Childhood. It happened so that in the XXI century children play mainly in Furby, Tamagotchi, Computer games, etc. And what are the consequences! Enclosing in own virtual space. Many children are even unable to articulate their thoughts verbally.
However, creativity helps to realize childish imaginations. You should believe in yourself and work hard. God will bless you.
Here are Solnishko and Maksim with their friends. Their games of imagination, at least for a while, will get you back from the virtual world.
From the authors
CHAPTER 1. OH, THIS TRAFFIC JAMS!
Hello, my dear reader! I would like to tell you a modern fairy tale about a little girl born in Moscow city. Her name was Solnishko — “Little Sun”. “What a strange name!” — you may probably think. Dose such a name exist or may a girl be named in such a way? First of all everything is possible in fairy tales: secondly, a little girl in Russia may be named in all possible ways. She was such a bright and radiant child that the God Himself willed her to have this name. As to you, also to her grandmothers, grandfathers, aunts, uncles and other relatives it seemed strange, but during the time they understood that this name fit her better than anything else. It should be mentioned, that to the problem of name choice the family approached very seriously. In fact there is a belief that the child’s name may have an impact on his/her fate. Many people believe in it, but, as the most important precondition, it should be an international name. She was a child of mixed blood, with southern and western roots, that is why her parents simply ought to name her so that she did not feel uncomfortable in various points of the Earth. And that name was well-chosen.
The girl was lucky. She was born in a so called “wealthy family”. Since the first days of her life everybody loved and took care of her. She was fed and watered, brought up and pampered moderately. Solnishko slept and woke up under the classical music, she walked around in all kinds of weather (both in sunny, snowy or rainy days), she became closer to the nature, practiced sports. This whole grace was provided for her by the family and the relatives, who had read all sorts of good books and were guided by own experiences. And either due to the good experience or the books clever enough, the girl lived as if in a fairy tale. However, while growing up, Solnishko began to catch up that the real life differs from the one described in the books. Many things simply could not be explained in her life, and the adults were not always able to explain those differences for her.
As most children, perhaps also Solnishko was a very observant child. She watched after the cars and the people walking across the pavements. In such a way she learned to recognize the trolleybuses, the autobuses, the trams, the trucks, the minibuses, as well as the various types of automobiles. She was taught the rules of behavior in the street and in the car. Solnishko was an active girl and it was rather hard for her to sit quiet in the car-seat behind the driver during the whole driving process. She always wanted to be in the hands of adults, to fidget in the car and hit with feet.
When Solnishko was two and half years old, once she asked:
— What will happen, if any child does not want to sit in the car-seat or to buckle up?
— The uncle GAIshnik will fine the driver for traffic infraction, — Granny answered.
— And won’t he have money to buy a toy for his child? — Solnishko continued.
— Yes, may be. In any case he will possess less money, — explained Granny.
— And will the child cry? — sadly told the girl.
— May be he will. But it is no use crying over the split milk. That will be a lesson for him and he won’t break the rules any more, — Granny answered quietly.
“The adults always find something to reply, just to manage the things in their own way”, — Solnishko thought. But she was thinking in that manner until the moment she saw a car accident. Fortunately nobody was harmed, although, because of the traffic jam, they had to wait for very long. As a result, she was late for the circus performance, and hence upset very much. (The circus is but a special story: and now it is not the time to speak about). So, not immediately, but soon she understood that safety was above all and the most safe place in the automobile was the place behind the driver.
Solnishko enjoyed the process of moving. And since the early childhood she did not like when the car stopped at a red traffic light, not speaking about the longer stops, as, for example, before the railroad crossing on the way to the summer house or because of the traffic jam. At that time she began whining and even crying. Every time something had to be thought of to distract her. Over time Solnishko began listening to the “Radio for Children”, as well as audio disks with her favorite fairy tales and musicals, legends and myths about ancient times. The girl immersed herself in what she heard and empathized her favorite heroes so much that the people surrounding her got an impression that she did not notice anything else around. But this was not the case. Many questions bothered her.
Once in the evening Solnishko asked, by keeping in mind the traffic jam:
— Granny, can you explain to me why it happens so? And how can it be corrected?
At first moment Granny was even confused. It was somehow strange to discuss that problem with a little girl. However there was nothing to do for Granny but to answer.
— In short, many people think about it, but nothing intelligible has been thought of yet. I mean, how to change this situation, — Granny answered in a serious tone.
— I know. Dad told me that there are such phenomena in nature which couldn’t be explained yet by people, — the girl got inspired by remembering her interesting journey to the past, which she realized with her Dad in the Darwin Museum. — And are the traffic jams on the roads also such a phenomenon?
— No. Those are not such a phenomenon. Those can be explained, but people still didn’t learn to manage them.
— But why?
— It is not so easy, — Granny replied seriously.
— How can it happen? — asked the girl in a soft manner.
— You know that there are diseases which can already be explained by people but not be treated thus far. That’s why they still try somehow to support the sick human being, to ease his/her suffering. But over time people will surely learn to treat those diseases.
— Is the traffic jam a disease, Granny? — the girl reacted immediately.
— Yes, you might say. It is the disease of big cities, — Granny answered.
— And can it be also treated? — wondered Solnishko.
— No, it can’t, unfortunately. All the attempts to reduce it are still ineffective, — continued Granny.
— Will people learn to treat also it? — asked the girl.
— Probably some day it will happen, — Granny answered.
— But when will it happen? — Solnishko continued her questions.
— It’s a difficult question, — said Granny.
— It’s always so. You, the adults, reply in such a way, as if you don’t know the answer, — the girl resented.
— It’s already too late. You should go to bed, — Granny tried to interrupt the conversation but did not manage it.
— I won’t go. I shall wait for Mom and Dad, — replied the girl without calming down.
— Solnishko, darling, I” m afraid you have to wait for a long time. Do you see the hard snow outside? Everything is covered up. Plow trucks can’t function well. Neither go, no drive. Let’s go to bed. And at night, if you would like to drink some milk, Mom will bring it for you.
All the attempts to distract Solnishko were useless. The girl missed her Dad very much, as she hadn’t seen him over the last three months. Dad was on a scientific expedition and he was returning home on that day. The airplane had already landed. Dad had phoned from the airport. Two hours had already passed but he couldn’t reach home. Mom also worked very hard. That is why each spare hour spent together with her was a gift for the girl, which she was deprived of today.
— Why did you tell me that there is always a way out? — asked Solnishko by repeating the same question.
— Yes, really, there is always a way out. Simply sometimes you have to look for it too long, — answered Granny.
— It means that if one tries really hard, one finds it, doesn’t it? — Solnishko continued her questions.
— Yes, it does, — answered Granny. Certainly she was tired and could barely restrain her impatience.
— Granny, let’s call the MES, — the girl got inspired, believing, apparently, that it was exactly the solution to the problem.
— Why? — Granny was surprised.
— Do you remember when there were fires in the summer, people were rescued by MES?… Granny, what is MES?
— The Ministry of Emergency Situations, — explained Granny.
— What are emergency situations? — wondered Solnishko.
— Those are natural disasters, for example, fires and different dangerous situations people may face. Let’s suppose the door was locked, the little child stayed alone in the house and needs an urgent help.
— Is the traffic jam an ordinary situation?
— Yes, it is, — answered Granny with regret.
The girl lived on the 13th floor of the high-rise building and liked to sit down on the low windowsill and to look through the window while waiting for her parents. Also at that evening, by watching the endless string of cars, she took attention to a great number of wrong parked automobiles which the already difficult situation on the roads made much more difficult. And this circumstance could not leave indifferent the observant girl.
— Granny, why all these cars stand in the wrong place? — asked Solnishko.
— The car owners came to work and left their automobiles here to return home by cars after the work.
— But why didn’t they leave the cars where they should be? — persistently was asking the girl.
— You see there is no place for everyone in the car park. Besides, parking is often paid. That’s why many people leave the automobiles anywhere, — explained Granny.
— Are they punished for it? — the girl was surprised.
— Sometimes they are punished: or they simply write out a fine, or their machines are even taken to the penalty area, — Granny explained in detail.
— Who punishes them? Does the uncle GAIshnik do it? — remembered the girl.
— Yes, — Granny was pleasantly surprised that Solnishko didn’t forget the content of their past talks.
— But they are still not afraid of him, if they continue to park their machines where they shouldn’t be, aren’t they? — Solnishko wondered.
— It turns out they aren’t, — agreed Granny.
There was a pause. Being tired of those conversations Granny began to prepare the girl for going to bed.
At that time the phone rang up and Granny answered. After talking on the phone she turned to Solnishko:
— Mom told us not to wait for her and to go to bed.
— Must we do as Mom said? — asked Solnishko.
— Of course. You know that Mom’s word is a law for us, — emphasized Granny.
— But we won’t tell her, — protested the girl.
— Mom should always know the truth. And in general, Solnishko, it will be better to be punished for what you did wrong than for hiding it. In that case both the punishment will be light and the mistake can be corrected in time, — said Granny.
— But now you are here, with me. You may allow me not to go to bed, — continued Solnishko without calming down.
— No, darling, Mom’s word is more important than mine, — insisted Granny.
— But my Mom also may be mistaken, — Solnishko didn’t give up.
— Well, it’s quite possible. But also in this case, if it even seems to you that Mom is not right, you should do as Mom says. At least until you don’t take responsibility for your actions yourself, — explained Granny in a calm manner.
— It means if I don’t agree with Mom, I can never do what I want, doesn’t it? — the girl was sincerely surprised.
— Why? Be able to prove that you are right, so that Mom also accepts it, — answered Granny. — And besides, Solnishko, Mom allows you almost everything. There are some restrictions connected exclusively to your safety and health. It is impossible without any restriction. There will be anarchy and chaos.
— As it is on roads, isn’t it? — remembered the girl.
— It’s quite right, — said Granny.
— Is it so in all families? — Solnishko wondered.
— If you mean the system of restrictions, then it exists in each family. It’s another case when the system itself may be different, — explained Granny.
— You confused me, Granny, — said the girl.
— It is right, for you should go to bed, — answered Granny.
— Was your Mom also always right? — Solnishko continued.
— Yes, she was right in many ways. But there was a bit different situation in my family, — said Granny.
— Tell me, Granny, — begged the girl.
— In other occasion. That’s it for today. Let’s go to bed, — Granny didn’t agree.
— Please, Granny, — asked Solnishko.
— Don’t ask me. Wash your hands, brush your teeth, wear your pajamas and go to bed, — strongly ordered Granny.
— And what about a bedtime story? — Solnishko added.
— Surely. Choose what to read, — Granny agreed. — Would you tell me about your family instead of a fairy tale? — asked the girl craftily.
— You, sly girl! Next time, — answered Granny.
— I don’t want to sleep and I won’t go to bed, — replied the girl without calming down. — If I go to bed it will mean, I accept that I’ll see Mom and Dad not so soon. And I don’t want to accept it.
— I’m afraid, nothing more you can do. It’s out of our power to fight a disaster. And besides, it’s not so bad. Your parents will soon come back. Look, what happens in airports. The people are without any food and water for already several days and can’t fly. So, consider us very lucky, — said Granny.
— Can’t they also fly because of disaster? And don’t they have any food and water also because of disaster?
— It is difficult to ascribe the fact of their appearance in such a terrible situation to only the disaster: it happened because of bad work of corresponding services, — explained Granny.
— Did they also accept the fact they feel bad? — Solnishko puzzled Granny.
— It’s difficult to accept that, moreover, it can’t be tolerated. Nobody will help you until you don’t fight for your rights yourself, — continued Granny.
— And what are they doing? How do they fight? — wondered the girl.
— They try to find the cooperators of the airport, the airline company to get some information about flights, and they finally try to rebel, — answered Granny very seriously, even a little bit tensely.
— But why do they try to rebel? Can it help them to fly, — the girl was surprised.
— No, it won’t help them to fly, but it will draw attention to their problem and will make them think, — Granny tried to explain it to the child as simply as possible.
It seemed the girl was greatly interested in that topic and though she didn’t understand everything but she felt that everything Granny told about was very important.
Solnishko was a clever girl. She was getting everything: and first of all her feelings which helped her to guess what was important from her point of view but what she didn’t understand yet.
The girl bickered for a long time, but at the end she got tired and fall asleep.
The parents returned home safely. In the following morning Solnishko was happy as much as never over the past three months.
CHAPTER 2. THE TERRORIST ATTACK IS NOT A WAR
Several days passed. Everything went as good as possible for Solnishko. She didn’t have to go to kindergarten which was closed connected with the flu epidemic. It was too cold outside and it was impossible to go for a walk. In a word, the girl passed all her time with her family, in the most favorite atmosphere for her. It should be mentioned that Solnishko liked her flat, her room, her books, toys, DVD and audio discs very much. Sometimes it seemed to be very difficult “to take her out” for somewhere. Very often she had to be persuaded, for being interested in anything. But when she went out she didn’t want to come back any more. During such days one of the most wanted places was the Museum of the Peoples of the East. The girl liked to walk through the half-empty halls of the museum and enjoy the ancient culture of the Orient. She was especially attracted by the exhibits in the halls dedicated to India, China, Japan, Iran and of course the paintings of Nicholas Roerich and Svetoslav Roerich. Some kind of magic existed in them, the blessing light emanated from them. And the color scheme amazed the imagination. She could look at those paintings for hours and without getting tired. If some paintings of Shishkin, Vasnetsov, Vrubel, Polenov, Kuindzhi and even Aivazovsky demonstrated in Tretyakov Gallery were closer to the child by their themes, and that’s why she understood and liked them, then the paintings of Roerichs fascinated little Solnishko so that she looked at those works with wide eyes and didn’t hurry up to part with them. The girl used to come here often with her parents.
Each visit was dedicated to a concrete hall. In such way the parents measured out the physical and emotional tension in doses. Step by step they made the child closer to the high art in order for the perception not to be blurred over, the feelings be remembered and the formed interest be stable.
As a rule, after such excursions, during several days, the girl played with her grannies the subjects of the paintings she liked most of all or improvised over the themes of expositions. By sitting on a carpet Solnishko placed her toys and made compositions — she remembered the prototypes of the most interesting scenes, divided the roles and involved the adults in theatrical performances. Sometimes the girl greatly suffered from the fact that she couldn’t get the corresponding decorations. In that case the adults had to solve the problem very quickly by any possible means: to knit, to sew, to sculpt, to draw, to color, to buy again. Solnishko herself was actively involved in the process of making decorations. She was very happy when everything worked. Only seldom it could be defined especially what made her happy: the process itself or the final result.
Grandpas also were involved in the games, yet communication with grandpas was remote as they lived in “the near abroad”. Solnishko also had relatives who were in “the far abroad” by fate.
Sometimes after visiting the museum the girl got tired and preferred listening to the audio recordings of her favorite fairy tales and stories by sitting on the floor. At that time they left her alone with her thoughts and fantasies.
However at this time things were different. Still on the road, in the car it was reported that there was an explosion in the airport “Domodedovo”. By this way Solnishko heard the words “a terrorist attack” for the first time. According to the reaction of the adults, she understood that something terrible had happened. Naturally she wanted to know what “a terrorist attack” meant and she turned to the parents for explanations. The girl was very sensitive, that’s why the parents protected her from details and only briefly telling that the criminals caused an explosion, in the result of which some people died. Everything was done in order for the imagined scene of the events didn’t appear in front of her eyes. Nevertheless, the mood was ruined and it seemed to be some feeling of anxiety which nobody could get rid of for a long time.
Everything, of course, ends sooner or later. Life was normalized and returned to its former routine. However, nothing disappears without a trace.
Once after dinner when Larisa, the close friend of the family was visiting them, Solnishko told Granny to ask something by Jane Eyre, the porcelain doll Granny had recently presented to her granddaughter and which Solnishko loved very much. Granny asked the doll in English. It was a surprise for the child. The girl wondered in which language Granny said to Jane. After hearing the answer Solnishko asked:
— But why in English?
— Because she’s English, — explained Granny in a calm manner.
— Does she speak in Russian? — the girl wondered.
— No, she doesn’t — answered Granny.
— Then she is bad, — strongly said Solnishko by putting aside the doll.
— Are all bad if they don’t speak Russian? — Granny was greatly surprised.
— You know, the people are bad when they speak some languages, — explained the girl without any doubt in her voice.
— And what languages are those? — Granny tried to ask more calmly.
— Abrakalpmol… dyu.
— Who told you about it? — Granny tried to find out.
— I heard in the park, when Katya’s and Natasha’s grannies said the explosion was caused by the people who speak such languages, — the girl retold what she had heard.
— Probably yes, darling, or probably not. Nobody knows it yet. Even assuming that it’s true, you should know that there are good and bad people, regardless of what language they speak, — answered Granny.
— Does it mean Katya’s and Natasha’s grannies tell lies? — Solnishko asked with some doubt in her voice.
— No, Solnishko. They simply delude themselves, — answered Granny.
— What does it mean “they delude themselves”? — Solnishko continued her questions.
— It means that they are wrong, — explained Granny.
— But why are they wrong and not you? — disputed Solnishko.
— Judge for yourself. I, your Granny, also speak in no Russian. Does it mean I’m bad? — continued Granny.
— No, you aren’t, — the girl answered with confusion, but then she found what to say, — but you can speak Russian, don’t you?
— It means, you think I’m not bad only because I can speak Russian. But would I be bad if I couldn’t speak Russian? — said Granny.
— Granny, you are confusing me, — said Solnishko, barely holding back her tears. — And besides, grannies are kind, but you are a bit strict, — the girl resented, — well, let’s play now.
— My miracle! — exclaimed Granny, hugging the girl. — Kind and strict aren’t opposites. Besides, you should try to come out in all things by yourself or ask your relatives to answer, before coming to some conclusion and not to appear in a bad situation. And now, of course, let’s play, — Granny told her peacefully.
So, they went to the playroom together.
— What shall we play? — wondered Granny.
— This time you think up, — Solnishko got excited.
— I offer to act the story of the Trojan War, — Granny thought up.
— Let’s do it, — answered the girl with happy voice.
— Let’s divide the roles. You’ll act the Beautiful Helen, I guess so, — continued Granny.
— Of course. Larisa will act Paris, and you, Granny, will be Menelaus, Agamemnon, Achilles, Hector and all the others, — Solnishko decided seriously.
— We should think about decorations, — Larisa continued.
They began working actively. The ironing board covered by a rug was immediately turned into a horse, and the room — to the battlefield. Shields, swords appeared, as well as all the other war attributes of that time. The gym mat became the ship, in which the warlike Greek Achaean tribes led by Agamemnon, the king of Mycenae, passed across the Aegean Sea and reached Troy. The Greeks had arrived for the Beautiful Helen and the treasures stolen by Paris, the youngest son of Priam, the king of Troy. The two sides began to war. The walls of Troy were impregnable and the city itself was an impregnable fortress. In the result of military action many brave warriors were killed on the battlefield. After some years the Greek managed to posses the city by cunning and destroyed it.
The roles were learnt well but sometimes Solnishko used to change the events and she thought out or changed the plot herself, depending on her mood. At that time, during the game process, the scenario was rewritten and Solnishko redistributed the roles herself and directed the events.
It turned out to be a real performance, which captured all the participants so much that they lost the sense of time and in fact got into the characters of their heroes. It was very interesting and exciting. Everybody enjoyed it very much.
Suddenly Solnishko asked.
— Granny, did the people die so during the terrorist attack?
At first moment both Granny and Larisa were shocked, the result of which was the oppressive silence. First was Granny who came to herself:
— No, darling. There is a big difference between the war and the terrorist attack.
— What kind of? — the girl continued.
— Solnishko, thousands of years have passed since the times of the Trojan War. Regardless the fact on which side the readers’ sympathy is, we remember the participants as well as we respect their courage and bravery. Legends were composed about them. Their memory lives through the ages. While the terrorists don’t have a name. They are peoples without identity and belonging. Everybody curses them, because their actions are directed against the defenseless and peaceful people, — Granny tried to explain.
— Are they cursed? But how? May I whisper in your ear? Do they say: “Hell with you”? Do you know, Granny, I still also can’t forget those words. I want, but I can’t.
You should say: “God be with you”. And it’ll be forgotten, my dear, — said Granny by hugging and caressing the child. — Now let’s better have a supper. — I’ll warm up the food while you and Larisa gather the decorations and remove the traces of war. Soon parents will return home from work but we have a real disaster.
Solnishko couldn’t forget the game for a long time and used to tell about the Beautiful Helen before going to bed. Solnishko admired Paris, the Beautiful Helen in spite of the ambiguity of their characters. And in a dream there was a smile on her face.
Since then the girl didn’t remember about the terrorists any more.
CHAPTER 3. PROBLEM OF CHOICE
Since the early childhood Mom was the most important person in Solnishko’s life. In the presence of Mom other people were unimportant. Every time, when Mom had to go for her business, bilateral talks used to begin concerning cancellation of her jobs and reduction of terms of her absence. All the arguments were used: requests, persuasions, tears.
— Please, don’t leave, Mom! I feel so bad without you, — begged the girl, following around Mom, who was going to work.
— Solnishko, I have a lot of work to do. I’ll return to you when I finish, — Mom answered in a gentle voice by patting her on the head and kissing. — For now until then you should stay with Granny.
— Let Granny work and you stay with me, — Solnishko objected.
— Granny is busy too. But she came, in order to be with you. I’ll soon return and we’ll play together, — Mom continued patiently.
— No, I don’t want to stay with Granny, don’t leave, please, Mom, — the girl begged all in tears.
But when Mom closed the door behind her, everything began to be fine. The child instantly switched to the one of the relatives who had stayed with her and even called them Mom, till she came back from work. At the beginning it surprised everyone but gradually they got used to it and perceived it to be a game, with the help of which the child didn’t want to accept the absence of her Mom.
Solnishko communicated differently with each of the members of the large close-knit family, which was united by Solnishko in the main. She thought up different games and thus the child lived many lives during the day.
When Granny put Solnishko to bed, the girl asked to tell her the story about Lindagul, the youngest and the most favorite daughter of Nadir, the Persian shah. Though Solnishko knew that story by heart, nevertheless, every time she asked Granny to read and then also to tell it. And when Granny, being already half asleep and tired, tried somehow to shorten the story, no matter how much tired and sleepy, the girl immediately was cheered up and began to correct Granny by reproaching her for being forgetful:
— No, it isn’t so, Granny. You confused everything again. You’re such a mixer.
What is interesting, that she didn’t ask anyone else to read that story. The girl had her favorite fairy tales with Mom as well as the other Granny however nobody was allowed to read or tell them. Common was only that during all phases of the girl’s life there was always some fairy tale character, which was her friend and to which she trusted all her secrets. Solnishko shared a meal with her friend, walked with her friend, went to kindergarten, played music, went to the gym, to the ice rink, skied, listened to fairy tales, played, even performed concerts and slept. At the beginning they were a dog, a hare, a wolf, a fox, the most favorite characters from cartoons and some entertaining stories. Moreover, if the corresponding teddy toys were turned into the analogues of the animals, the close friends, then Samodelkin was the invisible friend of the girl for a long time. The child was so absorbed by the character that she talked with him, introduced him to her guests, as well as asked for advice. Samodelkin began to be the most important one at home. He participated in all games. Books were read about adventures of Samodelkin and his friends, the same audio recordings were listened to, even the improvisations were exclusively on the theme “Samodelkin and his company”.
When the family had a dinner, cutlery was put also for Samodelkin. Before going to bed, the girl invited Samodelkin to the bathroom to wash up and to brush teeth. When she listened to the audio recordings she asked not to disturb her and Samodelkin.
More and more the living space was given to Samodelkin. That was, to put it mildly, a difficult period in the life of the family, the members of which had to learn to live in conditions of the constant invisible presence of Samodelkin.
But thank God everything in life passes and one day Samodelkin, Karandash, Nastenka, Kletochka, Tigrasha, pirats Bulbul and Dirka and the other characters appeared in the past.