Страна : США
Меня зовут Надежда Серебренникова. В прошлом я учитель, дизайнер и журналист, ныне — блогер и писатель. Мой псевдоним в Калифорнии, где я живу с 2013 года — Hope Silver. Удобно иметь имя, которое переводится на английский и становится от этого в 3 раза короче.
В июне 2019 года мой роман “Родиться вопреки” был опубликован в США на английском языке (BORN – AGAINST ALL ODDS).
В 2017-м в Америке увидела свет серия коротких историй “Любопытные вещи”.
Country : USA
I’m a Russian author, born in Siberia. My American pen name is the translation of my lengthy given name, Nadezhda Serebrennikova.
I began my career as a journalist for several newspapers in St. Petersburg, before moving to Karlovy Vary in the Czech Republic, where I completed Born – Against All Odds, my first novel. After winning the green card lottery in 2013, my family and I emigrated to the United States where we live in Berkeley, California.
In 2015, the Russian original of Born—Against All Oddswon the ‘Best Book of the Year’ award in the fantasy genreat the International Russian Writers Competition in Germany. The following year, Krystyna Steiger’s English translation was awarded second prize at the 2016 Open Eurasia 5th International Writers Competition in London.
My collection of flash fiction, Curious Things, published in 2017, endows inanimate objects with human emptions . I’m a writer of children’s stories and a blogger. I like to write about my travels and other adventures.
1. Chapter 1
Hippopotamus in a Pink Hat
Once upon a time, there was me. Oh, how can I say ‘once upon a time,’ if I still am? I mean, at the present time, there isme! Is it possible to say that? Well, since I’ve already said it, then it’s possible!
I’ve always wanted to keep a diary, but I didn’t know how to start one. That’s why I started with “Once upon a time,” like they do in fairy tales. Oh, yes: I forgot to say that I’m a hedgehog. And my name is Hedgehog, too, just like all the children in my family. And we can only tell our names apart by the tone of our mom’s voice, when she calls us in our Hedgehog language. It’s fun to speak Hedgehog.
I learned to read and write like humans in Hedgehog School, the same as a lot of other hedgehogs just like me. Human is the second language we study, after Hedgehog, and I was very good at it. Only, for some reason, I couldn’t make any friends, so maybe that’s why I started this diary. I just really needed somebody to share my thoughts with. I don’t think my parents, brothers or sisters understand me. And if someone ends up reading my diary, it will seem like we talked to each other. And maybe they’ll want to make friends with me.
Everybody thinks I’m strange, and I really am: after all, how can a hedgehog who loves looking up at the sky not be strange? That’s exactly why I’m always bumping into things and falling down so comically, that everybody laughs at me at school. But, I mean, the sky is so interesting! Especially when there are clouds in it – it’s like a huge movie screen where you can see anything you like, if you just set your imagination free. See that cloud? It’s actually a hippopotamus! And the pink one? That’s his hat. They’re moving closer to each other . . . And what do we see when they meet? A hippopotamus in a pink hat!
It’s June, and the apple trees in our forest are blossoming. I’m sitting under an apple tree right now, and sometimes its flower petals drop onto my diary. Because I read and write a lot, even at dusk, I wear glasses. They really get in the way when I need to roll up into a ball. I do that when I sense danger, or if I simply feel like hiding from everybody. Then I resemble a sea urchin, which used to be called ‘sea hedgehogs.’ Would I ever love to talk to a real live sea urchin! I’ve only seen them in pictures, but since they’re hedgehogs too, maybe we’re cousins. I would tell him about life in the forest, and he’d tell me about life in the sea – after all, I’ve never seen the sea . . . I haven’t traveled at all, but maybe it’s time I did. I’ve finished school, so I guess I’m a grownup. Plus, I turned three on the first of June, and at three years old, we hedgehogs become adults.
So I’ve made up my mind: I’m going to the sea! Maybe I’ll find myself a real friend during my travels. And I’d also really like to find out where happiness lives. My mom said it was a very beautiful feeling that made you feel as if you were flying. I’ve never felt that before, and I really want to. But my mom didn’t tell me how to find it. She probably doesn’t know, either. But it must be somewhere. Maybe the sea urchin knows something about it. But now I have to get ready, and go to bed as early as possible, so I get enough sleep before my trip. And I also have to ask my mom and dad for their permission to leave. Oh, that’s going to be the most difficult thing . . .
Meeting a Beaver
Papa wasn’t against my trip, but Mama didn’t want to let me go. But when I promised to find out where happiness lived, she unexpectedly gave me her permission.
And as soon as I crossed over the border of the forest, I felt like I was flying! But it was only our Uncle Misha the Bear, giving me a kick in the behind. I heard his silly giggle.
“I’ve never seen a flying hedgehog!” he exclaimed, laughing at his own childish prank.
I was very offended, because at first I thought that since I was flying, I must have already found happiness.
I landed on a patch of dandelions and checked my glasses, first thing, to make sure they were still in one piece, and when I was sure everything was fine, I ran ahead without even looking back.
I ran for a long time, until I finally made it to the highway. The cars were zooming by me at terrifying speeds. I’d heard that people sometimes hitchhiked, and all you had to do was put out your thumb and wait for a car to stop and give you a ride. But nobody would see my little hedgehog paw . . . I needed to think of something else. Just then I heard a voice say, “Take this nail.”
I turned and saw a big old beaver, right beside me. He looked very tired and serious.
“Take this nail,” he repeated, “and put it on the road. A car will drive over it, get a flat tire, and while the driver’s busy fixing it, you’ll jump into the car, hide, and off you’ll go.”
“Thanks,” I said and, timidly, I took the nail from his paw. “Where did you get it?” I asked.
“I took it from some people. My dream was to build a real, sturdy house, but the people took all the trees we’d cut down for themselves. They destroyed our dam. They hate beavers. Have you heard their jokes about us? ‘Eat a beaver – save a tree.’ Take the nail. Get revenge for the beavers.”
“I don’t want to take revenge on anybody. People haven’t done anything bad to me, personally. I just want to see the world and find out where happiness lives.”
“I understand,” said the beaver, and he turned around and walked away. He was clearly disappointed . . .
His plan worked; a car drove over the nail. The driver was a very sweet girl with blond hair, in a ponytail. I felt very guilty seeing how hard it was for her to change the tire.
When we finally got on our way, I sneezed unexpectedly. The girl was so frightened, she stopped the car. On discovering me in the back seat, she picked me up and started to cry.
“Oh, a hedgehog, how cute!” she sniveled. “How did you get in here, little guy? When I was a child, I always wished I had a hedgehog like you! Where on earth did you come from?”
And that’s how I ended up at Masha’s place.