Нателла Лалабекян

Страна: США

Родилась в Ереване (Республика Армения). Училась в Москве. В 1980 году вместе с родителями переехала в США. Окончила USLA и USC – ведущие университеты Южной Калифорнии, в 2008 году – заочное отделение Литературного института им. А.М.Горького, искусствовед. Член Союзов писателей Москвы и Армении. Обладатель приза Союза армян России “За своеобразное представление национального образа в поэзии ХХI века”. Автор книг стихов «Я создала твой образ», «От образа к облику», «Многоточие», «Путь к себе», «Неслучайные встречи», а также книги стихов, рассказов, путевых заметок «Две жизни». председатель Совета, финансовый директор премии”Начачло» при Союзе Писателей Москвы.

Country: USA

Natella Lalabekyan was born in Yerevan, Armenian. After finishing high school in 1980 in Moscow, she moved to the U.S.A., where she received two degrees – a bachelors in Slavic Languages and literature from UCLA and a M.B.A. from USC. In 2008 she graduated from the Gorky literature institute in Moscow. She is a member of the writers guild of Moscow and Armenia. She is a recipient of a prize in poetry from the Union of Russian Armenians. She has published five books, “I Created your image (1997), “From an image to a Silhouette” (2002), “Ellipsis” (2008), “The road to myself” (2010), “Meetings of no Coincidence” (2013), “Two Lives” (2014).

Отрывок из малой прозы “Little Red Riding Hood”

 

Alyne’s Adventures in the Story of “Little Red Riding Hood”

 

Once upon a time in a faraway land, there was a girl named Alyne, who lived with her mother and father and much younger brother, Alex. She was a happy, kind soul. She loved to sing, dance, put puzzles together, and help her mother in the kitchen, especially when she baked something yummy, like cookies.

She loved to watch cartoons. Her favorite was “Paw Patrol.” The heroes of the story were puppies, who helped other animals in trouble and defended their city from the plots of villains. Her favorite was a girl puppy named Sky. For her latest birthday, Alyne asked her mother to throw a party with the theme of Paw Patrol. She imagined herself as Sky, wore her costume, and was always ready to defend Alex from danger.

Alyne had a great imagination, and, when her mother was reading her a bedtime fairy tale at night, she got upset about the injustice and evil in the story, and she yearned to aid the heroic characters.

Of course, it’s traditional for the wishes of the pure in heart to come true.

One evening when her mother was reading the fairy tale about Little Red Riding Hood, Alyne found herself drifting off. In some mysterious way, she was carried away by her mother‘s soft voice into the land of fairy tales. As she became aware of her new surroundings, she found herself in a quaint little cottage, where Little Red Riding Hood was baking cookies for her Grandmother, who lived in the village on the other side of the woods.

Magical events are quite common in fairy tales, so Little Red Riding Hood was not in the least surprised by Alyne appearing out of nowhere. Alyne, on the other hand, might have been expected to freak out a bit, if she had not been so brave. As it was, she simply introduced herself and offered to help with the baking, one of her favorite activities.

When it was time to deliver the cookies to Grandmother, Alyne remembered how many unpleasant experiences were in store for Little Red Riding Hood, the Grandmother, and the Big Bad Wolf. It seemed a shame, since, with a little courage and ingenuity, she believed a lot of pointless suffering could be avoided and a better outcome achieved for everyone–including the Big Bad Wolf. Alyne had always found him ingenious and thought that he could hardly be blamed for his wolfish tendencies, especially with humans encroaching on his habitat. If only he could be persuaded to use his cleverness for good!

“Little Red Riding Hood, I have to tell you something important. I come to you from another world where we read books that relate the events of your world, though we consider them fictional stories called fairy tales. So, I know exactly what is about to happen, if you take those cookies to Grandmother, and it will not be very nice. On your way to Grandmother’s house, you’ll encounter the Big Bad Wolf, and I’m sorry to say, he has every intention of eating you.”

Little Red Riding Hood was shocked, of course, but she wanted to know whether Alyne was sure it was this particular trip to deliver cookies, and, if not, did she propose Little Red Riding Hood stay home forever.

“Excellent points! I can see you’re a girl of spirit, who is not easily intimidated. If you trust me, I think I know what to do. My father taught me how to negotiate…to solve problems without fighting, simply by finding the right arguments. He calls it ‘making a deal.’ For example, if I want to eat something sweet in the morning, I have to eat my porridge first, and, if I want to watch cartoons, I have to clean up my toys. This is a valuable skill. I think adults call it finding a compromise.”

Of course, Alyne was a little bit scared. What if her plan didn’t work? But she thought about her favorite character, Sky, and decided to be brave.

On their way to Grandmother’s house, the girls became fast friends. They told each other about their favorite pastimes and toys. Alyne shared how much she enjoyed playing with her little brother, Alex, watching the Paw Patrol cartoon, and singing and dancing, sometimes at ballet school, sometimes not. Little Red Riding Hood told her how much she loved making outfits for her favorite doll, gathering mushrooms and berries in the woods, and, of course, singing and dancing herself.

They decided to gather a bouquet of wildflowers for Grandmother. Turns out, they both loved pink and purple colors, and Little Red Riding Hood also adored the red color of her cloak, which her Grandmother made for her.

The girls almost forgot about the danger awaiting them ahead, when the Big Bad Wolf appeared from around the bushes with a crafty grin.

“Hi girls!” said the Wolf, greeting the girls with artificial politeness. He was quite pleased to have two girls for lunch today instead of one.

Alyne knew very well about the Wolf’s intention to eat them both. It was up to Alyne to outsmart him.

“Well, if it isn’t the Big Bad Wolf!” Alyne stepped toward him bravely. “We need to have a serious talk.”

“What an unexpected turn of events!” answered the Wolf with a curious smile. He wanted to know what Alyne had to say, since he had more than enough time to eat the girls afterwards.

“I know, for a fact,” declared Alyne with conviction, “that you’re planning to eat us!”

“And just how would a young girl like you know something like that?”

“Because I come from a world where your histories are read as fairy tales. Your story ends badly for you. The Huntsman is closing in. Just how long can you hide from him in the woods? And, after the Huntsman tracks you down, you will endure in the memories of children and their parents as a villainous character who ate a little girl and her Grandmother.”

Alyne saw doubt in the Wolf’s eyes: on the one hand, the Wolf was not inclined to trust this girl; on the other, how did she know his intentions? And, earlier in the woods, he had heard the sounding horns of the Huntsman. Perhaps, the girl was telling the truth.

“I’m giving you a chance to survive,” continued Alyne. “The choice is yours: either eat us and try to stay one step ahead of the Huntsman, or repent your evil ways. We’re willing to help you. We could try to be friends, and all go together to Grandmother’s house to enjoy tea and cookies. We will tell all the Huntsmen to leave you alone, but you have to give your word that from now on you will start to help Grandmother: helping her from time to time with heavy lifting, and defending her from your dangerous kin. You can become a heroic character in the fairy tale and earn the love and respect of everyone around you.

The girl’s arguments were convincing. He didn’t want to end up being a rug on somebody’s floor; and, in truth, the Wolf was sick of loneliness and bored with his role as a horrible villain, but he had not seen a way out of his situation before. Like all the wolves, he was constantly hungry, and, in all the years of his fairy-tale existence, no one had offered him friendship. He had long dreamed of being loved like all the heroic characters in the fairy tales.The Wolf was dumbfounded but curiously intrigued.

Alyne, Little Red Riding Hood, and the Wolf went to the Grandmother’s house with the cookies and a bouquet of flowers, to which the Wolf added his favorite flowers, blue “forget-me-nots.”

Grandmother was very surprised to be visited by so many people, but she was a kind and friendly woman, who was always happy to receive guests, especially when she learned that the Wolf was going to help and defend her.

After the tea and cookies, the Wolf slipped into a generous mood and announced that tomorrow, he would visit the Three Little Pigs in their fairy tale–and, later on, his other enemies in fairy tales that cast him as a villain–so he could make them all an offer of friendship. Finally, his dream of becoming a heroic character and living among friends was coming true!

Everything happened according to Alyne’s plan. The Wolf followed her advice and became a frequent guest at Grandmother’s house: fixing the fence, watering the garden, and so on. He also became a great fan of vegetarian dishes, like mac and cheese, which he enjoyed with Little Red Riding Hood at Grandmother’s on the weekends.

When Alyne opened her eyes in the morning, she saw a book of fairy tales next to her on the bedside table. It was open to the page of “Little Red Riding Hood.” She decided to tell the story of her adventures to her own Grandmother, so she could write it down for Alex. When he grows up a bit, he can read a new version of the story in which everyone is happy–even the Big Bad Wolf!

 

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