About the Author
Stephen Pimenoff was born in Montreal in 1948 of Russian and Estonian parents. He read English and Mathematics at McGill University, and has been a writer and mathematics teacher. As a freelance journalist he has published many articles in The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Times and The Independent, as well as a wide variety of magazines ranging from Homes and Gardens to Index on Censorship.
His main interest is the study of Russian language, literature and history, and he is currently working on a translation of 19th century Russian Fairy Tales by Alexander Afanasev.
Read an Excerpt
The Hare on the Hunt
A big crowd of animalsGot together and caught a bear:
They felled him on the open field -
And were deciding among themselves
Who was to receive what in reward.
A Hare came forward and tugged at the bear's ear
.“Well, well, you, slant-eyed creature,
”They shouted at him. “Where did you come from?
No one saw you on the hunt.
”“Look, brothers,” the Hare replied.
“Who do you think frightened the beast out of the woods,
And drove it straight to you on the field,
if not I?”
Although such boasting was too transparent,
Still, it seemed so amusing
That a tuft of the bear’s ear was given to the Hare.
Though they laugh at a braggartHe often receives his share of the spoils.
A Pig once intruded into a manor-house yard,
Loitered around the stables and kitchen,Rolled about in the rubbish and the manure,
Wallowed up to the ears in the mud:
And, after visiting
Went home as dirty as a pig.
“So then, Havronya, what did you see there?
”A shepherd asked the Pig.
“You know, the rumour goes,
That rich people have nothing but jewellery and pearls.
So is one thing really richer than another in the house?
”Havronya grunted: “Well, really, that is nonsense.
I noticed no riches:I
t was all just manure and rubbish;
And so, not sparing my snout,I dug up there
All the back yard.”
The Wolf and the Fox
A Fox, having eaten chickens to her fill,And stored away a nice little pile in reserve,Lay down under a haystack for an evening nap.
She saw a hungry Wolf come plodding along to visit
.“What bad luck, neighbour!' he said
.“I have been unable anywhere to find even a bone;
I am so worn out with hunger.
The dogs are vicious, and the shepherd doesn't sleep
.The only thing to do is to hang myself!”“Really?” - “Yes, it’s true.” -
“My poor friend!
Would you like to eat some hay?
Here is a whole stack;
I am willing to do my friend a service.”However, it was not hay her friend wanted - but meat.
Yet about the store the Fox said not a word.
And my grey marauder,
Having been shown such great kindness by his friend,
Went home hungry.