The Girl Nothing Happens To

Bulychev Kirill

INSTEAD OF A FOREWORD

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Tomorrow Alice starts school. It should be a very interesting day. From early morning her friends and acquaintances have been calling her on the videophone to wish her a good beginning. But for three months now, Alice herself has talked only of going to school — giving nobody any peace.

The Martian Buce sent her a really remarkable pencil-box which nobody has been able to open, so far. Not I, nor my colleagues either, though two of them are Doctors of Science and one the chief engineer of the zoo.

Shusha said he would go to school with Alice and ascertain whether her teacher is sufficiently experienced and worthy of my daughter.

A surprising amount of fuss. When I went to school for the first time, I can’t remember anybody making such a hubbub over it.

The turmoil has quieted down a bit now. Alice has gone to the zoo to say good-bye to Bronty.

And while the house is quiet, I’ve decided to tape-record a number of stories about Alice and her friends. I shall pass on the tapes to Alice’s teacher. It will be useful for her to know what a flighty creature she has to deal with. Maybe the tapes will help the teacher educate my daughter.

At first Alice was just like any other child. Until she was three. The first story I’m going to tell will prove my contention. But a year later, when she met Bronty, the knack of doing everything she was not supposed to do suddenly appeared in her character: she got lost at a most inappropriate time and made chance discoveries beyond the powers of the most eminent scientists of our modern age. Alice has a positive talent for taking advantage of those she is on friendly terms with but, none the less, she has droves of real friends. It makes it difficult, sometimes, for us — her parents. You see, we cannot stay home all the time. I work at the zoo and her mother builds houses, sometimes on other planets.

I want to warn Alice’s teacher beforehand — it won’t be easy for her, either. To prove my point, I shall relate some perfectly true stories about what happened to Alice in different places on Earth and in space, over the last three years.



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