because the snake family is plotting to kill them. The brave mongoose decides to save his masters.

The Jungle Book collection includes not only Rikki-Tikki-Tavi and the famous stories about Mowgli, who was brought up by a pack of wolves. There are stories about elephants, their brave mahouts, a herd of buffaloes and fur seals.

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14. “About a hedgehog named Gosha”, Eileen O'Connor (from the collection “About people, cats and small dogs”)

and no. Grandmother, dejected by separation from her granddaughter Sonya, can only communicate with her via SMS. But such dialogues do not stick at all. The woman manages to interest the girl only with the news that the hedgehog Zhora has appeared in the house. Sonya promises to come and look at the prickly animal, and now Granny has to get it somewhere.

Eileen O'Connor is the pseudonym of detective author Elena Mikhalkova. The collection "About people, cats and small dogs" was born on her pages in social networks. The stories quickly gained popularity. Therefore, the book includes works of the author that have already managed to fall in love with readers.

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15. Caravel and I, Olga Fadeeva

A city girl finds herself in a new wonderful world. But it is not at all fantastic and not invented. It's just that she had never been to the village before, and everything here seems unusual. Especially her attention is attracted by a cow with the sonorous name of Caravel, which was so named by her grandfather, a former sailor.

As if to prove that the name suits her, Caravel behaves majestically and swims well. And on her forehead she has a white spot in the form of a heart. The book is illustrated by the author and completely immerses in that carefree summer in which the heroine of the story found herself.

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16. Mrs. Pumphrey's Piglet by James Harriot (from the collection On All Creatures Great and Small)

Mrs. Pumphrey, a prim Englishwoman, lived in a house where perfect cleanliness and all the subtleties of etiquette were observed. What was the surprise of the rural veterinarian when the lady got herself a piglet. Being sure that his colleague mixed up or misheard something on the phone, Dr. Harriot goes to the call. But Mrs. Pumphrey does have a little pig, and she has a perfectly rational explanation for this.

A veterinarian by training, James Harriot has always loved animals. He had to publish cases from practice under a pseudonym so that readers would not consider them an advertisement for the clinic where he worked. About 70 kind and informative stories about animals are included in the collection “On All Creatures — Great and Small”.


17. "The Adventures of a Monkey", Mikhail Zoshchenko

This is one of the few stories that tells about animals during and after the war. The zoological park was bombed. The surviving animals fled in different directions. Most of all, the monkey was frightened, which rushed into the city in search of food.

Hungry and alone, she had little idea of ​​what was going on around her. She was picked up by a kind boy and brought home. Now the savior needs to persuade the grandmother to leave the animal at home. But the adventures do not end there either: the monkey has an entertaining trip to the bathhouse ahead.


18. "Nedopesok", Yuriy Koval

A young fox is called a nedopesok. The protagonist and a whole pack of his comrades live on a fur farm, waiting for inevitable death. The oversight of the worker led to the fact that the animals ran away. But many were immediately caught and put back in their cages.

Only a brave polar fox named Napoleon ended up in the neighboring village. He found people who want to help him and even keep him. But a reward has been announced for the capture of the underdog. Detractors in search of easy money are ready to give the fox to a fur farm. However, the hero himself is not going to put up with such a fate.

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19. Eye of the Wolf, Daniel Pennack

They hardly had a chance to meet. Odin is a polar wolf, living where the snow does not melt, and the winds penetrate to the very bones. The second is a boy named Africa, who escaped from his native country, which was torn apart by the war. Fate brought them together in Paris. The animal ended up in the zoo, the child came to look at it.

Each of the heroes has their own difficult story. They are separated by a grid, but united by the desire to understand each other. So, quietly speaking each in their own language and looking into each other's eyes, the boy and the wolf understand that they are not so different.

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20. "Inventor", Mikhail Prishvin (from the collection "Golden Meadow")

Wild ducks brought up at home have offspring.

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