Books in English

english books for children
english stories for children
книги на английском для детей
книги на английском для тех, кто учит английский язык
рассказы на английском для изучающих
читать рассказы на английском
книги на английском
адаптированные книги на английском

Vladislav Krapivin
Kirill’s mother woke him up at three in the morning.

At this time, he was leading the Captain Grant past the yellow cliff, from which the mighty fortress was firing from all guns.

– Kiryusha, get up. Get up, help me, please. Maybe he’ll fall asleep sooner with you…

Even before parting with a cheerful dream, Kirill already heard Antoshka yelling behind the wall. «Wow» Kirill thought. He shook his head, looked at his mother and lowered his legs from the bed.

Mom said guiltily:

– I can’t calm him down. Maybe you’ll rock him in your cunning way?

Antoshka, after a few seconds of a break, screamed with renewed vigor. Kirill threw back the blanket and wandered into the next room.

Antoshka was lying in his trellis bed and yelling with inspiration. This man knew how to roar and loved. His small red face was wrinkled, his eyes were tightly shut, and his toothless mouth was open to overflowing.

It cannot be said that at such moments Kirill felt a tender love for his brother. But he felt neither vexation nor anger. Not like two months ago. Then Kirill’s teeth were clenched at Antoshka’s roar. From helplessness and despair, he himself was ready to cry.

One day, when my mother went to the market, and a month-old Antoshka woke up and did not want to calm down in any way, did not calm down either in his arms or in the crib, Kirill mumbled and threw a crumpled diaper in his face. Antoshka was quiet for a second, and then he screamed even louder. And such resentment seemed to Kirill in this cry that he immediately called himself the last reptile, punched himself in the ear, grabbed Antoshka again and began to ask for forgiveness from him, stupid and desperately screaming, in a whisper. And then, not knowing what to come up with, he sang with all his might:

Give me an accordion in my hands – Gold bars…
And Antoshka gradually fell silent. The baby calmed down. And Kirill, affectionately and carefully hugging his little brother, carried him around the room and sang all the time.

On that day, a discovery was made: Antoshka calms down best to the songs of his older brother. Mom’s songs are also good, but they don’t always act . And as soon as Kirill starts singing – and the loud-mouthed brother quiets down. After all, it would seem that he is completely stupid, but he feels something, knows Kirill’s voice. He also began to distinguish songs when he became older: he just listened to some, and began to doze off to others. And after a big roar, you can calm him down and make him fall asleep with only one song. Quite unlike a lullaby…

– Well, what are you blowing? – Kirill said. – Come on, come here. U, reva… Who offended Antoshka? Did you have a scary dream? That they took you to school? Don’t be afraid, it won’t be soon… Mom, help me take it…

Antoshka gave out a new scream. Kirill hugged him to his chest, shook him, walking from corner to corner, and sang about the sleeping mounds scorched by the sun and about the mists that go in succession.

Antoshkin’s cry became quieter, and interrogative intonations were heard in it. And by the end of the song, the brother was completely quiet. But I didn’t sleep, I stared. Then Kirill resolutely sang the musical intro and began the main song with the last verse:

It rolled and crashed Over the burning forests, Only this, comrades, Is not shooting and not thunder…
On the third verse, Antoshka sniffed, as if making sure that nothing was scary with his brother, who has such a harsh and irreconcilable song.

Kirill and his mother put him to bed. He was sleeping as if he hadn’t cried desperately ten minutes ago. He was smiling at some tiny dream of his own. Her blond hair was funny. Now he was cute, the dearest Antoshka in the world…

Mom touched the top of Kirill’s head with her lips.

– Thank you, Kirik. Go to bed, sleep. I’ll sit a little longer and too…

But Kirill suddenly realized that he did not want to sleep.

– Mom, I’m so hungry for some reason. Can I chew something?.. You don’t go, I’ll do it myself.

In the kitchen, he cut a piece from a loaf, found a jar of green peas in the refrigerator, poured peas on bread and returned to mother’s room. Mom was sitting by Antoshka’s bed.

– Why don’t you go to bed? Kirill asked.

– I’ll wait a bit. Maybe he’ll wake up again.

– I’ll wake him up! Kirill said. He climbed with his feet on his mother’s bed and began to chew, picking up the fallen peas from the blanket. Mom looked at him with an incomprehensible smile: either sad, or vice versa – happy.

– Oh, and you’ve become thin! And brown. Like an Indian yogi.

Kirill said with his mouth full:

– It doesn’t look like it. Hindus have black hair, but I have…

Mom sat down next to him and ran her warm, thin fingers through his hair.

– And you have shaggy hair. When will you get a haircut?

– You’d better trim it yourself, otherwise they’ll fool you like a turnip in the barber shop. They have a secret conspiracy with the school… I’ll wave my lopukhast ears again.

Mom laughed:

– Well, how many years in a row can you drive this nonsense into your head? You have normal ears, even cute ones.

– Elephants have cute ones too.

Mom hugged Kirill by the shoulders, rocked him back and forth (he spilled a few peas again) and sighed:

«Oh, really, he’s so skinny…

«But he’s seasoned,– Kirill remarked.

–Ugh, ugh, ugh,– Mom said hurriedly. – Don’t talk in vain.

She was a little superstitious. Apparently, all mothers are a little superstitious when it comes to their sons.

– Nothing is «ugh», – Kirill objected.- You were worried in the summer, and I never even sneezed.

Kirill spent the whole summer in a T-shirt, shorts and barefoot. Only if he went to the cinema or the library, he put on a shirt and sandals. But it didn’t happen more than once a week. Grandfather said at the end of spring that seasoned people were needed sailing, and Kirill was tempered in good faith.

Mom was afraid at first. She said that you need to know the measure in everything, otherwise you can catch pneumonia in the middle of a warm summer. I remembered how ill Kirill was two years ago. In addition, she claimed that it was indecent to go everywhere barefoot. Kirill once replied to this that half of the people on Earth go barefoot all their lives.

– Where is it?

– In India, in Africa, on all sorts of islands … if you count, you know how many there will be!

– But it’s in the tropics!

– And what’s not the tropics here?

The summer turned out to be dry and hot. The wind sometimes brought thin smoke that stung the eyes. The sun became dim and round – without rays. It was burning forests and peat somewhere.

In those days, when there was no haze, the sun burned like in the Arabian desert. By the middle of June, three layers of burnt skin had peeled off Kirill’s shoulders, and finally the tan became as strong as armor. Her hair was bleached white. Kirill himself sometimes felt that even his bones were pierced by the sun…

Mom finally waved her hand. She had enough worries with Antoshka, who was born at the end of May.

– Grandfather says that I look like a negative, – said Kirill. – the hair is colorless, the skin is dark. At least type the opposite.

– Why do you call him Grandfather? Mom asked. – Grandfather and Grandfather, that’s all you hear. Isn’t he offended? He’s twenty-four years old.

– Why should he be offended? He’s used to it. It’s because of Mitka.

– Because of what Mitka?

– Well, do you remember, such a curly one came running? This is his grandson.

– What grandson? God be with you…

Kirill laughed:

– Yes, really a grandson, only a cousin. My grandfather has a niece, and she is older than him. It happens that way. And Mitka is her son. So count it.

–Really,– Mom said. – Funny… Well, to be precise, it’s called a «grandnephew.»

– Well, then he’s a «grandfather’s uncle». Or «grandfather». Anyway – Grandfather.

«I thought it was his brother.» They are so similar…

– Only in appearance. Mitka, you know what kind of sugar! And he’s afraid of ghosts. In the evening, no one sits at home for anything. My grandfather suffered with him.

– Why does he suffer with it? Where are this Mitka’s parents? Are they alive?

- of course. Only they are geologists, they go on expeditions.

– Poor kid… Do they drive all the time?

– Not all the time, but often…

Mom sighed.

– So our dad goes too…

–Five more days,» Kirill consoled.

«We’ll last,– Mom agreed. – You’re my hero… And at school how? Everything is fine?

– Like… why did you remember about school in the middle of the night?

– You remembered yourself. I’ve been thinking about school right now.

– That’s just me. I have a transitional age, I’m over everything and-ro-ni-zi-ruyu.

Mom tousled his hair again.

– Well, run to bed.

– Yeah…

Kirill went to his room and fell into bed, hoping to see the continuation of the dream. But he saw nothing. And I woke up in the morning from noisy voices: my father unexpectedly returned from Riga.