How Eraser and Rubba tried to understand what happiness was

Polyna Slobodyanyuk. Клуб “TAMRA”.
Полина Слободянник.

Полина Слободянник. Клуб “TAMRA”.

Rubba and Eraser got on the cloud and flew forward to new adventures. So, they are on a quest to find out some particular things. Rubba wanted to know as much as possible about the Earth, and asked Eraser of something and anything at every turn.
“I have already known much about your planet,
Eraser, and I am inclined to like everything”, said Rubba, “but I always hear the word, which is unknown to me. Many people speak about happiness. What is that happiness?”
“Happiness is something special for each of them, you cannot touch it, it has neither colour nor smell”, replied Eraser.

Immediately after Rubba asked a new question their cloud descended and landed on a stunningly beautiful clearing, where the Sun was shining brightly, and where there were a lot of people.“Where are we, Eraser?” asked Rubba both amazingly and happily with her eyes widely open. 

“We arrived at the warmest and the most picturesque place on Earth. We are in the South. 
We will get to know everything about happiness here.”
Rubba and Eraser looked back and saw that the cloud brought them to the park, where people were having a rest with their friends, familiesand relatives. Suddenly, a ball rolled up to them, and following it a little girl ran up to them, and said hello to aliens.
“Hi”, said the girl, “I’m called Alice, what are your names?”
The friends introduced themselves, and Rubba decided to ask Alice about the thing she was interested in.
“Alice, tell us, please, what happiness is for you.”
“Happiness…” the girl was pondering it over, “It’s when I walk with my parents and friends, when they don’t scold me, when I am allowed to do everything, and when they buy things forme. What about you?” the curious girl asked Rubba.
“I don’t know yet, but I want to know about it so much”.
The girl said goodbye to her new acquaintances,
and ran to play with her friends.

 Rubba and Eraser were walking in the park and looking at all its beauties. It was an especially warm day; wonderful floral fragrance was spread in the air. Eraser noticed something moving in the bushes. He came up, and saw a squirrel with a long, furry, red tail. It screamed with all its might.
“Don’t touch me, please, those kids are always following me, they simply don’t leave me alone. I am so tired out of it!”
 “Don’t worry, we are not going to bother you, we just want to ask you a question. Squirrel, can you answer what happiness is?” The squirrel asked with the startled look, “Are you from the book of Paul McCartney “High in the Clouds”? There they wanted to find a land Animalia, a safe place
where all animals would live in peace and harmony, without fear.

The plucky red squirrel seemed to be the best character from a favourite book which this Mama-squirrel read to her kids.
“I am happy when my kids are healthy, when we have something to eat, when we have a home, a very nice lawn, where they can have fun”, when no one can kill us because of our fur to make hats and fur-coats”.
“And yet, Eraser, I have already understood what happiness is, but I want to know more about it.”
Suddenly Eraser exclaimed, “Oops, don’t stamp!”
Rubba stopped, bewildered. She saw a strange pile of leaves, twigs and that sort, where there were a lot of bugs, crawling beside.
“What are they?” asked Rubba with amazement. “They are ants, the most hardworking insects on my planet.”Rubba and Eraser noticed an ant that was carrying a piece of a leaf, which was much bigger than the ant itself. Rubba greeted the ant and showed great interest, “Why do you need such a big leaf? It’s hard for you to carry it!”
“I help all my big family,” answered the ant,
“We build our house with these leaves. It isn’t a hard work for us to do.”
“What is happiness for you?”
“I’m happy when each of our big family has its duty and successfully fulfils it. I’m happy when enemies don’t bother us in our home. I’m happy after the rain when I can have some drops of crystal-clear nourishing water. We live in peace, that’s why I am happy”. The ant was very proud of his answers.

Rubba and Eraser went on, on and on. Something very slow was moving across their path. Eraser looked at it and screamed, “Oh, a snail!” Rubba moved forward and stared at it. The snail was a brown garden snail. It got scared and hid its body under the shelter, which was a nicely shaped shell. Eraser knocked on the shell top. “Don’t be afraid, we are not going to do any harm. We only want to ask you one question, “What is happiness?” asked Rubba.

The snail first forwarded its horns, and then slowly got its head out of the shell. “Happiness… I’m happy,” it was drawling, ”When I have time to look around, when nobody makes me hurry and I can walk slowly.” It gave a long, weary sigh. “You tire me”, it closed its eyes. 

Rubba and Eraser didn’t notice that the day had reached its close. It was getting dark. All of a sudden, they heard some noise, very close. “Don’t be afraid,” said Eraser, “It’s a very wise bird. It is a nocturnal bird. It sleeps at day time. The best thing an owl does in the daytime: snoring gently. Rubba was so much interested in it that flew up to the oak where the owl was sitting. “I’m so sorry to bother you, but I would like to know what happiness is for you.” Rubba was extremely polite talking to a wise bird. She remembered children shouting a rhyme:

“A wise old owl sat in an oak,
The more she heard, the less she spoke,
The less she spoke, the more she heard.
Follow the example of a wise old bird!”

“I cannot answer for everybody, but I am happy when I don’t feel any danger, when my babies are safe, when people don’t shoot to kill birds, when there is prey, I can follow when in need to feed, when we have a safe place to live in! It is very simple!”

Rubba and Eraser were very happy to have that day full of knowledge, and were sure that the next day was to start with new adventures. Bye for tomorrow!

The story was invented and retold by Polyna Slobodyanyuk, the second year student of Technological College, 16 years of age. She has been learning English with “TAMRA” for 3 years.

This s-s-s-t-o-r-y is a true his-s-s-t-o-r-y!

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