Daniil Kharms, p.4


     A little sphere sprang out of one little old man’s nose and fell to the ground. The little old man bent over to lift up the little sphere and that’s when a little stick sprang from his eye and also fell to the ground. The little old man was frightened and, not knowing what to do, moved his lips. At that moment, out of the little old man’s mouth sprang a little square. The little old man grabbed his mouth, but then a little mouse sprang out of the little old man’s sleeve. The little old man became ill with fear and, so as not to fall, he sat down into a squat. But then something snapped inside the little old man and, like a soft plush coat, he toppled to the ground. That’s when a longish little reed sprang from the torn hole, and on its very end sat a thin little bird. The little old man wanted to scream out, but one of his jaws got stuck behind the other and he only hiccupped weakly and closed one eye. The little old man’s other eye remained open. It ceased moving and glistening and became motionless and murky, like that of a dead person. In such a way, cunning death caught up to the little old man who had not expected it.

(translation by Matvei Yankelevich)