字幕表 動画を再生する 英語字幕をプリント A short story for kids. By best selling author Luba Brezhnev. Read by Kristine Berg. Puny and Don. This is the story about a piglet named Puny who didn't like mud. All the other animals laughed at him, but everything changed when Puny met his new friend Don. The farmer's wife was startled when she entered the shed. Next to the sow on the straw lay eight little piglets, squealing and jostling one another. They were all so pink and so round, with their little tails sticking up in the air like mattress springs! She admired the piglets for a moment and was about to leave, when all of a sudden she noticed a ninth piglet, a little fellow sprawled motionless on the straw. He was definitely smaller than the others and looked very frail. She took him into her hands and gently stroked his pink back. The piglet opened his eyes and grunted softly. "Great," she said. "You're alive! I'm going to take you indoors!" She wrapped the newborn piglet in her apron and went back to the kitchen. From that day on, the piglet lived in the house. Everyone fell in love with him at first sight, and they named him Puny. He had the funniest way of stamping his hooves as he ran around the house. He slept next to Doozy the dog, who took care of him as if he were one of her puppies. To keep the tiny piglet warm, the farmer's wife sewed him a beautiful little jacket. Puny protested at first, but when he caught cold and kept sneezing loudly, he had no choice but to wear the jacket. As time passed, the piglet gained weight and got bigger and bigger. One morning the farmer's wife decided it was time to send him to the yard to be with the rest of the animals. It was sunny and clear, and the rain had just stopped. Puny's brothers and sisters were lunging into an enormous puddle by the fence and squealing joyfully at their first opportunity to wallow in the mud. "Go on then, catch up with the rest of your family," the farmer's wife said, taking Puny out into the yard and pushing him toward the big puddle. The little piglet began to dig himself into the ground with all four hooves, squealing and tearing himself away from her. Every time she tried to drive him toward the puddle, he became hysterical and fought his way out of her grasp like a warrior on the battlefield. "What is going on with him?" she wondered. No one could understand why Puny refused to play in the mud with the other piglets from his litter. Everyone knows pigs love mud. They like splashing about in the mud more than anything else, even eating; and they always choose the muddiest, dirtiest puddle available. They can't stand to live without their mud baths; they get bored and restless. Imagine children without candy or a rabbit without a carrot! But no matter how hard the farmer's wife tried to change Puny's mind, nothing seemed to help. Puny simply hated the mud. While strolling about the yard, he did his best to avoid risky areas and swerved sharply away from any puddles that came into view. So the veterinarian was called in. He examined Puny, listened to his lungs and heart, shook his head and said: "A perfectly healthy little pig. I don't know why he doesn't like mud. In all my years taking care of pigs, I've never seen a thing like it." Acting on the vet's advice, the farmer's wife decided to gradually introduce Puny to the pleasures of a pig's life. She poured muddy water into a tub and tried to place the piglet inside, but he raised a ruckus. In his desperate attempts to escape, he knocked the tub over. Looking at the muddy water that had spilled out over the kitchen floor, he ran in horror to the bedroom and disappeared under the bed. Puny was a pig -- but not at all like any other pig the world had ever seen! As the weeks passed, Puny spent more time cautiously exploring the farm. Knowing how different from other pigs he was, the animals in the yard never missed a chance to make fun of him. The geese would squawk: "Mind you don't get dirty! Ha, ha, ha..." The chickens joined the chorus: "Cluck, cluck, cluck..." They laughed so hard that some fell over backwards and waved their feet. The pompous turkeys refused to greet him, showing their contempt. The cow tried her best to spear him with her horns. The other piglets began to chuckle loudly when they saw him. Puny walked about the yard, secretly swallowing tears as he maneuvered his way around the mud puddles. One day, to leave the cruel laughter behind, Puny went all the way to the far end of the yard. There, in a large corral, the beautiful, limber-legged horses frolicked, enjoying the sunshine and the smell of fresh grass. Suddenly Puny saw a shed in one corner of the yard, alongside the fence. He approached and listened closely. Someone lived there! The piglet walked around and saw an entrance. Without thinking twice, he rushed through the door into the shed. He stood motionless for a few seconds, watching a strange animal chewing on some oats from a trough, paying no attention to him. The animal resembled the horses running about in the big pasture, but was smaller. "Are you a horse, or what?" asked Puny, coming closer. The animal stopped chewing his oats, turned his head toward Puny and looked at him curiously. "No," said the animal, surprised by the question. "I'm not a horse, I'm a donkey." "Ah," said the piglet. He paused to give himself time to think. He knew the many animals that lived in the yard, but had never seen a donkey. "So are you different?" he asked timidly, afraid he might hurt the stranger's feelings. "Of course, I'm different. Horses and donkeys are distant relatives, but they don't admit it. Horses are so proud of their handsome looks and their elegant stature." "You're very handsome too," said Puny. "Thank you," said the little donkey, nodding his head. "So what is your name?" "Puny," he answered. "What an odd name," said the donkey. "I got that name because I was small and weak." "I'm small too, but I have a different name." "So what is it?" "Don. It's because I'm a donkey." "That's a great name." "Thanks," said the donkey, flattered. "So, do you like mud?" asked the piglet, looking hopefully at Don. "Not much. So is there any one that likes mud?" the donkey asked curiously. "There are some," sighed Puny. "My brothers and sisters... But I don't like the mud at all. So everyone laughs at me." "Strange," said Don. "I always thought that people who are dirty all the time get made fun of." "I thought so too, but I'm a misfit." "Why? You're a very nice-looking piglet." "The farmer's wife said that every family has at least one misfit. So I had to be the one." "Well, she was just speaking off the top of her head," Don said in a reassuring voice. "Do you want to chew on some oats or some grass?" "No thanks. I prefer bread crusts." "Today I have no bread crusts," sighed Don. "The farmer's wife got upset with me because I stepped on her foot. She thinks I did it on purpose." "Say, why don't we take a little walk together? The weather's nice," said Puny. "Sure, let's go," Don answered. The new friends walked all around the farm. They stood for a while by the big corral, enjoying the sight of the frolicking horses. "That's what I wish I were doing," said Don softly. "I'd like to be leaping in circles and letting my mane fly in the breeze." "So what's stopping you?" asked Puny. "Go ahead and leap to your heart's content." Don's feelings were hurt and he answered: "Have you ever seen my mane? Does it ever fly in the wind? Even in a storm, it stays glued to my head!" "Sorry," said Puny, embarrassed. "I didn't know you had such a short mane." "If it were only the mane," sighed the little donkey. "There's also my short stature and my short legs. If I move my legs at all, I look like an old lady running to the market." "Who ever told you that?" exclaimed Puny. "The farmer's wife," the little donkey answered, his head drooping sadly. "And she said it to some guests who had come to look at me." "She was joking," Puny said, trying to comfort the little donkey. "I think your gait is just fine. Just look at me, with my pug nose and my curly tail. I tried to straighten it out; I smoothed it down, I put my whole body weight on top of it. I suffered like that for a few days, but there was no gain with all that pain." "You are so right," said Don. "Neither of us has any luck, I guess." "Well, so what, we may not be handsome, but we're nice and we don't hurt anyone. And we don't make fun of anyone. Is it nice to make fun of others?" "No it's not nice. I don't think so." "It really, really hurts when the chickens laugh at me," the piglet complained to his new friend. "They're so dim-witted, they spend their entire day knee-deep in manure, and they fight over every single kernel of grain. And the turkeys don't notice me at all, it's like I'm invisible. Anyway, they can't even talk right. The way they cackle, no one can understand them. And my brothers and sisters! All it takes to make them happy is a roll in the mud. Do they realize what they look like afterwards? Standing next to them makes me sick. How could anyone ever play with them? The farmer grumbles at me, 'I have to wash you every night, like a human child. Who did you ever take after?' Well, I don't like dirt and mud, I just can't stand it!" Puny and Don traded sad stories as they headed toward the livestock yard. When they got there, the place went wild with laughter... The chickens laughed as they sprawled and rolled on the ground, their legs jerking every which way. The geese guffawed so loudly that folks at nearby farms could hear. The piglets let out with squeals of glee. The turkeys continued to parade solemnly, without so much as sneaking a glance at the donkey and the piglet. "They make a great pair, those two," the chickens gloated. "Brother, where did you dig up such an ugly horse?" squealed the piglets. Not even Puny's mother could hold back her laughter. The entire yard was echoing with laughter, clucking, and squeals as its denizens mocked the two little friends. Puny raised his pug nose proudly and twirled his tail to make it even more curly, while the donkey flung his head upward and banged his hooves ever more loudly. They walked around the yard trying to appear dignified and proud, after which they returned to Don's little corner. "I almost died from fright," Puny admitted. "Yeah, it wasn't exactly fun," said Don in agreement. They said goodbye till the following day. The next morning, Puny once again visited his new friend. Don was standing by his little shed with something on his mind. "How did you sleep last night?" Puny asked. "Not bad, but I had some weird dreams. Now here I am, trying to remember, but my memory doesn't seem to be working right." "I don't remember my own dreams either. It's really a shame. While I'm asleep, I remember everything, but when I wake up there's nothing left in my head, not a thing!" "Really," Don said. "I thought I was the only one with that problem." "What are you talking about?" said Puny to console him. "I'm up to my neck in problems!" "Well, that can't be too bad, considering how close your neck is to the ground!" said Don mischievously, looking his friend over. "Well, the bigger you are, the bigger your problems get..." "Oh, I almost forgot," said Don, suddenly remembering something. "I brought you a surprise." "Really?" asked Puny, turning pinker than usual with embarrassment. 'No one ever gave me a surprise before." "So this will be your first time," said Don. He wanted to stretch out the suspense. "Walk over a bit closer to the feeding trough, and you'll find it there." The piglet slowly walked over to the trough and peered inside. At the very bottom lay a large crust of bread. "Oh, is all of that for me?" exclaimed Puny, turning bright pink all over. "Of course!" said Don surprised. "There's no one else here." The piglet took hold of the bread, looked at it for a long time, and said: "Let's divide it evenly. Then it will be a double surprise." "Fine," Don said. "Let's share it." The friends eagerly sunk their teeth into the bread and set off on a stroll. On that day, the owner of the farm was out walking the horses. Today was a big family celebration, and the horses had been carefully groomed to play their part. Some wore shiny ribbons that had been woven into their manes; some sported bright-colored stockings on their knees; some were festooned with colorful horse-blankets. It was a bright and sunny day, and the celebration gave every sign of being a success. A few horses ran at a leisurely pace around the training yard, their slender legs gracefully rising and falling. Suddenly the two little friends saw the owner's favorite horse. Farmers from all the nearby farms had come by to gaze at this stallion, and no wonder. He was snow-white with brown eyes, and today he was particularly stunning. The finest blanket had been arranged carefully on his back. It was white with blue and gold embroidery and was a perfect fit. Everyone could see the blanket was custom-made. From its edges hung little silver bells. At the slightest movement, they sang like little angels in heaven. Puny and Don stood still, enchanted, their gaze glued on the white stallion as he leisurely pranced about in his fine blanket, preparing for the arrival of the guests. "If only I had a blanket like that to wear on my back..." said Don moodily. "I would be just as handsome." "But what about your mane?" asked Puny, remembering Don's complaint. "Who would be looking at my mane if I were wearing a blanket like that?" "That's true," said Puny in assent. After a moment's thought he added, "You wouldn't have anything against me giving you my jacket? What's the difference between a blanket and a jacket?" "Thanks, but how can you compare a jacket and a blanket? Plus, just take a look at you and me. Your jacket wouldn't even fit over my head." "That's true," sighed Puny. "But I wanted..." "I know," Don said, nodding his head. "You meant the best, like a true friend." The piglet turned so pink with pleasure that even the horses looked at him in amazement. How often does one get a chance to see a bright-pink piglet wearing a double-breasted jacket! In the meantime, the owner's favorite stallion was running faster and faster, waving his snow-white mane and jangling his silver bells. The other horses caught up with him. How beautiful they all were in their festive attire! The black mare, the sweetheart of all the stallions, walked into the middle of the corral, showing off and admiring herself. Her mane had red ribbons woven into it, and the knees of her slender, elegant legs were adorned with stockings of the same color... There was plenty for the eye to feast on that day. When the black mare appeared, Don began to tap his hooves nervously and shake his head back and forth for no good reason. "Are you in love with her?" asked the piglet. "Are you kidding?" said Don, and then brayed for no good reason. The beautiful mare sized them up with a withering glance and averted her gaze. "Wow, we have a real princess on our hands," said Puny, trying to pacify his friend. "Let's get out of here. I'm getting a bit bored with this place. Horses rule here." "You don't understand the first thing about beauty," sighed Don, but he left quietly along with Puny. "So I don't understand anything? More than some. She's as hefty as the farmer's pickup truck, her eyes bulge out, her legs are long and skinny; and she races around the pasture, accomplishing nothing. To top it off, she has those silly ribbons woven into her hair..." "You understand nothing about feminine beauty!" "I do too understand. I just have different tastes. I prefer round little females, small and pink with white eyelashes and pug noses..." "Everyone has different tastes. It would make more sense for us to go take a walk down the road, because these silly chickens don't appeal to me. There's a nearby hole in the fence where we can get through."