The book is an adventure. It’s a book that can change your life. You’ll change and the world will change around you. A little bit. Maybe these changes will be enough.
A charming baby girl Efania (Fanyasha) is born in a regular family of angels.
Her happy and carefree childhood ends when she finds out that a human is going to be born for her soon, and she is supposed to devote all her life to this person.
She’ll go to an elementary school for angels and learn how the world of people works, what they live for and why they die, what the secret of female and male nature is, what a child needs in order to be happy, and many other things.
This unusual story of a small, inquisitive angel girl and her family will help you learn not only about the life of heaven’s creatures, but also about the rules of life on Earth and the laws of the Universe.
After traveling a difficult path, full of serious tests and exciting discoveries, Fanyasha will be able to understand what love and friendship are, and what the meaning of her own life is. She’ll be able to understand human nature and answer the main question: Why do angels need people?
“This book changed my life. It made me realize how fragile our own human existence is, and how much help we need to get through life’s big challenges. This story got me thinking about the mistakes and troubles I’ve had in life, and how lucky I’ve been to have an angel like Fanyasha looking over me. Hooray for angels!” — Christopher Pascone, teacher.
“This book is probably not for everyone. However, it’s definitely for those women who want to have it all — be happy spouses and mothers as well as accomplished professionals and creators. It’s for dreamers and thinkers. It will give you encouragement and food for thought wherever you are — at a crossroads with a difficult decision to make or in your nursery putting your baby to sleep.” — Ksenia Jackson, entrepreneur.
About the Author
Marianna Rosset, a happy woman, a loved and loving wife, and the mother of two children, graduated from the Russian State University for the Humanities. She has worked in the education, real estate, marketing and restaurant fields. Before becoming an accomplished writer, she overcame many challenges in her difficult life path, and never lost her belief in kindness and miracles. She has visited over 44 countries in her search for the purpose of life, and has attended multiple workshops and training sessions. Marianna’s life experience, along with her internal freedom and harmony, has brought a whole kaleidoscope of precise observations, good pieces of advice and philosophical parables to her book. The book has united inspired readers into the FanyaClub, which helps thousands of people from all over the world to hear their angels, to learn, and uncap their internal potential.
— I still don’t understand how an angel can let a person know that he exists.
— There are many ways. For example, through a book.
— A book? How?
— Well, see, if a person starts reading a book about angels, it means his angel wants to talk to him.
— It’s a great idea, granny. Where can I get this book?
— Where? You can write it yourself!
— How can I write a book for people? It’s impossible. We live in different dimensions. People can’t read our books.
— We can solve that. Just choose the right person on Earth, talk that person’s angel, and dictate your book to him. You just need to want it!
From Fanyasha’s conversation with grandmother Nokomis
Love is Stronger Than Fear
It was one of those sweltering summer days when life in the courtyard of building number 8 became filled with the sounds and smells of the weekend.
As always, at noon, all of the building’s residents of were busy with their usual chores. You could hear the jabbering of the Sunday news coming from the open windows, knives hammering on the cutting boards, the clattering of ladles and grease splattering in the frying pans.
Oh, the smell of the approaching Sunday lunch, when the whole family gets together to savor some truly delicious food! It takes some time to herd the kids inside. Then a chorus starts up, “Vi-i-i-tya, Nata-a-sha — come ho-o-o-me! Ta-a-nya! Let’s go eat!” Without a doubt, “Mo-o-o-m, can I play some more? I’m not hungry!” is heard in response.
Usually, in these moments, it’s as if time has stopped — after a huge family feast, the sounds slowly die down, and the courtyard becomes shrouded in a quiet afternoon nap.
But for now, the buildings and the courtyard were abuzz with activity. Swings were screeching incessantly around the corner of the building. A neighbor from the second floor was beating a rug loudly. The sound of a tiny voice and timid keystrokes could be heard from another window on the floor above. From the top floor came the sound of a horrible rattling — apparently someone had decided to drill a hole in the wall to hang a new painting. Somewhere behind the building, a motor started up and then shut down repeatedly, the car clearly refusing to cooperate with its owner, who ultimately swung a muffled kick into the tire.
Two elderly women were flapping their hands by the second entrance to the building, presumably discussing something awfully important.
“Hey! No drawing here! I am talking to you! Go draw on the asphalt over there!” one of the old women yelled to a girl who started drawing a sun on the brick wall of the building with colored chalk. The girl shoved the crayons into her dress pocket and ran to the playground.
An apple-cheeked boy was running around the slide, laughing happily, because his small, ruffled-up puppy could not catch him. All of the benches were occupied, except for the one further away at the end of the yard. The benches were surrounded by a few trees that created wonderful and necessary shade on this hot summer day.
A few kids were playing ball, yelling out the names of different cities. Close by, a few girls were laughing loudly and jumping over an elastic band tied between two tree trunks. Neighborhood boys swung by on their bikes, screaming happily, then left a cloud of dust. On the playground, the littlest ones got distracted for a brief moment following the boys with their eyes, then returned to restlessly banging their shovels.
Had the residents not been so busy with their things, they would surely have noticed that an unusual man appeared in the yard. Despite the hot weather, he was wearing a long dark purple raincoat that fell to the ground, with a large hood over his head. He was extremely tall, thin, and old, judging by his long grey beard.
The man walked softly through the yard, peering into the faces of its inhabitants. Everyone was actively engrossed in something and no one paid any attention to him.
Needless to say, people tend not to notice all of the strange things that happen nearby, even if this strange thing is as big as our silver-haired guest.
Meanwhile, the strange man walked slowly around the whole yard. Only the ginger cat, which was lying not far from the sand box, moved his tail, lazily turned his head, and with an attentive gaze followed the guest to the bench at the end of the yard. When the man quietly sat down and closed his eyes, the satisfied cat continued to lie in the sun with a feeling of accomplishment, and dozed off.
Suddenly, the sky turned dark, a strong wind started to blow, and clouds rushed in. Large raindrops fell loudly on the ground. The yard emptied in a matter of moments. It was hard to predict this sudden change in the weather, especially since the forecast did not mention even a possibility of rain. But in the meantime, the rain was coming down in buckets. It was so strong that not one of the residents of building number 8 could have made out the tall strange man in the dark purple raincoat sitting quietly at the end of the yard. He sat motionless, and, surprisingly, the rain did not bother him at all, as if there had been a huge open umbrella over him, and the water just flowed away from him on all sides.
The rain stopped toward evening, and right away a tear-streaked girl, about seven years old, ran into the yard. Splashing in puddles in her unclasped sandals, she ran all over the yard, searching for something that seemed to be very important to her. She peeked into the sandbox, circled the swings and the slide, checked under one bench and then another.
“It’s not here or anywhere,” she muttered through tears, totally exhausted.
The girl’s eyes filled with tears again, she leaned on the bench, covered her little face with her hands, and started sobbing.
“Why are you crying, dearest creature?” The girl heard an unfamiliar, but very pleasant voice.
This was the first time in her life that she was addressed with a formal “you” and was called a “dearest creature.” The girl turned around, and through her tears and the rays of the setting sun, she saw a large purple silhouette standing in the shade.
“It seems you have lost something, my dear?” the silhouette spoke again, approaching the girl, and she could make out a beautiful luminous face, framed by silver hair and beard with large blue sparkling eyes, and a soft, kind smile.
She had been taught never to talk to strangers, of course, but she had also been taught to be polite to older people.
“I wonder whose grandfather this is,” thought the girl, sorting in her mind through all of the boys and girls that she knew, but could not remember anyone who could be distinguished by such height, elongated facial features and big blue eyes.
This was because the girl knew for sure that relatives must resemble each other. That was what her mother always told her, showing her black and white photographs of her grandmother and grandfather, noting that they were also redheads and had green eyes.
The eyes of this unfamiliar old man were so clear and transparent that they glowed like two blue mirrors. In them, the girl saw her own tearful reflection and, having remembered her misfortune, uttered:
“I…I lost my doll here.”
“A doll? And what is its name?”
“I don’t know! I haven’t had a chance to give it a name. It was still brand new. It was given to me only yesterday and it was so beautiful and so, so new,” she chattered guiltily and started sobbing yet again.
“And where did you leave it, dearest creature?”
“I don’t remember. Somewhere here, in the yard,” she replied, irritated, spreading her arms.
“How did this happen?” asked the old man in a gentle voice.
“I just got scared of the rain and ran home,” said the girl defensively.
“Is the rain really that scary?”
“It’s not scary, but I…I was worried that my mom would scold me for getting my clothes wet,” she continued, while sniffling, “and I ran home, and now my doll is lost, and I don’t even know what happened to it… Maybe someone took it, maybe it will live in someone else’s house and I will never ever see it again!”
At this point, the girl’s imagination painted a horrible picture in which her obnoxious neighbor with braids played with her doll, fed it and put it down to sleep. The girl could not bear that and started crying again bitterly. She understood how hopelessly and foolishly she had lost her brand new doll, which she didn’t even get a chance to name.
“Allow me to tell you, dearest creature, that I understand very well how difficult this is for you — it is always painful and sad to lose something precious. And today, I want to help you, my dear,” spoke the old man again, and started rummaging through the folds of his raincoat.
Wiping her tears, the girl thought that no speeches, no advice and no gifts would ever replace her doll, yet she observed with interest how this strange and kind old man was searching for something in his endless dark purple raincoat.
“When your heart is full of love, and when you take care of someone, nothing in the world can scare you. Where there is love and care, there is no place for fear. For love is stronger than fear. If you love something or someone, then, despite any obstacles, always remember and cherish that,” the old man continued, and all of a sudden, the girl saw the familiar face of her wonderful beloved doll in his hands.
“This is it! My darling, my dearest!” the girl twittered, nestling the doll close to her. She laughed, stroked the doll’s hair, and kissed its freckled cheeks again and again.
And it did not matter that the doll’s pink dress was wet, or that its small ponytails — the same ponytails that its owner had — were disheveled. What a mercy it was to see her again, safe and sound!
The girl was so happy, so overjoyed by this meeting, that she didn’t notice the disappearance of her doll’s rescuer.
The sleepy ginger cat emerged slowly and lazily from the building entrance to take a walk before retiring for the night. He snorted in discontent when the redheaded girl nearly knocked him off his feet, hopping up the stairs.
“I will name you Alisa! And I will always take care of you!” she said proudly and firmly, tucking the doll in next to her. Then she got under the covers herself and whispered, “I will never ever leave you under the rain, even if there is hail or a snow storm. Nothing will ever scare me again!”
With a blissful smile on her face, the girl fell asleep hugging her Alisa. But of course, she could not imagine that at the same time something wondrous was happening, and that the strange person in the dark purple raincoat was rushing to some new place, carefully pressing a golden parcel against his chest.
Love Always Makes Wings Grow
“Very good morning to you, Madame Aros!” said a tall man in a dark purple raincoat with a big smile on his face while giving a golden parcel to a beautiful young woman. “I heartily congratulate you on the birth of your daughter!”
“How wonderful! A daughter! I am so happy! Thank you! Thank you, dear Oshoria,” said the woman quietly, then gently pressed the parcel against her body, peeked inside, and her big brown eyes filled with tears of happiness.
A fresh teardrop fell on the baby’s face, and trickled down her cheek, tickling her. The baby wrinkled her nose, smiled and opened her eyes slightly.
Everything around them was glistening and illuminated with a wonderful radiant light, and in the center of this light shined two mirrors, which reflected the smiling baby girl, wrapped in a golden cloth.
Suddenly, the two mirrors seemingly filled with water, and the girl again felt the drops falling on her face and running down her cheeks. She rubbed her face with her fists, opened her eyes wide and saw an unusually beautiful woman leaning over her.
“Ma-ma-ma,” syllabified the girl and laughed.
“Fanyasha! My dear child! My darling, I…I am so happy… so happy you are here,” whispered her mother and stroked Fanyasha’s soft chestnut brown curls.
There was a rustling sound, and suddenly a beautiful man leaned over Fanyasha’s head. His big brown eyes emanated both strictness and gentleness.
“Great job, my dear! Already started talking! You take after your father! You will be very intelligent!”
Newborn Fanyasha stopped laughing right away, pouted her lips and proudly flung up her nose as if wanting to make an impression of a well-mannered and serious girl. The man stared at her for moment, and then shifted his glance to his delighted wife and triumphantly announced:
“Borisey, please meet your sister Efania!”
Behind him appeared the head of a handsome curly-haired boy. After seeing Fanyasha, the boy’s eyes popped out in amazement, and he hid behind his father’s back again.
“Bosya, why are you so afraid? Look at your beautiful little sister!” said his mother lovingly and picked up Fanyasha.
The golden cloth slipped off the girl and flew away, swirling in the gentle playful wind until it got tangled in a snow-white cloud-chair.
Everything was made out of clouds here, as it should be in a typical house of a typical angel family: above and below and on all sides — clouds were everywhere!
The walls were made out of light grey dense cumulus clouds; the windows of light transparent milky white clouds; the doors, tables, and chairs of thin and hard white clouds; the couches and pillows of soft and fluffy clouds, which gleamed with all the colors of the rainbow because everything around was filled with warm sunlight. Fanyasha was examining her house with unabashed enthusiasm. With a mouth open with delight, she turned her head back and forth making her unruly curls bounce playfully on the lacy collar of her purple dress.
“Oh, oh!” said Bosya, cautiously examining his sister. “She is a girl. What am I going to do with her? We haven’t gone over that yet…”
“Don’t worry, my dear, you will do great,” encouraged his mother. “I remember that you recently had a lesson on the five languages of love, and you aced that topic. The most essential thing that the child needs is love.”
“And not just a child,” noted father while looking at mother playfully, catching her affectionate look and kissing her shoulder.
“But, mom!” Bosya became concerned again. “How will I… how will we… she cannot even fly! Look how small her wings are!”
“Borisey, you couldn’t fly either when you were born, but thanks to me, your mother, your grandmother and your grandfather, you learned very fast,” said father strictly, then patted his son on the back, and pointed up. “Why don’t you bring your love languages notebook, and we will distribute the duties among all of us.”
Despite the fact that Bosya was an angel, he was nonetheless a boy, and, of course, as a boy of about twelve, he was not too excited about this new responsibility in the shape of a small girl in a purple dress who could not fly or speak properly. But Bosya understood that it was useless to argue with his father, and slowly flew to his room.
“We all lived in peace and then — bam! — a sister appears for some reason,” he mumbled, flying up the corridor. “And now what? Does everyone need to drop what they are doing? Maybe I had different plans! Maybe I did not want a sister at this point. What is the good of it anyway? If I had a brother, I would understand that. We would have things to do together: common interests, man talk… Eh,” Bosya sighed helplessly and entered his room.
Of course Bosya heard that children are, perhaps, one of the biggest miracles of the world. Moreover, neither people nor angels could know for certain who would be born and when. Still, it was unclear to him why things were the way they were, and why one could not choose the desired time of birth and the gender of the child. Bosya was sure that order could be established in life this way. And he really loved order.
Bosya was not in a hurry to return, and therefore decided it was the right time to tidy up the table and the bookshelves. He started flying across the room and rearranging books from place to place, pondering how challenging his life would be from now on. After all, in a couple of years his sister would be flying on her own, and poking her nose everywhere.
Bosya remembered how his classmate complained about his annoying younger sister who constantly got in the way of him doing his homework, flew into his room, and asked a whole lot of questions. And how hard it was for him since, according to the “Rules of Protection of Happy Lives of Small Angels and The Preservation of Information,” one must safeguard angel-children of under school age against everything that they do not need to know. And the most forbidden information was everything that concerned people.
“And how does one do that? I want to know,” mumbled Bosya, and hid the books and pictures with the images of people and life on earth.
Then Bosya flew up to the window and started examining the neighbors’ houses.
Unlike the people’s houses, whose outside appearance doesn’t give away how many people live inside and what ages and gender they are, houses for angels are built according to strict standards. For this reason, one could easily determine how many adults and children live in that house by simply looking at it.
All of the angels’ houses were constructed out of thick cumulus clouds. They hung in the air at a short distance from each other, and were like long column-corridors, going up so high that it was impossible to make out where they ended. Below were large spherical living rooms with multiple windows and a front door. Vertically, along the corridor, there were rooms hanging atop one another from the littlest ones to the largest — in order of seniority. All members of the family from the youngest to the oldest had their own room. On the left side were the women’s rooms with round windows, and on the right were the men’s rooms with square windows.
Bosya saw very few houses nearby where parents lived with only one child. Three or four children’s rooms hung on the majority of the houses. The house across the street actually had eleven rooms: two large ones at the top, and nine down the corridor.
“The Zorge’s have nine children! How do they manage? It’s incomprehensible!” he muttered, irritated. “There is no logic to this! None! Since they created strict standards for the preservation of information and wanted the children to live happily, then they should have given each family one child, and everyone would have been content. And then we would have order.”
When Bosya returned, the whole family had already moved from the lobby to the living room. Father settled comfortably in his favorite armchair made of dense clouds; mother sat to the side on a soft armrest hugging his neck, smiling and humming.
In the middle of the living room, grandmother fluttered in the whirlwind of clouds, cheerfully hooting. Every now and again she would toss Fanyasha up into the air; she merrily laughed and flapped her arms, her legs, and her small transparent wings, as if trying to fly higher and higher, but then falling again and again into the arms of her happy grandmother.
“Here, I brought it,” muttered Bosya, looking at the hero of the day from under his brows, and handed his green notebook to his father, on which it was painstakingly written:
Languages of Love
This notebook belongs to Borisey Aros, student of the second grade of the School of Angels,
“Well, well,” said father in a businesslike manner, scanning the pages covered in neat handwriting.
Even though father tried to hide it, based on his delighted expression, it was clear that he was very proud of his clever and diligent son who had graduated from the Junior School of Angels with honors, and had been a student at the Middle School for the past year. There was no doubt that Bosya’s diligence and patience would be enough for the seven years of the Middle School of Angels, and then for the three years in High School, which is a totally different life, a life of a grown-up angel.
Father was confident that Borisey, with his inherent sense of responsibility, in addition to his love of learning and order, would succeed in tackling not only school, but also his new role as an older brother, and would become a good role model for his sister.
“So,” said father loudly, and paused expressively, waiting for everyone to settle on the puffy clouds around the armchair in which he was sitting, “today the beautiful Efania has joined our family.” Having said these solemn words, he looked at Fanyasha who, realizing that she was being talked about, flung up her nose and closed her eyes with pleasure.
“Our task is to give her as much love as possible, and to help her to become a strong, beautiful and happy angel! Now we will divide our responsibilities for the next ten years.”
This was exactly how much a childhood without a care in the world was supposed to last, according to the laws of the lives of angels, after which something important happened and the life of a small angel changed for good. At ten years old, an angel entered the Elementary School, and the new doors opened into a new world full of amazing events and discoveries. But it was too early for Fanyasha to think about this: in the years to come, what she had in store for her was to play, fly, enjoy the marvelous life, and bask in love. All the more so as her parents decided to go to great lengths in order to make their daughter’s childhood the most happy, carefree and safe, and for her childhood be lived at the highest level, according to them.
“Borisey, your turn,” continued father. “Can you list the five languages of love?”
More than anything in the world Bosya disliked answering questions, the answers to which he knew precisely, and for that reason he straightened his back, confidently flew to the middle of the living room and pronounced boldly and without hesitation:
“Five languages of love exist in the world. The first one is the words of affirmation, the second — quality time, the third — receiving gifts, the fourth — acts of service, the fifth — physical touch.”
“Great job, son,” said father, pleased. “Choose which language you want to be in charge of.”
“I… I… I am not sure,” Bosya’s confidence disappeared; he frowned and looked at his mother and grandmother hoping for some help.
“I choose the fifth language of love, and will give my baby affection and my tender touch,” said mother, and carefully took Fanyasha in her arms, kissed her forehead, and stroked her head. Fanyasha beamed and pressed herself against her mother.
“Great, settled! Especially since in this world, there is no one more tender than you, my love,” said father playfully, then looked at grandmother, who decided to encourage her grandson and lovingly patted him on the back.
“And you, dear Nokomis, will get the most important language of love,” said father, addressing grandmother.
“Allow me to guess,” interrupted grandmother and smiled slyly. “Is it quality time?”
In angel families, mothers and fathers are often very busy. They constantly fly away and, according to them, solve very important problems, and the grandchildren are raised by the grandparents, who for some reason have far more free time.
Bosya also spent the first 10 years of his life with his grandparents. Then, when he entered the Elementary School, his grandfather said that he needed to fly on an important mission and he never came back. Bosya knew that the grandfather flew up a very long corridor and that since then somewhere up there he has been doing a very important job. Only once did Borisey try to fly up the long corridor in order to see what was up there, but he became scared. The higher he flew, the stronger the wind was blowing, and his wings didn’t have enough strength to fight that current.
Bosya loved his grandfather very much, missed him, and hoped that when he grew up and became strong and brave, he would without a doubt visit his grandfather up there.
Mother and father remembered grandfather with great respect, and grandmother sometimes sighed and said these strange words: “All of us will be there. Everything in its time.”
Bosya knew that his grandmother was a distinguished and respected angel. She was an excellent student in her youth, then she worked a lot, and so now she had an opportunity to spend more time at home and engage in activities that she liked.
“Does she really like to care for the little ones? It is so tiring and tedious,” thought Bosya, remembering how much trouble he caused his grandmother because he was a very quiet and dissocial child, and hid from her in the clouds, refused to learn how to fly, collect the rainbow, play with sunlight dapples, and sing songs.
“Although it seems that most likely Fanyasha won’t be such trouble,” thought Bosya. “She seems to be curious and cheerful, but maybe all girls are like that. All they want to do is laugh and dance. Grandfather was a different story — he could sit on a cloud for hours and ruminate. Most likely I take after my grandfather,” thought Bosya.
“Boriseeeey! My bo-o-oy! Can you hear us? Hello?” Bosya’s thoughts were interrupted by his father’s loud voice.
“So, what have we decided here? Since it is our duty to speak with Fanyasha using all five of the languages of love, it will be better if each one of us focuses on one language. Now, let me repeat: mother will be in charge of the physical touch, grandmother — of the quality time, I am in charge of the enjoyable gifts, and Borisey will get the acts of service.”
“But what about the first language of love? What about the words of affirmation?” worried Bosya.
The truth of the matter is, he was a very attentive boy, and of course, it didn’t escape his notice that father only named four love languages.
“Son,” said father with a smile, “we already discussed this while your mind was somewhere else. As for the kind words of praise and encouragement, our grandfather had no equal, if you recall. Since he is currently away on an important assignment, we decided to distribute this language of love amongst ourselves. So don’t forget to encourage and praise your little sister. Deal?”
As always, father did not wait for the response, since in this family everything he said was perceived as the law. Of course, any of his decisions were preceded by a family discussion. Father always mentioned how important the opinion of every member of the family was to him, and this created an impression that one could influence his final decision. Perhaps one indeed could.
One thing was obvious: mother, in addition to grandmother, Bosya and even little Fanyasha, understood and accepted who was the boss in the family, and this created an atmosphere of respect, safety, peace and confidence in the future. This is what the relationship within the family should be like: a man’s decision incontestable, a woman’s care and love unconditional. But even among angels, families like this are rare, let alone among humans.
“OK, give me a little bit of time and I will set up a room for Efania,” said father and flew up the corridor.
“Dear, don’t forget what we agreed upon,” yelled mother. “Only one window, and make it high, alright?”
Father didn’t answer. He didn’t like to be reminded about anything, especially since he remembered about the window.
Mother felt that they made the window in Bosya’s room too low, and that’s why the boy spent too much time by the window, even when he didn’t know how to fly, and saw what he was too young to see. For this reason, he started asking questions and began to learn about what was not necessary to know in childhood. This, according to mother, was the reason for Bosya’s excessive bashfulness and fearfulness. In addition, the parents felt that the walks with their son at an early age and stories about the living arrangements of angels were not needed.
Consequently, mother and father decided to be more responsible parents this time, and shield Fanyasha from anything unnecessary, and keep her from leaving the house, even her room, for as long as possible in order to prolong her happy and carefree childhood.
But it should be noted that the adults’ notion of happy childhood often does not correspond to what children themselves desire.
“Oh, how I would like to become firm and resolute like father, so that I would be obeyed, too,” thought Bosya, and then heard his mother’s tender voice.
“Bosya, Bosyushka, dear, come, we are flying to show Fanyasha her room.”
From top to bottom Fanyasha’s round room was filled with soft curly clouds of different shapes and sizes in shades of light pink, gold and purple. Fanyasha happily sat in the middle of the room, batted her eyes, and waited for something.
“Should we shower our Efania with love and then we’ll go about our business? Except for grandmother, of course,” having said this father flew up to his daughter and put a beautiful pendant around her neck in the shape of a large letter “E,” which was iridescent and twinkling. Mother tenderly hugged and kissed Fanyasha, then kissed Bosya and followed after father, taking his hand.
“We love you very much,” whispered mother, looking back.
“Boriseyushka, please help construct a bed for your sister,” said grandmother, and put a large white cloud in front of Bosya. “And then you can go study. Fanyasha needs to sleep more today; I will read stories to her.”
Bosya got to work right away. He knew that the sooner he finished, the sooner he could finally retire to his room and deal with the important matters.
Fanyasha wanted to get upset about her parents leaving, but grandmother pulled a beautiful soft book from under the hem of her wide dark green dress, swept the palm of her left hand over the cover, and placed it in front of her.
The book levitated, twitched as if it was woken up at the wrong time, and opened itself with a groan. Of course he remembered it! It was his favorite book “Good Old Tales for Little Angels.”
The room became filled with the gentle subtle fragrance of cedar and lavender, the soft light of sunset, sounds of the babbling brook and bird trills. Fanyasha did not know what these sounds were, but she enjoyed them very much. She turned on her side, facing grandmother, and fell asleep. Grandmother started reading to her softly.
“Grandma, look, look!” anxiously whispered Bosya pointing to the back of his sleeping sister. “Look at her wings! They are growing in front of our eyes!”
“Well, of course they are growing, said grandmother smiling kindly. “Love always makes wings grow! All of the newborn angels grow their wings while they sleep, and when we give them love, their wings grow even faster.”
Bosya was so impressed that he even stopped rushing and started making a bed for his sister more diligently, glancing from time to time at how her wings were stretching, straightening and filling with silver light.
Why Angels Need People
Imagine the most beautiful day, the most pleasant weather, the best mood, the most beautiful house, the coziest room and the greatest happiness which fills you because you are doing exactly what you want to be doing — this, perhaps, is an approximate description of how an angel lives the first years after birth!
There are no worries, no cares, no troubles — nothing can disturb the feeling of absolute bliss, peace and pleasure of each and every moment of a carefree life. As surprising as it sounds, everything is like that, and not otherwise. That is how this world works. Such are the rules of an angel’s preschool upbringing. Everything that a little angel sees, everything that it touches, should always be filled with light, beauty and love. This, furthermore, is how small children are supposed to live too.
Among the soft clouds, in her wonderful warm room filled with either purple, pink or golden light, Fanyasha felt happy and protected.
Her mother and father would fly in to spoil her with nice gifts and kisses; Bosya helped decorate the new room. Now Fanyasha could brag not only about a comfortable snow-white crib, but also about two wonderful armchairs made of peach-colored clouds, a small pink table and a pretty lilac dresser. She had learned to make the pillows herself. She enthusiastically fluffed small curly clouds and then formed them into a variety of shapes, and had a lot of fun doing it.
This way, Fanyasha’s room was filled with numerous large and small pillows of odd shapes. What amused her most was how spooked her grandmother became: every time she found a small angular pillow in her hem, she jumped up screaming and tossed the unwelcome guest away.
“Now stop being naughty!” her grandmother wagged her finger, frowning, and at that moment her lips stretched into a smile that made her big brown eyes radiate unconditional and endless love for her granddaughter.
It was nice being with grandmother — she knew thousands of wonderful fairy tales and songs, taught Fanyasha how to dance and draw wonderful pictures using splashes of light. There were days when the air filled with drops of moisture, and the grandmother taught Fanyasha the craft of rainbow weaving.
It turned out that with the right combination of air and sunlight, one could create a wondrous beauty out of seven colors: red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. One glance at the rainbow, and the heart filled with goodness and joy.
Sometimes grandmother Nokomis surprised her granddaughter with the West wind game. She flew to the upper part of the room, sat by the window facing the wind, brought her long and gracious hands to her lips, blew the air slightly and, gracefully moving her fingers as if playing on invisible stings, created a beautiful play of sounds — it seemed that everything around became music, mysterious and magical.
In these moments, Fanyasha felt a certain power inside herself and even became aware of the wings growing on her back. She closed her eyes and imagined herself flying, strong and beautiful, and her long iridescent dress fluttering in the wind. But alas, she could not fly just yet.
“Everything in its time,” repeated grandmother every time Fanyasha showered her with questions about when she would at last be able to fly out of the room and discover the beauty of this world.
“Mom, I am already two years old, but I still don’t know how to fly!” complained Fanyasha one morning when her mother parted her delicate curly hair and started braiding it.
At the age of two, Fanyasha could talk, sing, dance, and even spell words from children’s books for angels very well. She could count to twenty, make a rainbow, draw well with splashes of light, mold objects out of clouds, and wholeheartedly enjoy herself in her room, but all of this wasn’t enough.
Her inherent inquisitiveness and her desire to constantly discover something new were eating her up, and demanded that she fly beyond the borders of the room, the door to which was positioned too high for this small flightless girl.
“My dear daughter, you will certainly fly when your wings grow and become strong!” replied her mother tenderly, and started making the second braid.
“But mom, when? When will they grow? I don’t want to wait! I want to fly right now! I want to leave the room and look at the house,” screamed Fanyasha and clenched her fists.
Mother did not understand why her daughter had this intense desire to learn about what was happening outside her room. It seemed that, together with father, they did everything right, having created for their daughter a world that was ideal, protected, full of joy and love, and that contained everything she might want.
“We love you very much, and your wings are growing fast. We just need to wait a little longer, my darling,” with these words she hugged Fanyasha, stroked her back, and the girl noticeably calmed down.
“Mom,” she said in a soft voice and looked up at her mother pitifully, “you probably love me only a little… Can you love me more, even a little bit?”
“Of course, sweetheart, of course I can,” replied mother, and pressed her daughter closer to her, and smiled.
Sometimes it is better to agree with the children, even if their request seems impossible or childish. But then, who knows what is indeed possible and what is truly significant in this world.
Perhaps thanks to her mother’s consent to love Fanyasha more, or perhaps as the long-awaited “everything in its time” finally came, Fanyasha felt that she could move from one side of her room to the other without touching the floor in just a couple of days.
This happened so unexpectedly and at the same time so naturally that at first Fanyasha thought that she was imagining it. She tried again and again, and when she was convinced that she could indeed fly, she twirled and shrieked with joy!
“Hey,” Bosya’s head appeared in the doorway with a frightened expression, “what’s going on? Need any help?” he said while examining the room for the purpose of discovering something unusual.
“I am flyyying! Flyyying! Look!” Fanyasha screamed with delight. Gracefully spreading her arms to her sides, she pushed off one wall, flew to the other, rose higher and higher. Here is the window, so close, and the cherished door, and…
“Aaaa!” she screamed, and plummeted downward.
Bosya immediately dashed to his sister and managed to
grab her by leg right before she reached the floor.
Of course, falling on the soft downy floor in Fanyasha’s room
wouldn’t hurt her, but Bosya was proud to be able to perform such a
brave and fast maneuver to catch his falling sister.
“This means that I am indeed brave and resolute,” thought Bosya,
and carefully sat his sister in an armchair.
Fanyasha was silent for a couple moments until her eyes filled with tears; then she threw herself on the floor and sobbed loudly. She was bitter that she couldn’t reach the door, and ran out of strength in her wings so treacherously fast.
“Hmmm,” mumbled Bosya perplexedly.
Fanyasha cried so loudly and so bitterly that he couldn’t concentrate and figure out what one needs to do with a crying girl.
It did not cross his mind, as it wouldn’t cross the mind of any fourteen-year-old angel-boy, that a crying person needs to be hugged and kissed. Bosya was certain that important and useful knowledge always helps. Narrowing his eyes, he began going over everything he studied at school about tears, but could not pick anything appropriate for this occasion.
“…There are tears of happiness and tears of pain… Tears cleanse… Tears transform… Tears transfigure… They help understand… They help accept…” was whirling in his head. “Ok, maybe this,” he thought, flew up to his sister and blurted out, “Fanya, everything is ok. Tears are necessary and important. Tears signal moving from one state to the next. People have a hard time comprehending this, but angels know this to be true. That is why we need to accept tears with gratitude. There.”
“What?” Fanyasha asked keenly while looking up, and calmed down immediately. She quickly wiped her tears with the hem of her purple dress, and sat across from her brother.
“Who are ‘people’”?
“Uh oh,” mumbled Bosya, and his eyes darted around the room as if he was trying to find something that could get him out of this awkward situation.
“Well, they’re… well, how do you say it… Well, I…I don’t even know what to tell you.”
How could he mess up so badly! From the first grade of elementary school he had had a whole class dedicated to correct information handling. And he remembered how important it was not to disturb the carefree, happy and peaceful ignorance of little angel-preschoolers! And most importantly not to talk about people! What a disaster! What should he do now?
“Bosya! Bosya! Answer! Why are you quiet?” Fanyasha insisted, pulling her brother’s shirt sleeve.
Her brother’s nervous silence ignited her interest more and more.
He knows something interesting! How she dreamed of discovering the answer to at least one of the secrets that surrounded her carefree childhood.
Her parents always flew away to work and were occupied with something very important; Bosya studied at school and learned about new things; she hadn’t seen her grandfather, he had been away on a super secret and super important assignment for a couple years; even her grandmother sometimes disappeared on some important matters. Everyone had their rooms and their secrets and nobody wanted to share!
Fanyasha realized that the world around her was enveloped in mystery. She noticed that her parents, when flying past her room, would often switch to whispering, and when her father helped Borisey with homework, the door to his room was closed shut so that she wouldn’t be able to hear anything.
And so it was finally here, and she wouldn’t miss it for the world! Bosya had said too much and — oh, how lucky she was to have a brother like that — was incapable of lying.
“Answer! Answer now!” she demanded in a whiny tone. “Tell me right now! Tell me everything!”
Bosya froze, shut his lips and just batted his long eyelashes. Then Fanyasha saw that she was not getting anywhere by yelling and decided to change her tactic.
She remembered how softly and lovingly her mother spoke with her father, and how willingly he answered any of her questions. She also remembered how her grandmother whispered to her mother when they were hanging new pearl curtains in Fanyasha’s room, “Men love to be praised, and if the woman does it genuinely and with love, the man will be ready to throw the whole world at her feet!”
“Let’s try!” Fanyasha figured. Especially since she did not need the whole world, she only wanted to find out one little secret.
“Bosechka, my precious brother! You are always so kind and brave! Also, you are such a handsome man! And smart! And curly! Please tell your dear sister, who are ‘people’? ” she twittered.
How fascinating are feminine essence and feminine wisdom. They are passed by word of mouth, by mothers and grandmothers, in a way much better than could be described in books, or explained at school. Interestingly, even a little baby like Fanyasha could remember and apply this experience.
Bosya relaxed a little, came to his senses, pensively scratched his head, then frowned and tried to invent a fairy tale where people were a special type of cloud, or another word for a ray of light, but quickly saw that he wasn’t capable of doing that.
Fanyasha sat closer to her brother and tried to give him an understanding and tender look just like her mother would do.
“Fanya, please understand. I…I shouldn’t tell you about people. You are still small and it’s too early for you to know such things.”
“Such things!” this got into her head and she pleaded, “I am begging you, my dear brother, please, tell me at least a little bit, a tiny bit!”
“So, essentially, people are sort of why we exist,” Bosya gave in.
Fanyasha’s eyes rounded and she was waiting for the continuation of this strange idea with interest.
“So, in other words, there are angels and there are people and we sort of help them. And so that’s how we, angels, live, and people are like us only very different. Do you understand?”
Bosya was pulling on his pants nervously.
“So, essentially, it’s difficult for you right now, but an angel is born, and in roughly ten years a person is born for him, and then the person must be helped. Always. There. That’s it! Don’t ask me anything else! I already spilled the beans! And promise not to say a word to anybody about what I told you. Got it? I need to get to school. Bye.”
With these words, Bosya rushed to leave his sister’s room in order not to say anything more.
“Oh, my,” whispered Fanyasha raising her eyebrows, “How about that!”
She understood that she didn’t understand anything, and that was awfully interesting!
“I definitely need to find out more about these ‘people’! Why do we need to help them?.. And most importantly, why do angels need people?..”
These Butterflies Won’t Fly Anymore
Little angels don’t have a concept of time. They do not care about counting minutes, hours, days, and years. They live by taking pleasure in every moment, and this gives them a feeling of being completely dissolved in time and complete happiness.
It is only natural that until you become aware that everything passes, it is hard to imagine counting time, and there is no sense in it. When you know only what you are meant to know, when you don’t need to rush anywhere, when it is not important what was yesterday and what will be tomorrow, and there is not a single doubt that everything will always be ok– that is true childhood!
However, Fanyasha’s sweet, carefree life came to an end the moment she found out about people. It is not that it bothered her. Quite the opposite; forbidden knowledge filled her being with a certain magical trepidation. She felt special, and waited for the opportunity to learn some more.
Now the time dragged unbearably slowly and days spent in her previously beloved room now felt like a long imprisonment.
Bosya hadn’t stopped by for a while — probably because he was scared of having said too much. Her parents, who always hurried away to work, visited briefly, praised their daughter’s new accomplishments, admired her new crafts, and were sure that Fanyasha wholeheartedly enjoyed her happy childhood. Yet, children always know and understand more than their parents think they do.
Fanyasha saw that everyone except her knew something important about people, and that a person must be born for her too. But when? And why? These thoughts haunted her. Having to live as a child for many years, having to wait for this childhood to be finally over and for the period of new discoveries to begin was weighing heavily on her.
Her room seemed smaller and more cramped every day, and her childish matters became duller.
Sometimes Fanyasha carefully asked about what was waiting for her in the future, what she would learn at school, and where her parents flew off to, but such questions always remained unanswered. Her father frowned sternly and asked grandmother to be more careful with her fairy tales.
But fairy tales were the only thing that distracted her from her sad thoughts.
What can you say, it is evident that a special talent is awakened in all grandmothers — they become such masters of voice and intonation when they tell their fairy tales that you forget about everything else, and fly off to a magical world.
So this is how nights were spent: grandmother’s velvet voice lulled Fanyasha, and in her sleep Fanyasha saw extraordinary stories, wondrous events and unusual objects. She learnt about natural phenomena, flying metal ships, various curious creatures, some of which were called “birds,” — they could fly but could not speak — while others, with the funny name “cats,” could neither speak nor fly but could run on their hands and feet, climb trees and, unlike most other ones, could communicate with angels.
When Fanyasha stayed alone in her room, she diligently trained, ran, jumped, pushed off the walls, and flew higher and higher. One time she could almost touch the door, but realized that she didn’t have enough strength to maintain that height. Then she grabbed the soft wall, drooped and jumped on the windowsill of the only tiny round window in her room.
“Wow! How pretty!” she whispered with delight pressing her face against the glass.
Outside the window, everything sparkled and radiated blue light, and semi-transparent and airy pink clouds rapidly flew by –grandmother weaved curtains and tablecloths out of them. In this azure light, here and there one could see thick accumulations of clouds. “These are probably the houses of other angels,” figured Fanyasha. She once heard that the parents flew to visit neighbors and friends.
The houses resembled huge snow-white magical tree trunks, which reached so high, that it was impossible to discern what was up there, and what kind of tops these trees have. Instead of branches, along the trunks hung rooms with windows like large droplets. On the right, the windows were square, on the left, round. In the lower part of the houses were large round or oval living rooms with large windows.
“Oooh! Oh, how interesting!” thought Fanyasha. “So this is how we all live here.” A little to the right she saw a large house with twelve rooms of different sizes, and below, a large living room sphere with panoramic windows.
“My goodness!” she said in awe. “How many people live there? They probably fly, play and have fun together. It’s not like what we have — mommy and daddy are always at work, Bosya is either at school or in his room studying something all the time, and it’s not even that fun with him, only grandmother knows how to live well.”
But then she noticed another house a little further to the left. Only two rooms hung on its thin trunk — one larger, and the other small, possibly a nursery with one round window at the top.
“Would you believe it, a room like mine,” thought Fanyasha, “with a tiny round window. A little girl like me probably lives there.”
“Only there are only two rooms in her house. That means she lives only with her mother or only with her father, or with her annoying brother. And she doesn’t have a grandmother, and no one kisses the poor baby, no one hugs her, no one praises her and no one tells her stories,” she thought with sadness, sighed deeply and slid down.
In comparison to the life of that unlucky girl, her own life didn’t seem so terrible all of a sudden. She smiled, flapped her wings and whirled in a dance around the room, jumping from the armchair to the bed, from the bed to the dresser.
“How pretty and blessed you are! How this yellow lacy dress suits you! What beautiful eyes! And eyelashes! And braids! And lips! And wings! Lovely!” Fanyasha cooed to her reflection in the mirror, trying to mimic her grandmother’s gentle voice.
From then on, when Fanyasha became sad or bored, she climbed on the windowsill, absorbedly studied the houses of other angels and imagined what their residents were doing.
“Efania, are you up?” asked father one morning, peeking into his daughter’s room.
For some time he was scanning the room wonderingly in search of Fanyasha. To his surprise, the little one was sitting on the windowsill, almost below the door.
“How much you’ve grown! You climbed so high! Aren’t you scared?”
“Not one bit!” Fanyasha replied proudly, sticking her nose up in the air and gracefully tossed her braids behind.
“Since you are so brave, it’s time to show you the house,” with these words her father flew up to his daughter and stretched out his beautiful strong arm.
It’s hard to describe the happiness and glee that filled Fanyasha. Anticipating the long awaited exit out of the room, she was ready to scream as hard as she could, squeal, laugh and cry simultaneously, but decided not to waste time on emotions, and hurriedly jumped off the windowsill and dashed for the door, leaning on her father’s arm.
“What amazing self-restraint and motivation. Bravo, my dear, you take after me,” thought the father and smiled.
“Look, Efania, over there, higher, there is mother’s room right above yours, and across is mine,” told father, and helped his daughter fly up through the wide sun-filled corridor with beautiful oval windows. The higher they rose, the harder it was to fly. Fanyasha felt how tired her wings were. The father caringly took her in his arms.
“And over there, even higher, look, is the room of grandma Nokomis,” he pointed up at the beautiful green door located above the door to mother’s room.
“And what’s over there, even higher? At the very top?” Fanyasha asked with interest when the father started descending. She peered intently up the corridor but could not make out anything except for the movements of the clouds and blurred and scattered purple light somewhere extremely high.
“It’s too early for you to know about this, Efania. Here, let’s look in here and see what your brother is doing.”
They opened the door of the room that was positioned underneath the room of the father. There were notebooks and books of all colors and sizes lying all over the place. Below, next to a large square window, Bosya was sitting at a table and was scrupulously writing something into a white notebook. In front of him lay a large book with a golden cover opened almost at the very beginning, in which magically the words drew themselves carefully and the pages turned themselves. “I wonder what this self-writing book is,” thought Fanyasha.
“Borisey, dear!” called the father, “Take a short break, we are waiting for you in the living room. Fanyasha turns six today, we’ll be congratulating her.”
“But dad, I have exams soon, I don’t have time for celebrating. If I don’t pass the first time, I will have to repeat a year in the Middle School and I really can’t wait to move on to High School,” mumbled Bosya, but did not dare contradict his father. He closed his notebook, then the book, and flew towards the door.
The life of little angels entails staying in a constant state of happiness and love, that’s why for them birthdays are not that important. As for Bosya, he didn’t understand why birthdays were needed. Instead of having fun, he preferred to lock himself in his room and flip through a book or at least to ponder something. Fanyasha, on the other hand, really loved celebrations, gifts and congratulations.
And how wonderful that it was her birthday. That is why father came in the morning and decided to show her the house. What a gift!
“What a wonderful day!” she thought, examining the photos on the walls while descending into the living room down the corridor.
Mother and grandmother were already waiting for them there. Upon seeing the birthday girl, they started clapping and talking over each other, congratulating Fanyasha and kissing her.
“My sweet girl, we have a present for you! Open it!” said the mother tenderly and brought Fanyasha a large caramel-colored box.
“Wow!” shrieked Fanyasha and started laughing when a flock of colorful butterflies flew out of the box and whirled around in circles through the living room. The wings of the butterflies gleamed in the sun and reflected sunrays, and it seemed that the whole room filled with colorful flying twinkles.
Seeing the delight on her granddaughter’s face, the grandmother folded her hands on her chest and also started to laugh. The mother hugged the father, put her head on his shoulder and they both looked at their daughter with enchantment. Even Bosya smiled and preceded to jump and catch butterflies together with his sister, but they briskly dodged their hands and were constantly landing on Bosya’s and Fanyasha’s shoulders, noses or heads, which amused the whole family even more.
“How I wish for her to be a child for a little longer,” said the mother softly. “Childhood is so amazing. Maybe we let her out of the room too early. She is only six. We wanted to wait until she starts school and shield her against the world. There is so much around us that could interfere with her carefree happiness.”
“Not too early at all,” muttered the father. “You should have seen where I found her today! On the windowsill! Yes, imagine that.”
The mother raised her eyebrows in surprise.
“So that means that in the near future she could fly out of the room herself,” said the father very seriously. “Efania is curious and willful; we cannot keep her locked up anymore. It’s time for her to learn more about this world. And by the way, we should remove our photos with the people from the corridor. They hang pretty high, of course, but it’s better to be on the safe side.”
“How fast she is growing,” sighed the mother. “Dear, let’s not let her out till she starts school. I don’t want her to find out about people for as long as possible. Let her live for herself a little bit more.”
Towards the evening, the butterflies calmed down and sat all over the furniture and walls, turning the living into a beautiful colorful garden.
The father, mother, grandmother, Bosya and Fanyasha settled into the large puffy couch and played the cloud game, guessing the color and size of the next cloud that passed by the window. To everyone’s surprise, grandmother was leading by a large margin, as if she herself sent the clouds of the right color and shape.
Later, the whole family discussed how they should make a new couch and how to better enlarge the living room: to widen it on the side of the front door, or by enlarging the windows across the room. That‘s how it was usually done when a child grew up in an angel family — luckily, houses made out of clouds could easily be enlarged and remodeled in any way you please.
“And now it’s time to thank our beautiful butterflies, say good-bye to them, and let them go,” said the grandmother all of a sudden, and started flying towards the window. “We will open the windows and ask the wind to take care of them.”
“But… why? Why do we need to say good-bye? What happened?” Fanyasha was about to burst into tears. “I thought they would sleep, and tomorrow they would fly again, and we’ll play together again. Why? Why do we need to let them go?”
“Efania, dear, please understand, these butterflies won’t fly anymore. The lived a wonderful day and their time has come,” the father explained in a calm voice. “Everything in this world has its time, everything eventually ends, and we need to accept this with gratitude.”
Fanyasha pressed against her mother, trying to hold back tears but they streamed down her cheeks nonetheless.
This was the first time in her life she found out that everything ends, that we need to be able to bid farewell and let go. It was unbearably painful and sad, but at the same time she felt a quiet joy that she was maturing, and that she was finally trusted with secrets of this extraordinary, mysterious world of adults.
Grandmother flung the windows open, whispered something under her nose, stretched her right hand forward, spread her long fingers and traced three circles in the air. At that time, the room filled with a strong cold wind. The curtains flew up and twisted; the wind lifted and whirled thousands of small colorful butterflies, and then led them outside one after another.
A Person will be Born Specially for You
From the moment Fanyasha saw the house, she became more joyful and free in her movements. Now she did not need to spend all of her time in her room, she could easily go out into the corridor and then slide down into the living room.
The world became wider for her and gleamed with new colors. How much she enjoyed helping her mother decorate the renovated living room with new lace curtains and colorful throw pillows. How fun it was to watch Bosya and her father puffing and groaning while widening the corridor, which they did by putting their feet against each other and pushing the walls apart with their bodies. Sometimes her parents were delayed at work, and Fanyasha would fall asleep in her father’s large armchair listening to the magical tales of her grandmother.
Fanyasha also loved to stop half way down to the living room and look at the family photos on the walls, while holding onto the bookshelves.
There was her grandmother in her youth with long loose curly hair and a charming smile holding Fanyasha’s mother in her arms. And there was a photo of her father, taken in flight, against the background of their house, looking so slender, handsome and, as always, serious. On one picture, Fanyasha saw little Bosya on the lap of a tall silver haired man in a blue coat with big brown eyes. So this is what grandfather looked like. She wondered when he was going to return. Fanyasha really wanted him to finally see his good and talented granddaughter grow up. Next to that was an incredibly beautiful shot — the scarlet red sky during sunset, with her mother and father sitting on a cloud hugging each other and looking into the distance.
And here was Fanyasha, so small, wrapped in a golden cloth in the arms of her mother, her father next to her, and Bosya peeking behind his father’s back. And next was the picture of happy grandmother in a wide green dress, holding her hands up and catching a laughing Fanyasha. And next to that she was constructing a new pillow out of clouds in her room.
“Wow!” whispered Fanyasha with a glad smile. “I even have my own baby pictures!”
It was funny that Fanyasha decided to consider herself an adult after her sixth birthday, and the experience with the butterflies.
“I wonder who took all those pictures.” She tried to remember if she saw anybody at the time the photographs were taken, but could not.
“I will need to question Bosya,” she decided, and tried to fly higher in order to study the other pictures.
Alas, it was unbearably difficult. She felt that as she rose higher up the corridor, the air became heavier and the wind became stronger, and it was harder to fly. She could barely reach Bosya’s room and sat down next to the door. She didn’t have the strength to fly higher, but it was probably very interesting up there.
She caught her breath and started to peer upwards with interest. She saw doors to her mother’s and father’s rooms, and a little higher up a green door to her grandmother’s room.
“Hey, and who is that over there? Next to mommy and daddy?”
Unfamiliar people stared at her from the pictures that hung on the walls next to
her parents’ rooms. Moreover, mother and father smiled joyfully, standing behind their backs, and even hugged them in some photos! These strangers were half the height of her parents, dressed in strange colorful cloths, and their faces were not beautiful, they had such small eyes and… oh, how horrible, they didn’t have wings on their backs! Why were her parents with them? Who are these beings? What if these strange wingless creatures are people! Bosya mentioned that every angel would need to dedicate its life to a person. But how come? Why are these people the way they are?
Fanyasha became dizzy from excitement; she swayed and grabbed the door handle of her brother’s room in order not to fall.
The door opened. Bosya wasn’t there.
Below, on his table, Fanyasha saw a large golden book, that same one that was writing in itself when Bosya was studying. On the cover, the emerald letters traced:
THE BOOK OF LIFE
PERSON: PHILLIP LOURIE
Dare of birth: 11.27.1970
Date of death: _____________
ANGEL: BORISEY AROS
Date of death? So people die? Like the butterflies? What if angels also die?
Fanyasha squinted, then covered her face with her hands and shook her head. She felt that for her it was enough new information for today. After all, she was just a little ten-year-old girl.
She shut the door, sneaked into her room, sat in from of the mirror, grabbed the hairbrush, loosened her braids and starting brushing her long curly hair. The grandmother said that a woman could calm herself down and get rid of heavy thoughts this way.
“Fanyasha, dear,” she heard her mother’s soft voice, and felt her gently stroking Fanyasha’s head. “You fell asleep, darling. Today your brother graduated from the High School of Angels. Let’s go and congratulate him.”
In Bosya’s room, her father and grandmother listened to the details of his day with pleasure. With atypical excitement, Bosya was swinging his arms and loudly bragging about his successes in Human Science and having the best grades in Technology Management!
“Dad, imagine this, Phillip is only eleven years old, but he got first place in the cyclo-cross competition! And one more thing! Today I was the first to receive a diploma! And also, my name is now written on my halo! Here, look! That’s how it is…” suddenly Bosya saw Fanyasha, and abruptly closed the box that was in his hands. Then he quickly flew to the table and closed the golden book.
Fanyasha noticed how everybody scrambled and tried to change the subject, attempting to distract her attention from talking about school.
“Ah, whatever,” sleepy Fanyasha thought to herself. “As if I really need to see this halo, and I already saw the book anyway.
“Just think, he has this person — Phillip,” and her face twisted, expressing how unpleasant all of this was for her. “Nothing special, nothing interesting. And anyway, I don’t want to know anything about these people. And about the fact that they die! Nothing, I don’t want to know anything!”
Offering everybody to move into the living room, mother hugged Bosya, gently ruffled his curly hair, praised him for his successful graduation, and kissed him. “Well, congratulations from me, too,” said Fanyasha, then kissed her brother on the cheek, and was the first to fly out of the room.
The evening passed very merrily. Grandmother invented a new game and made everyone fly in the living room and catch the rays of light. With a ringing laugh, she tirelessly shot them in the different corners of the room. Father was the fastest at catching those that flew fast and far. Fanyasha was very agile and caught the ones that did not have a chance to slip away, while mother and Bosya gathered the ones that hid behind the furniture and in the walls. Father was in the lead, but Fanyasha tried to catch up with him with all her might.
All of a sudden, a tall old man with a long beard, wearing a dark purple coat appeared on the front doorstep.
“Allow me to wish you all a wonderful evening, the Aros family!” he said with a wide kind smile.
“Oshoria! Good evening! Come in, please! We are always glad to see you!” said father and led the guest into the living room. “Today we have a celebration, Borisey graduated from the High School of Angels with honors!”
“I know, I know,” replied the old man and glanced at Bosya approvingly. “I took a couple of great shots during the graduation ceremony. I will drop them off later.”
“That’s who takes the photos,” thought Fanyasha and looked at the silver haired guest with interest.
“Efania, meet our city postman, Oshoria,” said the father.
The postman smiled wide, bowed and solemnly announced, “Actually, I came here for a reason. Today, my dears, you have another celebration!”
Having said this, he took out a silver envelope out of his large coat. On it, in a beautiful handwriting, was written:
For Efania Aros
Fanyasha was surprised. This was the first letter she had ever gotten. The old man took a roll out of the envelope, turned to Fanyasha, looked at her as if he had known her for ages, and solemnly read:
Dear Efania Aros!
Today a miracle happened on earth — the conception of your person. In nine months, a girl will be born. You will study in the Elementary School of Angels over the course of nine months, and be ready to celebrate the birth of your person. You will dedicate your life to this person, guard her and love her until the end of her days. We wish you luck!
Respectfully, the President of the Board of Angels
Fanyasha stood transfixed in the middle of the living room; in her head her thoughts swirled with a frightening speed: “What will happen? What will happen now? A person will be born for her? So small, ugly, and without wings! And she would need to dedicate her life to her? Love her? How can that be? Love her for what? Why? Was she not taught to love herself, her life and her loved ones? And now there is some person? How terrible! How is she supposed to live now?”
As if in a daze, Fanyasha saw the silver haired old man, felt her mother and grandmother hugging her, her father saying something about the beginning of a new life, learning about many new and interesting things, and Bosya shaking her hand.
When Fanyasha came to on the bed in her room, her mother was looking at her lovingly, and stroked her head. “I hope this was a dream, a horrible dream,” she thought.
Of course Fanyasha wished to grow up sooner, to learn to fly and to discover the hidden wonders of the world around her. But her wonderful plans for the near future did not include going to school, studying, and, in nine months meeting her person to whom — oh goodness! — she would need dedicate her life.
“Fanyasha, darling, you got so nervous that you fainted. Sweetie, everything will be ok! You will like school, there will be girls your age and you will learn a lot of interesting things. Your father and I will always support you, your grandmother will be close by, and Bosya will help with homework.”
With horror, Fanyasha realized that it was not a dream.
“But, mommy!” she begged. “I don’t want to! I don’t want a person! I will never be able to love her! I saw them on photos, they are so ugly, they have small heads, small eyes, and no wings! I saw Bosya’s book and it talked about death! People die, then? What about us? Angels? Do we die too? I am scared, mommy!”
Fanyasha pressed herself against her mother and started crying. The mother scolded herself for forgetting to take off the pictures with people, and for the inability to protect her daughter against unnecessary and untimely information.
“Forgive me, my dear, forgive me,” she whispered, holding back tears. “I truly wanted… I tried so hard… to make your childhood happy… but I failed. Forgive me…”
“Mommy, mommy, please don’t cry, just don’t cry,” Fanyasha was saying through tears. “I am very, very happy, and you succeeded, but let’s stop everything, ok? Let’s ask the postman to give the letter to some other girl. I don’t want to grow up anymore, let it all stop, let everything be like it was before! I want to be little! I want to play and listen to fairy tales! I don’t want to grow up anymore!
“My sweet little funny girl!” replied her mother lovingly, hugging and kissing Fanyasha. “That’s impossible. We are unable to stop time. That is how the world works. One day you must grow up. We, angels, are created so that one day a person would be born for us. This is our destiny, the reason for our existence — to help people. Your person will be born especially for you, she won’t be able to live without you, do you understand?”
“Mommy, but how? How will I help a person? What if I don’t like her?” Fanyasha asked excitedly.
“That’s not possible,” her mother smiled. “You’ll see, you will definitely like your person. She will be just as you make her to be. And you will love her for sure; there is no way around it! For you, your person will be the very best and the most beautiful in the world!”
Her mother’s quiet gentle voice, her words and tender embrace, helped Fanyasha to calm down and fall asleep. She imagined drawing the very best and most beautiful person for herself.
“My person will definitely fly, I will draw her wings for sure,” thought Fanyasha and smiled in her sleep.
A Day of Humility Makes Femininity
Fanyasha’s room was full of soft rose-colored light in the morning. A bright ray of sunshine playfully touched her eyes, and she opened her fluffy eyelashes and smiled. Stretching sweetly in her soft white bed, she suddenly remembered that a new life would start for her now, and that she should now get ready for school.
This thought almost made her worry, but suddenly Fanyasha saw an amazingly beautiful dress shimmering in all the colors of the rainbow on her chair. She immediately remembered her grandmother’s words that the main thing for girls is to be in a good mood and have a neat appearance.
Fanyasha bolted out of bed, grabbed her new dress, held it to her chest, and fluttered around the room, singing cheerfully: “La-lala-lalala!”
Then she got comfortable in front of the mirror and began to comb her beautiful long hair.
“There really is something special about going to school after all,” she thought to herself with a smile, braiding her hair. “The important thing is that now I have a new dress!”
It’s important to note that angels have to wear the same outfit every day until they reach school age. This outfit always remains clean, and gets bigger along with its owner, as if by magic. Thus it was that Fanyasha wore her light-purple dress with the white lace collar for 10 years. It’s easy to picture how happy she was to finally try on a new, unusually beautiful rainbow dress!
“Goodness, I look so good! I look fabulous!” Fanyasha purred, turning round and round in front of the mirror.
“The other girls are going to love me right off the bat! It’s going to be so great to be friends with the other girls, and definitely a lot more fun than with Bosya! And our teacher probably looks like a kind old lady, and will tell us interesting stories.”
“Efaniya!” her father’s voice rang out from the hallway. “Get moving! The cloud bus is already here!”
Fanyasha rushed to make her bed, since girls have to keep their rooms neat and tidy after all. As she was running out of the room, she stopped at the window. Outside she saw an unusually long orange cloud with many small doors and windows. There was a sign on the cloud that said:
Cloud Bus 11
City of Urbazium
Elementary School of Angels
“Wow! Wow! Wow! How wonderful! It’s come for me! For me!”
Fanyasha clapped her hands out of glee and saw another girl in a rainbow dress just like hers. She was also looking out of the window of the small house to the left, in which there were just two rooms.
“Oh! Probably she’s in the same class as me!” thought Fanyasha happily, and waved to the girl. But the girl looked back at Fanyasha with a sad face, brushed her long white bangs over her eyes with one quick motion, and pulled the curtain shut.
“Yuck, what a nasty girl, and with no manners. I definitely won’t ever be friends with her,” thought Fanyasha with a grimace, and jumping down from the window, flew out of the room.
The whole family accompanied Fanyasha to the bus, some with tears, some with kisses, some with words and wishes of success.
When the cloud bus, puffing with all its might, flew away from the house, Fanyasha suddenly felt a sinking feeling inside, and became very sad. Through the little window she saw how her loved ones were getting farther and farther away, becoming smaller and smaller.
Inside, the cloud bus was made up of little compartments separate from one another, each of which had a door with a window and a seat. Therefore, Fanyasha could only guess how many other girls and boys were flying together with her to school. Several times the cloud bus stopped quickly at other angels’ houses, then continued on its way. There were thick clouds for almost the whole way, so nothing could be seen out of the window.
Despite the sadness of saying goodbye to her loved ones, Fanyasha was looking forward to the long-awaited sweet taste of freedom, which she had been dreaming of for so long. She imagined how wonderful and interesting it would be to spend time at school now, how great it would be to fly and sing with her classmates, how they would think up all kinds of games together, or just laugh and chatter about all kinds of pleasant things.
Then the sky cleared and the cloud bus rolled up to the large pearl-white arch on which there was a sign written with silver letters:
Below, there were three arrows pointing to the left, straight, and right:
Elementary School of Angels
Middle School of Angels
High School of Angels
The cloud bus turned sharply to the left, and Fanyasha was barely able to see a large round cloud ahead with a narrow top that rose high above the other clouds, and to the right, very far in the distance, she saw a long spiraling cloud, the top of which was also impossible to see, as high as it was. Fanyasha realized that these were the middle and high school.
Then, finally, she saw her school up ahead. It looked like a beautiful flower, the center of which was like a large ball with high windows, and was probably a playroom or hall, and all around this large ball, like flower petals, there were round rooms attached. All the rooms to the right had square-shaped windows, and all the rooms to the left had round windows.
Fanyasha already knew that the round windows are usually made in the girls’ rooms, and that boys’ rooms have square windows.
“Well, that’s fine,” she thought. “It’s good that the girls and the boys don’t study together in elementary school, since the boys are probably all tiresome and boring, while the girls will be fun to be with!”
The cloud bus stopped in front of the school entrance, opened its doors wide, and noisily spat out all the passengers. Several dozens of girls and boys, as if saddling a strong air current, flew one after another into the huge iridescent hall.
All the children were twisting together in a vortex in the center of the hall, and, obeying the quite cold, biting wind, were whirled away in all directions. This was all extremely unpleasant, especially for Fanyasha, who had dreamily imagined her new wonderful life the whole way to school.
After a few moments, the air current dropped Fanyasha down, and she wound up behind a desk on a hard little chair that hung in the middle of a gloomy gray and cold room, alongside other such chairs and desks, arranged in a circle. The other girls in rainbow dresses flopped onto the nearby chairs and turned their heads to look around, trying to understand what was happening. Nobody was expecting such a cold reception on the first day of school.
Fanyasha looked for anything attractive in this uncomfortable large circular room, and, convinced that her search was hopeless, began to look around at her classmates. She wanted to make a new friend right away and share her emotions.
Fanyasha regretfully found her rude neighbor with the white bangs to her right, and decided instead to speak to the girl to her left.
“Hey, girl, you, girl, what’s your name?” whispered Fanyasha.
“Silence!” a sharp and loud voice boomed from the middle of the room.
Along with the voice, there was all of a sudden a thick, grey smoke in the room as well, which instantly turned into a long, dark grey cloak with a very strict and unpleasant woman’s face that shouted:
“There are strict rules of behavior in the elementary school of angels! Rule number forty-two states: no talking with your classmates! You can only speak when you are asked to by your elders. Do you understand?!
The cloak bent over Fanyasha’s table, and she closed her eyes out of fear.
“Rule number thirty eight! When the teacher asks you a question, you need to answer clearly and quickly! Do you understand, Efaniya Aros?!” the teacher asked over Fanyasha’s head with a leaden voice.
“Yes,” she squeaked, and opened her eyes just enough to see with relief that the cloak had now moved back to the center of the room.
The classroom was absolutely quiet. None of the girls wanted to feel the cold breath of the cloak next to them.
“So, starting from today, you are all students of the elementary school of angels. I am your homeroom teacher. My name is Horda Etyudizovna. You’re all going to have to work hard over the next nine months to ensure that you learn the main rules for dealing with people, and the basics of behavior on earth.
“You must understand that being an angel is a hard job with lots of responsibility! You can say goodbye to your carefree childish amusements. It’s time to start studying! To do a lot of hard work! You will learn a lot during training, get acquainted with the nature of earth, master the art of signs, and meet the family of your future child, and choose a name and key talents for it. At the end of elementary school, you will be presented with the book of life of your child, and get the honor of being present at its birth. But above all, you must learn to unconditionally comply with the rules of behavior at school. I ask you to please read and learn them by tomorrow.
After these words, thick black notebooks appeared on the desks of all the students with the inscription:
Basic Rules of Conduct for Girl Angels in Elementary School.
“The punishment for breaking the rules will be determined each time by me personally, and keep in mind that it’s not in my best interest to be soft, or meet you half way.”
The teacher’s ominous words did not fit in Fanyasha’s head in any way. How could it be, how was it possible, that anyone would treat little girls like that? This was totally unfair and wrong. Girls deserve better treatment than that; after all, they’re made for beauty and for love!
She terribly wanted to stamp her feet, wave her arms and scream out loud that she did not agree with these terms and conditions, but the teacher’s hard, cold face, her leaden voice, the uncomplaining silence of the other girls, the dullness and darkness of the room, the cold hard chairs, the black notebook on the table, and even the hopeless lack of any support — in short, everything around — forced her to accept any terms of her new life.
The teacher began loudly and monotonously reading the basic rules of behavior in school, and this went on for many hours.
When the setting sun started glittering in the small round windows, Fanyasha all of a sudden felt a hitherto unfamiliar sense of peace and tranquility. She noticed that her teacher’s facial features seemed to become softer, and she even managed to see something good in her teacher’s big black eyes.
This, in fact, was the first lesson, and a very important one at that, for the girls at school. It just so happens that in order to teach a little girl the important feminine quality of humility, you need a lot of time. In the world of people, even a whole lifetime is not enough to learn humility for some.
Time is valued differently in the world of angels. It’s not possible to wait for the girl-angel to come to an understanding of all the various issues on her own. Therefore, the school system for training angels is designed in such a way so that little, inexperienced angels can acquire the necessary knowledge and turn into an adult angel who can be trusted with human lives as soon as possible. The school program provides all the necessary conditions for practicing a particular skill or knowledge.
Fanyasha came home in a quiet and peaceful mood.
Her mother, father, and grandmother weren’t home when she arrived. Bosya came out of his room to meet his sister and immediately noticed that she had changed.
“Fanya, hey, Fanya, you’re like, different, somehow,” he noted with interest. “How was school? Did you like it?”
“You know what, brother,” Fanyasha grinned. “You could have at least warned me! I didn’t know everything was like that there!”
“Like what?” asked Bosya.
“Like what, like what!?” laughed Fanyasha. “The way it was! So tough! So strict! And so dark and gloomy! And you can’t talk to anyone! All you can do is sit, be silent, learn the rules, do the exercises, and… well, it was totally different than I imagined it would be.”
“Silly goose!” said Bosya with a smile, and gently pulled his sister’s braid. “Sounds like the lesson you had today was the kind, I don’t know, where they teach girls first, maybe, patience or humility. Basically, don’t worry, tomorrow everything will be completely different, every day is different than the one before in school. Every day is a surprise! It’s like an amusement park! Incredibly cool! You’ll definitely love it!”
Bosya’s words inspired Fanyasha, and she looked at him gently and asked: “What did you, boys, do on the first day?”
“Let me think,” said Bosya, scratching his curly nape. “Oh ya, I remember! In our class on the first day the wind broke all the windows, smashed the walls down, and scattered the furniture, and we had to make repairs the whole day without complaining, and build everything back up, and patch it all. I was very upset, and it seemed terribly unfair that instead of learning and acquiring new knowledge, I had to do what seemed to me to be useless work. But then I realized that all that was very important for developing the necessary skills. And I became good friends with the other guys while we helped each other.”
“You see! So the boys are luckier than we were! At least you weren’t forbidden to talk to each other!” said Fanyasha sadly.
“Fanya, don’t worry, you’ll get to talk together soon too!” Bosya soother her. “Boys and girls are just different by nature, and they are educated to develop different qualities. You know, maybe for girls communication is harmful at first. Well, it’s true, judge for yourself, you won’t learn anything then, all you’ll know how to do is just chatter and giggle. You’ll understand later how everything at school is done at the right time, and is super well-thought out. So now let’s get some sleep, tomorrow is another day, and you’ll get new and important knowledge.”
“I’d love to,” answered Fanyasha with a yawn, “but we have to study all the rules, and there’s a whole thick notebook full of them.”
“Well, don’t even worry, here’s a secret: read the rules once, and then put the notebook under your pillow. In the morning you’ll know everything. I know because it worked for me,” shared Bosya, lovingly.
Fanyasha kissed her brother on the cheek, wished him good dreams, and flew to her own room.
Falling asleep, she thought about how lucky she was that she had an older brother who was so amazingly kind and nice, and always ready to help and support her.
Fanyasha felt very tired, as if she had to go through and learn more in a single day at school than she could have imagined in her wildest dreams. After all, there was nothing there that she was used to.
It must be said that in such beautiful, complete families, like Fanyasha’s, in which all members of the family give the child a lot of love, there is a high probability that the favorite child will grow up spoiled, petulant, selfish and stubborn. Therefore, it really was difficult for Fanyasha to accept and understand what humility was.
The first day at school got her acquainted with this quality. Surprisingly, just one day of humility gave her a new, previously unknown sensation of softness and femininity. This filled Fanyasha with pride. She knew that she had touched something secret and important. Not that she suddenly decided to become a prudent and silent type — no way! Fanyasha just felt that now there were new tools for communication in her arsenal.
Maximum Readiness for Action while Keeping Inner Calm
“Bosya, hey Bosya, tell me, what did you boys learn in school on the second day of class?” asked Fanyasha with a cunning smile, jumping into the cloud bus.
“Oh come on, Fanya, what do you care? No matter what, you girls will have something different!” muttered Bosya.
“But Bosechka, please, please just tell me. I’m interested! I really want to know,” said Fanyasha, still dying to hear her brother’s explanation.
“Well, as far as I remember, we were given all kinds of different tasks all day long the second day, and we were supposed to make a decision really fast and act on it. That’s really important for men! So it was really cool, although at that moment I still couldn’t understand when we would finally start our studies. That’s it.”
Fanyasha didn’t hear her brother’s last words, as the cloud bus had already taken off high into the sky and was racing to the school.
Fanyasha was thinking and imaging the whole way to school about what other skills could be important to girls, and about what she could expect to learn in school today.
At first, she was imagining how they would all be forced to wash and clean up, since girls should look after cleanliness and order. Then she guessed that everybody would be given the opportunity to demonstrate their talent at dancing or singing. That’s when she would surprise everybody! Her grandmother Nakomis had been working with her all throughout Fanyasha’s young life, teaching her to sing beautifully and to dance, so Fanyasha was absolutely sure that no one was better than her at singing and dancing.
She got so engrossed in her thoughts about her talents that she didn’t notice that she had wound up next to her school, and a strong gust of air once again threw all of the students into the right classrooms.
“This is amazing! It’s so beautiful! It’s just incredible beauty!” said a girl with a long red braid, and clapped her hands.
Fanyasha took a look at the girl, and together with the other students she started looking around their classroom with delight. The whole room was shining and transfused with light. There was not a bit of yesterday’s greyness and dampness left! In place of yesterday’s hard chairs, all of the schoolgirls got to sit on soft red armchairs. In front of them on the little cream-colored tables were white notebooks and colored pencils. It was hard to hold back one’s emotions, but Fanyasha had figured out yesterday that silence was like gold for a girl in school.
A raspberry-colored cloud appeared unexpectedly in the middle of the classroom, and in a flash turned into Horda Etyudizovna. However, today her dress had a deep raspberry hue, and her dark hair was wrapped into a tight bun, with a pearl hairpin shining in it. A playful twinkle was flashing in her large black eyes.
Despite that, her voice and facial expression were still serious and cold.
“Good morning, students. I want to start by recognizing one of you, and by giving away our first pink cloud. Krygoliya Zorge, I’m talking about you! You demonstrated your knowledge of rule number seventy-six with dignity! Congratulations!
With these words, the teacher pointed with her long index finger on her right hand at the girl with the red-haired braid, and in her other hand their immediately appeared a large scroll with the names of all the schoolgirls.
Horda Etyudizovna touched the scroll with her finger across from Krygoliya Zorge’s name, and a small pink cloud immediately appeared on the paper.
“Who can tell me why Krygoliya got a pink cloud?” the teacher slowly turned round and round, and looked fixedly into the girls’ faces.
“Efaniya Aros,” she suddenly snapped, “tell me, what is rule number seventy-six about?!”
Here Fanyasha shook out of fear, and she was extremely hurt that her brother’s advice didn’t work. After all, she had honestly read all four hundred rules for girls’ behavior in elementary school, and she honestly put her notebook under her pillow, but now she couldn’t remember a thing that she had read.
“Murisa Laucar, maybe you can answer me?”
The teacher shifted her glance to Fanyasha’s neighbor with the white bangs, and Murisa answered her quickly and precisely, “Rule number seventy-six says a girl should always speak out loud about her positive emotions!”
Within an instant, there were two new symbols on the scroll: a pink cloud next to Murisa’s name, and a black mark next to Efaniya’s name.
“I can’t believe it,” thought Fanyasha, offended. “This repugnant, uneducated neighbor even managed to learn the rules. I was wrong to listen to my over-confident brother! I got into this stupid situation because of him! I’ll give him what for tonight! He’ll get a beating from me!”
“I’m warning all of you,” sounded Horda Etyudizovna’s metallic voice, “the rules of behavior are the basis of the elementary school program. They have to be not only known, but also clearly executed. I’m going to mark every one of your achievements or successes in my gradebook with a pink cloud, and I’ll give a black mark for every failure.
“Fifty pink clouds will give you the chance to visit the school library and park. Fifty black marks will be a straight path to getting expelled from our school, and going right to a remedial school. And keep in mind, I’ll never let any angel graduate from elementary school if she doesn’t know the rules or hasn’t completely learned any one of the subjects we teach here! Believe me, it’s better to delay the birth of your person than to make this person suffer all throughout life with an angel who doesn’t understand the rules.
“That’s why I encourage all of you to know and execute the rules, and try your best in your studies!”
Fanyasha was interested by her teacher’s words.
“What could that mean,” she thought, “to delay a person’s birth. Hmm, if that’s possible, then, maybe, it’s possible to stop the child from being born altogether. In that case, I won’t even have to go to school! It would be good to know what goes with what. Ahh, I know! I’ve got it! I’ll make Bosya tell me everything he knows about that, since he let me down with learning the rules.”
Meanwhile, Horda Etyudizovna continued.
“Yesterday’s class, as you could probably guess, was dedicated to humility, one of a woman’s most important qualities. Thanks to the special conditions we created, you all learned the skill of humility one way or another. And we’ll see as time goes on how well you can use it in life.
“However, here’s my advice: always follow the sincerity of your feelings in your actions. Any fake behavior, or acting, can lead to irreparable consequences. The words “angel’ and “sincerity’ should become synonyms for you.
“You will learn to feel and to understand with sincerity during your time studying in the elementary school,” said Horda Etyudizovna, and with these words started swaying from side to side, and dancing, and she waved her long arms from side to side, and climbed higher and higher, right up to the ceiling. “You’ll learn to appreciate, to accept, to let go, to forgive, and finally, to love, all with sincerity.”
Here she pointed her finger at Murisa and asked her very strictly:
“Whom should an angel love most sincerely of all?”
“Rule number one: an angel should love her person more than anyone else,” the girl responded quickly.
“Well ya, ya, that’s all well and good,” Fanyasha thought, rolling her eyes. “That all sounds nice, but it’s hard to live like that. Really, how can you sincerely accept something that you don’t like at all, or sincerely love a person and dedicate your life to him or her, if that is completely not a part of your plan? If you have to love someone more than anyone else, it should be yourself.”
“Efaniya Aros!” the teacher barked, and flew down into the center of the classroom. “What are you mumbling down there? Are you really that desperate to fill your report card with black marks, and transfer to remedial school?”
Krygoliya exchanged looks with her neighbor and laughed. “Oh please, what a mean teacher, and my classmates are even worse,” thought Fanyasha with self-pity, and dropped her head guiltily, then started nervously writing the words “s-i-n-c-e-r-e-l-y l-o-v-e y-o-u-r p-e-r-s-o-n.”
“Well that’s better,” noted Horda Etyudizovna, then added a pink cloud to Murisa’s line, and continued talking.
“So, sincere love for a person is the meaning of life for an angel. And an angel’s main task in life is to accompany her person throughout life, from birth to death. A person is born, lives, and dies in a special place created for him or her, which is called planet Earth. This planet is situated in a different dimension of space. I’ll teach you in a few months how to get there.”
At this moment, the image of a bluish-green ball appeared in the center of the classroom. The ball was rotating on its axis.
“Earth is a place that serves as a kind of school for people. A person comes to earth in order to learn something. And the angel’s task is to help him or her with that learning.”
Fanyasha remembered her grandmother’s fairy tales about earth, and about how earth is full of various unusual beings, like animals, birds, and fish.
“So, it really does exist, this planet earth,” thought Fanyasha, taken by surprise. “But it turns out that unhappy people also inhabit this earth.”
“As a rule, a person has to go through six basic lessons, and a bunch more secondary lessons,” continued the teacher, flying from side to side between the desks. “The main lessons, unlike the secondary ones, must be followed in a strict sequence. The second lesson won’t begin until the first one is done, and so on.
“As sad as it is, sometimes there are cases when a person’s life ends faster than this person can go through all the lessons. And why is that? It’s because each time the situations in which the person goes through the lesson become more and more complicated, and in the end the poor person suffers throughout life with just one and the same lesson. And sometimes through more than one life! That’s terrible! Just unacceptably awful!” with these words Horda Etyudizovna sighed deeply, and grabbed her head, as if in desperation.
“However!” her voice sounded so loud and powerful that all of the schoolgirls lifted their eyes to her. “We have the power to change that! That’s why we’re learning! And the better you do in school, and the better you learn the school curriculum, the more chances your person will have of getting through all of their lessons, and living a full, happy life. And in that case you’ll have the chance to enter…” here Horda Etyudizovna coughed, brushed her long fingers on her lips, as if she had just given away a terrible secret, and quickly changed the topic of conversation.
“Alright, we’ll talk more about people later, but now let’s talk about cats.”
At this moment pictures of cats appeared all throughout the classroom, on the walls and on the ceiling. They were all really funny — all of varying colors and sizes, furry ones and bald ones. They were all running, and jumping, and stretching, and washing themselves, and yawning, and scratching themselves. Fanyasha smiled; she always liked the fairy tales her grandmother read her about cats.
Horda Etyudizovna continued: “Cats are wingless creatures that live on planet Earth. They walk on four paws, and live among people, and are one of the few creatures that are able to hear angels. A little bit later I’ll teach you how to get in contact with cats, but for today we’ll go over one of the most important cat skills.”
As soon as the teacher said that, all the schoolgirls’ armchairs quickly starting sloping downward, and began to sway from side to side. A few of the girls remained hanging, holding on to the legs of their chairs or tables, while many more, including Fanyasha, weren’t quick enough at grabbing on, and thus slipped from their chairs and fell downwards. Managing to break a little ways from the floor, all of the girls shot back up again, returning to their places. All of them except one. Murisa just stayed on the floor. She tried to energetically flap her wings, but they were too small and weak for her to be able to climb up in the sky.
Having seen what was happening, Fanyasha bolted down at top speed, grabbed Murisa by the arm, and helped her get to her spot.
Horda Etyudizovna pretended like she didn’t see anything, although Fanyasha could feel her steadfast gaze.
Waiting until all the schoolgirls were sitting in their seats once again, the teacher pointed to the wall, and a small scene was played out there: an outwardly relaxed kitten suddenly hears a rustling sound nearby, and instantly high-tails it out of there. Then a second scene: a fluffy, purring cat is lying on the back of a chair and is apparently quietly asleep; suddenly the chair falls over; at the exact same moment the cat jumps up, turns sharply, clings to the chair, and lands on the floor on all fours; it shakes it’s body and calmly walks away.
The picture went away and the teacher started talking.
“So, there you go, a woman’s nature is similar to that of a cat, and you need to learn to feel like a cat, and act like a cat. This means, first of all, that you have to be relaxed and calm in any situation. But if an unexpected danger or change in the situation arises, you should have an instant response. You must take the appropriate action, and show flexibility, tenacity, and a readiness to jump. This state is called the state of alertness, that is maximum readiness to act, while keeping your inner calm. I ask you to master this skill, and always be ready for any turn of events, while at the same time not having any worry and not making any judgements.
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