Ксения Богданова

Страна: Россия

Аспирант филологического факультета Санкт-Петербургского государственного университета. Занимаюсь переводом (русский, английский, испанский). Люблю сочинять малую прозу на английском языке в жанре фэнтези, а также создавать иллюстрации.

Country: Russia

I am a graduate student at the faculty of philology of the St. Petersburg State University. As a translator, I work with Russian, English, and Spanish. My passions include writing short fantasy stories in English and creating illustrations.

Перевод к «Река, имя которой я ношу»

Reka, imya kotoroy ya noshu

Natalia Sokol

Excerpt from the story The River That I Was Named After

This story took place in the Atlantic Forest. An odd name, isn’t it? Atlantic Forest… You might wonder why it’s called this way. It is really quite simple! The thing is, you won’t find the Atlantic Forest on the shore of the Arctic Ocean, or the Indian Ocean, or even the (a bit hard to pronounce) Pacific Ocean. No, you will find the Atlantic Forest on the shore of the Atlantic Ocean!

And now for our story. One day, Iguazu (a boy who lived in the Atlantic Forest and was named after the river that flowed by his house) lost his Kinkajou. This little raccoon-like animal, Iguazu’s treasured pet (or rather, his very best friend), had gone missing overnight while everyone was asleep. As he woke up the next morning, Iguazu called out to his friend, like he always did,

‘Hey, Kinkajou! Rise and shine, sleepy-head! Time to get up!’

But, much to his surprise, the boy never heard the familiar rustle and pitter-patter of tiny paws. So he darted out of bed and rushed towards Kinkajou’s little hut. It was empty… Iguazu looked all over his house… And found nothing! Then, he went out into the yard… Still nothing! Worst of all, no paw prints!

‘There has to be some sort of clue! Come on, Iguazu!’ the boy would tell himself again and again. ‘Pay more attention!’

And then he spotted something small and greyish white not far from Kinkajou’s hut. He stepped closer…

‘Oh no! It’s a feather! From a Harpy Eagle! The most dangerous bird in the Atlantic Forest!’

A tear droplet rolled down Iguazu’s cheek.

‘My poor little Kinkajou… Will I really never see you again?…’

Iguazu closed his eyes and imagined the steely talons of the Harpy Eagle, as huge as bear claws, grabbing his little friend and sweeping him off somewhere far, far away…

‘No! All’s not lost yet! I am going out to look for my Kinkajou, right now! If there is even the tiniest chance that I might save him, I can’t miss it!’

And so Iguazu hastily began getting ready.

‘I will learn where the Harpy Eagles make their nests, and I will find you, my dear little Kinkajou’.

As he went off on his journey, the boy decided to follow the river that he was named after. At first, its course took him along familiar paths, where he would often go on morning walks together with Kinkajou.

All of a sudden, he heard something flap, thud, and groan somewhere to his left… Iguazu cautiously crept up to the place where the groan was coming from.

‘Toh-k… Toh-oh-k… Toh-oh-oh-k…’ the sound was very weak, and so very miserable…

Iguazu realised that it was coming from a Toucan — a bird with an enormous and really pretty beak. The Toucan had gotten tangled up in the shares that the hunters had craftily set up to capture exotic birds.

‘Don’t be scared; I will help you,’ said the boy, as he cut through the snares with his pocket knife and set the worn-out bird free.

‘Thank you, dear boy! If it had not been for you, I would have died here. Maybe I could help you out in return?’

‘Maybe you could… You birds are really familiar with one another, aren’t you? Do you know who dropped this?’

Iguazu took the greyish white feather out of his bag.

‘Yes. This came from a Harpy Eagle’, the Toucan replied, once he had tilted his head and given the feather a closer look.

‘And do you know where the Harpy Eagles make their nests?’ Iguazu went on.

‘Oh yes, their nests are further downstream, beyond the waterfall,’ the Toucan explained.

‘Beyond… the waterfall,’ the boy echoed after him. ‘Water-fall… What’s a waterfall?’

‘It’s a place where a river picks the shortest path towards the ocean, and pours off the tall mountain cliffs. You can’t miss it… Ah, the roar of the crashing stream… The clouds of water spray… The rapid current rushing down… It’s mesmerising…’

With one eye shut, the Toucan trailed off, caught in his reminiscences of the waterfall’s beauty…

‘But why does the river have to fall off the cliffs? Why can’t it keep running to the ocean in mid-air? And, once it reaches the ocean, why can’t it just flow in, really smoo-oothly?’ Iguazu asked suddenly.

The Toucan was so taken aback that he frantically blinked his green eyes, which seemed to have grown twice as huge with astonishment!

‘Wait a minute… How did you put it? Keep running to the ocean… In mid-air? Toh-k! Toh-oh-k! That’s impossible!’ he screeched.

‘How so?’ Iguazu said insistently.

‘Because the Earth we live on is a gigantic magnet. And this magnet attracts — draws in — everything there is in the world! Everything!’ the Toucan explained.

‘Including me?’ Iguazu kept asking.

‘Including you! Go on, jump!’

Iguazu jumped into the air and immediately landed next to the Toucan.

‘Ah, I just made a lame jump, that’s all. I’ll have another go, all right?’ the boy asked.

‘Be my guest!’ said the Toucan.

Iguazu gripped a branch of a nearby tree, gave himself a couple of proper swings, kicked off, and flew into the air…

He did not stay in the air for long, though, and plopped right back to the ground a couple of moments later. Nursing his bruised side, he dusted himself off and turned to the Toucan.

‘Does the magnet draw you in as well?’ he asked again.

‘It draws in everything, everything!’ the Toucan sang.

‘How do you birds fly then?’ the boy would not stop with the questions.

‘It’s a bit hard to explain… We ride air currents… And we have wings, too, which help us resist the magnet… We were talking about the waterfall, though. Long story short, a river can’t run in mid-air because the Earth draws it in like a magnet, just as everything else. So it has to pour down from the cliffs,’ the Toucan summed up.

‘All right, I get it, I get it. Does the magnet do this to frogs too?’ Iguazu teased him.

‘Are you pulling my wing?!’ the Toucan shrieked.

‘I’m just kidding. It does it to everything, everything,’ Iguazu laughed. ‘Thank you, Toucan. I will reach the falling water. I mean the waterfall. Once I’m there, I will find the Harpy Eagle’s nest and — I hope! — save my Kinkajou’.

‘Safe travels, Iguazu!’ the Toucan said, as a friendly goodbye.

‘Don’t get stuck in any more snares!’ the boy reminded him.

‘I’ll do my best,’ the Toucan promised.

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