This is the story of Peter and the Wolf
by Sergei Prokofiev
Each character in this story is represented by a different instrument. The Bird, by the flute.
The Duck, by the oboe.
The Cat, by the clarinet.
The Grandfather, by the bassoon.
The Wolf, by the three horns.
Peter, by the strings of the orchestra.
The rifle shots of the Hunters, by the kettle drum and the big drum.
Early one morning Peter opened the gate and went out into the big, green meadow.
On a branch of a big tree sat a little bird, Peter's friend. "All is quiet," chirped the bird.
Just then a duck came waddling round. She was glad Peter had not closed the gate, and decided to take a swim in the deep pond in the meadow.
Seeing the duck, the little bird settled down upon the grass and shrugged his shoulders."What kind of a bird are you if you can't fly?" said he.To this, the duck replied, "What kind of a bird are YOU if you can't swim?" and he dove into the pond.They argued and argued, the duck swimming in the pond and the bird hopping along the shore.
Suddenly, something caught Peter's attention. He noticed a cat crawling through the grass.
The cat thought, "The bird is busy arguing. I'll just grab him."Stealthily she crept toward the bird on velvet paws."LOOK OUT!" shouted Peter. The bird immediately flew up into the tree while the duck quacked angrily at the cat from the middle of the pond.
The cat walked round the tree and thought, "Is it worth climbing up so high? By the time I get there, the bird will have flown away."
Grandfather came out.
He was angry that Peter had gone into the meadow. "It is a dangerous place! If the wolf had come out of the forest, then what would you do!"
Peter paid no attention to his grandfather's words. Boys like him are not afraid of wolves.But Grandfather took Peter by the hand, led him home, and locked the gate.
No sooner had Peter gone, than a big, gray wolf came out of the forest.
In a twinkling, the cat climbed up the tree.
The duck quacked and in her excitement, jumped out of the pond.No matter how hard the duck tried to run, she couldn't escape the wolf. He was getting nearer and nearer. . .
And then, he got her. With one gulp, he wolfed her down.
And now, this is how things stood: the cat was sitting on one branch. The bird on another, not too close to the cat.
And the wolf walked round and round the tree, looking at them with greedy eyes.
In the meantime, Peter, without the slightest fear, was watching all that was happening from behind the closed gate.He ran home, got a strong rope, and climbed up the high stone wall.One of the branches of the tree stretched out over the wall.
Grabbing hold of the branch, Peter lightly climbed over onto the tree.Peter said to the bird, "Fly down and circle round the wolf's head. Only, take care that he doesn't catch you!"The bird almost touched the wolf's head with his wings while the wolf snapped angrily at him from this side and that.
How the bird did worry the wolf. How he wanted to catch him. But the bird was cleverer and the wolf simply couldn't do anything about it.Meanwhile, Peter made a lasso and carefully lowered it down.He caught the wolf by the tail and pulled with all his might!
Feeling himself caught, the wolf began to jump wildly trying to get loose.But Peter tied the other end of the rope to the tree.And the wolf's jumping only made the rope round his tail tighter.Just then the hunters came out of the woods, following the wolf's trail and shooting as they went.
But Peter sitting in the tree said: "Don't shoot! Birdie and I have caught the wolf. Now help us take him to the zoo."And there . . . imagine the triumphant procession:
Peter at the head, after him the hunters leading the wolf and winding up the procession, Grandfather and the cat. Grandfather tossed his head discontentedly: "Well, if Peter hadn't caught the wolf? What then?" Above them flew the bird chirping merrily: "My, what brave fellows we are, Peter and I! Look what we have caught!"And if one would listen very carefully, he could hear the duck quacking inside the wolf, because the wolf in his hurry had swallowed her alive.