ELKOST International Literary Agency

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MISCHIEVOUS ADVICE (excerpt) - translated by Daniel M. Jaffe

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Excerpts of MISCHIEVOUS ADVICE

Translated from the Russian by Daniel M. Jaffe

A BOOK FOR DISOBEDIENT CHILDREN AND THEIR PARENTS.

OBEDIENT CHILDREN ARE PROHIBITED FROM READING THIS BOOK!

Scientists have recently discovered that there exist in the world disobedient children who do everything backwards. Give them good advice like, “Wash up in the morning,” and they go and don’t wash up at all. Tell them, “Say hello to one another,” and straight away they begin not saying hello. The scientists figured that such children need to be given not good, but mischievous advice. They’ll do everything backwards, and all will turn out just right.

THIS BOOK IS FOR DISOBEDIENT CHILDREN.

**

There’s no finer pastime
Than picking one’s nose.
Everybody’s curious—hey, what’s up there?
Whoever finds it gross,
Doesn’t have to look.
We don’t climb up his nose;
Now, do we?

**

If your Mom’s caught you
Drawing on her freshly painted wall,
Call it Mother’s Day Gift Surprise,
Entitled “Portrait of Darling Mommy.”

**

When you’re lost, then found,
And you tell your address,
They always take you directly home.
Why not wise up and say:
“I live with monkeys in palm trees on a far-off island.”
When you’re lost, then found,
If you’re really clever,
You’ll get to see exotic lands.

**

Don’t ever bother asking
Silly questions to yourself,
For the answers you’ll get
Will be plain silly.
If silly questions come to mind,
Go ask a nearby grownup.
Let his brain get all muddled.
Save your own for fun and games.