Wednesday, October 7

Father and Daughter

Natasha had two sweets. Then she ate one of the sweets and one sweet remained. Natasha placed the sweet on the table in front of her and started crying.

Suddenly she has a look and on the table in front of her there lie two sweets again.

Natasha ate one sweet and again started crying.

Natasha cries and keeps one eye on the table to see whether a second sweet will appear. But a second sweet did not appear.

Natasha stopped crying and started to sing. she sang and sang away, and suddenly died.

Natasha's father arrived, took Natasha and carried her to the house manager.

- Here - says Natasha's father - will you witness the death?

The house manager blew on his stamp and applied it to Natasha's forehead.

- Thank you - said Natasha's father and carried Natasha off to the cemetery.

But at the cemetery was the watchman Matvei; he always sat by the gate and didn't let anyone into the cemetery, so that the dead had to be buried right on the street.

The father buried Natasha on the street, removed his cap, placed it on the spot where he had interred Natasha and went off home.

He arrived home and Natasha was already sitting there. How come? It's very simple: she climbed out from under the earth and ran back home.

What a thing! The father was so taken aback that he collapsed and died.

Natasha called the house manager, saying to him: - Will you witness a death?

The house manager blew on his stamp and applied it to a sheet of paper and then on the same sheet of paper he wrote: 'This certifies that so and so has actually died.'

Natasha took the piece of paper and carried it off to the cemetery for burial. But the watchman Matvei tells Natasha: - I'm not letting you in on any account.

Natasha says: - I just want to bury this piece of palmer.

And the watchman says: - Don't even ask. Natasha interred the piece of paper on the street, placed her socks on the spot where she had interred the piece of paper and went off home.

She gets home and the father is already sitting there at home and is already playing against himself on a miniature billiard table with little metal balls.

Natasha was surprised but said nothing and went off to her room to grow up.

She grew and grew and within four years she had become a grown-up young lady. But Natasha's father had become aged and bent. But they will both remember how they had taken each other for dead and so they will fall on the divan and just laugh. Sometimes they will laugh for about twenty minutes.

And their neighbours, as soon as they hear this laughter, immediately put on their coats and go off to the cinema. And one day they went off like that and never came back again. Seemingly, they were run over by a car.

- Daniil Kharms (1936)


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