In a fishing village by the sea there is a small house. In that house, high above the waves (волны), there is a kitchen. In that kitchen there is a bright, glowing (пылающий) fire. In that fire there is a pot (кастрюля) of steaming (дымящийся) noodle soup. By that soup sits a woman, watching and stirring (помешивает). By that woman there is a sleepy child, yawning (зевает) and turning (поворачивается). By that child, tucked (спрятанный, убранный) in the shadows (тени), there is a dusty (пыльная) hole (дыра/яма). In that hole is a brown cricket (сверчок, кузнечик), humming (гудящий, жужжащий, урчащий) and painting (рисует красками). In that painting there is a sudden storm, roaring (ревущий, рыкающий, рычащий) and flashing (сверкающий, мелькающий, мерцающий). In that storm there is a white boat, crashing (разбивающийся) and rolling (катающийся, катящийся, перекатывающийся). In that boat there is a fisherman, hoping the storm will end soon because in his village by the sea there is a small house, and in that house there is a family waiting for him to come home.



The Elf Story (Part one)

The Elf said to Kevin:

You’re probably (наверное) wondering (интересно) why I’m sitting here at  (за) your breakfast table this morning, helping myself (угощаюсь) to your toast and cereal (хлопья/каша). I’m here to make  (сделать) you a very special  (особое) offer (предложение). You could (можешь) call  (назвать) this a once-in-a-lifetime (раз в жизни) opportunity (возможность).

Today, is the 11th December and this is a very special day for you. You are exactly (точно) forty-four years and thirty-six days old and that is exactly how long (сколько) you’ve got left (тебе осталось).

Let  (позволь) me do the maths (посчитать) for you Kevin. You are going (будешь) to live (жить) until (до) you’re eighty-eight years and seventy-two days. And you have just crossed (только что пересёк) the halfway (половину) line (линии).

Now Kevin. You have two possibilities (возможности): You can carry on (продолжать) — continue (продолжать) your life and pretend (притвориться) that we never met (никогда не встречались). Or you can accept (принять) my offer  (предложение) and let me flip (перевернуть) the hourglass (песочные часы) of life (жизни).

Do you see what I’m saying Kevin? Instead of getting older (вместо того, чтобы стареть), you’ll be getting younger (будешь молодеть). I’ve got all (у меня все) the forms (документы). All you have to do (всё, что тебе нужно сделать) is sign (расписаться) here. And it’s goodbye incontinence (недержание мочи), hello Ibiza (Ибица).

What do you say Kevin?

The Elf Story (Part two)

Arthritis /ɑːrˈθraɪtɪs / (артрит) in Kevin’s shoulder (плечо) had been (был) painful (болезненный) recently (недавно). He was starting (он начал) to go bald (лысеть) and his beer belly (пивной живот) was getting bigger (становился больше) every year. The elf was right (прав) — this was a very special offer.

Kevin imagined (представил) how fantastic it would be (было бы) to go back (вернуться) to his youth (молодость), knowing (зная) all the things (всё) that (что) he knows (знает) now.

But what about  (но что насчёт) Annie — the woman he loved? The woman he loved more than anything (больше всего)  in the world? The only (единственная) woman he had ever loved (когда либо любил)? What would happen to her? Would it be fair (будет ли честно) if (если), while (в то время как) Kevin was wearing (носил) fashionable  (модные) T-shirts (майки), she was losing (теряла) her teeth (зубы)?

No! I made a promise (пообещал) to Annie and I’m going to (собираюсь) keep it (сдержать его). I won’t do it (я не сделаю это). I won’t sign (я не поставлю свою роспись).

The elf said:

Well (ну) Kevin, there aren’t many (не много) gentlemen (джентельменов) left (осталось) in the world. But you are one of them. And your Annie — well, she is one in a million. She is a fantastic woman: beautiful, attractive (привлекательная), gorgeous (великолепная/красавица), outgoing (общительная).

Yes — a great (замечательная) woman Annie. I had breakfast (завтракал) with her just the other day (на днях). And I’ll tell you something: she’s looking (выглядит) younger (моложе) every day.

And then the elf clicked (щёлкнул) his heels (каблуками/пятками) together (вместе) and he was gone (исчез).

The Black Cat’s Message

/A Texas Halloween Story/

I came home late one night after work and found my wife working in the kitchen with a big yellow cat at her feet. “And who is this?” I asked with my eyes fixed on (мои глаза прикованы к) the cat. “This is our new cat”, said my wife, giving me a hug (обнимая меня) and kiss to welcome (поприветствовать) me home. “She has just appeared (появилась) at the kitchen door and wanted to come in. None of the neighbors (никто из соседей) know where she came from. It`ll be nice (будет хорошо) to have some company around the house.” I scratched (почесал) the yellow cat under the chin (подбородок). She purred (замяукала) and stretched (потянулась). “Well I think we can afford (позволить себе) to feed (прокормить) three”, I said. My son took my job at the market (на рынке) and my wife and I were enjoying (наслаждались) lazy (ленивый) old age. I liked to keep busy (быть занятым). So (поэтому) I spent (проводил) a few hours (несколько часов) every day cutting wood (рубил лес) for the mill (для мельницы). I went out to milk the cow, and when I came back in, Ethel (my wife) gave the cat some cream (сливки) in a saucer (блюдце). We sat on the porch (крыльцо) after dinner, and the cat sat with us. “You are a very nice kitty,” I said to her. She purred loudly (громко). “Donald,” Ethel said. She sounded (звучала) worried (тревожный). I turned (повернулся) to look at her. “The neighbors acted (вели себя) rather (довольно) strange (странно) when I told them about the cat. They seemed (казалось, что они) to think she was a ghost (привидение) or a witch  (ведьма) transformed into a cat. They told me to get rid of  (избавиться от) her. “A witch?” I asked and laughed (расмеялся) heartily (от души). “Are you a witch, little cat?” The cat yawned (зевнула) and stretched. Reluctantly (неохотно), Ethel started to laugh with me. It was so ridiculous (нелепо)! We sat watching the beautiful sunset (закат), and then went to bed.

The cat quickly (быстро) became (стал) a part (часть) of our house. She would awake (будила) us (нас) each (каждое) morning purring and would ask  (просила) for the cream when I brought (приносил) home the morning`s milking. She followed (следовала за) Ethel around the house (по дому) during (во время) the day and would sit by the fire (у огня) at night while (пока) we read out loud (читали вслух). The days became (становились) shorter (короче) as autumn (осень) approached (приближалась), and often I would work (работал) until (до)  nearly (почти) sunset (закат), cutting wood. One night in October, I didn`t finish working until dusk (до сумерек). I forgot (забыл) to take a lantern (фонарь) with me. I rounded the corner (завернул за угол) and saw a group of black cats standing in the middle of (по середине) the road. They were nearly (почти)  invisible  (невидимы) in the growing (растущей) dark (темно). As (когда) I came closer (ближе), I saw that they were carrying (несли) a stretcher (носилки) between (между) them. I stopped and rubbed (протёр) my eyes. That was impossible (невозможно). When I looked again (снова), the stretcher was still (всё ещё) there (там), and there was a little dead (мёртвый) cat lying (лежал) on it. I was shocked. Then, one of the cats cried out (закричал), “Sir, please, tell Aunt Kan that Polly Grundy is dead.” My mouth dropped (упал) open in shock. I shook (потряс) my head, not believing (не веря) my ears. “How ridiculous (нелепо)”, I thought. “Cats don`t talk”. I hurried (поспешил) past (мимо) this group, carefully (осторожно/внимательно) looking the other way (в другую сторону). “I must be working (должнро быть я работаю) too hard (слишком усердно)”, I thought. “Who was Aunt Kan? And why did the cat want me to tell her Polly Grundy was dead? Was Polly Grundy the cat on the stretcher?” Suddenly, a small black cat approached (подошёл к) me. I stopped and looked directly (прямо) at it. It looked back at me with large green eyes. “I have a message (сообщение) for Aunt Kan”, the cat said. “Tell her that Polly Grundy is dead”. I was completely (полностью) shocked. I began (начал) to walk home as quickly as (так быстро как) I could (мог). Around (вокруг) me the woods (лес) were getting darker (становился темнее) and darker. I didn`t want to stay (оставаться) in the woods with a group of talking (говорящие) cats. Behind me the cats were shouting (кричали) all together (все вместе): “Old man! Tell Aunt Kan that Polly Grundy is dead!” I had enough (с меня былро достаточно). I sprinted (быстро побежал) for home as fast as I could and I didn`t stop until (пока не) I reached (добрался до) my house. I paused (остановился) to catch my breath (перевести дыхание). I didn`t want  to explain (объяснять) my wife that I was seeing (видел) and hearing (слышал) impossible (невозможные) things (вещи). She would give me some medicine (лекарство) and call the doctor. I went into the house and tried (пытался) to act (вести себя) normally (нормально). I should have known (я должен был знать)  it would be all (это всё будет) in vain (напрасно). From the day (с того дня как) we were married (женаты) she knew (знала) me inside and out (изнутри и снаружи). But she didn`t say anything (ничего). She sat me down (усадила меня) in front of  (перед) the fire and brought (принесла) me my supper (ужин). Then (затем) she said to me “Tell me all about it, Donald.” “I don`t want to worry (беспокоить) you,” I said,  reluctant (не хотел) to talk about talking cats and a dead cat on the stretcher. The yellow cat was lying (лежал) by (у) the fire. She looked up when she heard my voice (голос), and came to sit by my chair. I offered (предложил) her some food. “I`ll worry more (больше) if you don`t tell me,” said Ethel. “I think maybe something wrong (не так) with my brain (мозг),” I said slowly (медленно). “While (пока) I was walking home, I thought I saw a group of black cats carrying a stretcher with a dead cat on it. Then I thought I heard the cats talking to me. They asked me to tell Aunt Kan that Polly Grundy was dead. “The yellow cat jumped onto the windowsill (подоконник). “Polly Grundy is dead?” she cried. “Then I am the Queen (королева) of the Witches!” She moved (пошевелила/махнула) her tail (хвост) and the window flew open (распахнулось) with a bang (с грохотом). The yellow cat jumped through (через) it and disappeared (исчезла) into the night, never to return (никогда не возвращаясь). Ethel had to (пришлось) empty (опустошить) a whole (целый) bucket (ведро) of water over my head to revive (оживить) me from my faint (обморок). “The good news (новости)” she told me when I sat up, shouting at her, because the water was ice cold, “is that you have nothing wrong with your brain. The bad news is that out cat has just left us to become (стать) the Queen of the Witches. We`ll have to (нам придётся) get (взять) another (другую)  cat.” “Oh no,” I said immediately (сразу же). “I`ve had enough (с меня хватит) of cats.” We got (завели) a dog.



Part one

A chic Italian seaside town in the sixties.

We are in the market square.

And the fruit seller is having a bad day.

We don’t know exactly what has happened.

But his stall has overturned and there are melons and pineapples all over the road.

This is causing a traffic jam.

An impatient bus driver is shouting at the fruit seller, telling him to get out of the way.

Then we get a close-up of one of the passengers on the bus.

An elegant and attractive young woman: Audrey Hepburn.

Like the other passengers, she is getting restless.

They can’t continue their journey until the fruit stall problem is resolved.

Part two

An expensive-looking sports car pulls up beside the bus.

It’s a silver convertible with a very handsome driver.

He notices Audrey Hepburn on the bus.

He catches her eye and smiles at her through the window.

Audrey Hepburn smiles back.

Moon River starts to play.

The handsome driver gestures for her to join him.

Part three

Audrey Hepburn hesitates for a moment.

Then she decides to accept the offer.

She gets off the bus.

And as she passes the bus driver, she takes the hat off his head.

And instead of getting into the front of the car, she gets into the backseat and puts the bus driver’s hat on the handsome man’s head.

At first, the handsome man is confused.

But then he realizes what’s going on and he smiles and they drive away.

Audrey Hepburn sits back and enjoys the breeze.

Moon River fades out.


Chic- stylish and fashionable  (шикарный, элегантный, модный)

Seaside- the area near the sea, especially where people spend their holidays and enjoy themselves (приморский, берег моря, морское побережье)

A stall- a large table or a small shop with an open front from which goods are sold in a public place (киоск, ларек)

To turn over- переворачивать

To cause- быть причиной, служить поводом; вызывать; причинять

Traffic jam — a large number of vehicles close together and unable to move or moving very slowly    («пробка», затор в уличном движении)

Impatient- easily annoyed by someone’s mistakes or because you have to wait/wanting something to happen as soon as possible (нетерпеливый, нетерпимый, раздражительный, беспокойный)

A close up- a photograph taken from a short distance that gives a very detailed picture (крупный план, тщательный осмотр, близкий, в увеличенном масшт.)

Attractive- very pleasing in appearance or sound (привлекательный, притягательный, привлекающий, располагающий)

Get restless- to worry  (беспокоиться)

To continue- to go on  (продолжать, продолжаться)

A journey- the act of travelling from one place to another, especially in a vehicle   (путешествие)

To resolve a problem- to solve or to end a difficulty or a problem      (решать проблему)

To pull up- when a car or someone driving a car pulls up, the driver stops the car, often for a short time (останавливать(ся) (о машине))

To notice- to see or become conscious of something or someone     (замечать)

To catch eye — to get someone’s attention    (привлекать внимание)

To join- to get involved in an activity or journey with another person or  group     (присоединяться)

To hesitate- to pause before you do or say something, often because you are uncertain or nervous about it  (колебаться, сомневаться, не решаться)