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Children's Stories
by Margo Fallis
No More Elk For Us!

Ivan and Sonya lived in Russia. Their city had all sorts of decorative buildings, including ones with onion shaped domes on top. Some were pink and green; others were blue, and some were orange and yellow and purple. Ivan and Sonya went with their mama to the shops every day to buy bread and vegetables for supper. Some days they bought venison and elk meat.

One day Sonya and Ivan asked their mama if they could go and play in the square while she went shopping. "I'm tired of shopping, Mama. I want to have a snowball fight with Sonya." Ivan adjusted his furry cap.

"I'm tired too, Mama. I want to build a snow house." Sonya smiled and pulled her gloves up.

Mama looked around the square. The snow fell softly and not many people were around. "All right, you can go and play. I'm going to the butcher shop to buy some meat for our supper. Stay in the square where I can see you."

Sonya and Ivan ran off to play. They threw snowballs and built a wall of snow blocks. Sonya pointed at the gate to the city. "Ivan, I just saw something. Come on." She ran off towards the entrance.

"Mama told us not to leave here. Wait for me." Ivan ran after his sister.

When they went out of the gate they saw a big elk. It was lying in the snow. Ivan walked up to it and stroked it's face. "Nice elk. You're supposed to be in the forest, not here near the city."

Sonya stroked it too. "What a pretty animal you are, elk. Ivan, sometimes Mama makes elk and we eat it." She looked at the animal. "I'm never eating elk again."

"Me neither. Elk, you'd better go back to the forest before someone comes and shoots you and eats you for supper." Ivan stood and beckoned the elk to follow him.

Sonya stood too. Together they walked towards the pine trees. The elk followed. "There you are. You're safe here, for now. You'd better go way into the mountains where nobody can find you." After giving the elk another stroke, she patted its bottom and it ran into the forest.

Ivan and Sonya ran back to the square, just as Mama came out of the baker. They ran up to her. "Mama, don't ever buy elk again. We won't eat it. Why don't we have some fish and chicken for a change." Sonya smiled.

"What a good idea. I was just thinking how nice it would be to have fish. Come with me. We'll go to the Fishmongers." Mama took their hands and off they went.

Sonya winked at Ivan. The two of them giggled and finished shopping with their mama.

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