Elemoont/Chapter 9

tells how the Elemoont met the Cosmic Piranhas and had a narrow escape.

Out of fright, the Elemoont closed his eyes tight and when opened them he saw… What can you see in the utter darkness? It is right. Nothing. But the darkness was some sort of strange. It had a red shade. Looked close the Elemoont noticed that many red sparks flashed now here, now there. At first the Elemoont thought that the cat-tiger still sparkled arching its back, but afterwards he understood that it were stars. "So, I am swimming in the outer space!?" was astonished the Elemoont. As though confirming that thought, a little comet rushed past and struck him a painful blow with its golden tail. "Why are you a fighting?" shouted at the top voice the Elemoont, but the comet already had flown away. The flap threw the Elemoont aside to a little asteroid and he grasped it with all his legs and trunk. The asteroid was rough and cold. "Mr. Red's high silk hat is a very complicated thing," thought the Elemoont. "Not real hares appeared of it, and real elemoonts come to a bad end in it. There is not any doubt that it's all up with me!" And he sank into melancholy reflections. He thought he could flew on his asteroid many billions years through the Cosmos and in any case would not fly anywhere. The Cosmos is very large! It is the largest of all any thing in the world! And poor Elemoont will rush through nothing into nowhere until he becomes into some kind of a fossil...By that thought the Elemoont trembled and snapped his teeth. "It may be from the cold," decided he, "It's very cold in the Cosmos. I have to approach nearer to any star and warm myself." He lifted his head and saw that meanwhile the stars themselves got close to him. They were transformed out of far flashing sparkles into red flaming circles, which all time increasing their number filling up the sky and little by little gathered round the asteroid. "They are not like stars at all," thought the Elemoont.

Here a flock of space ships rushed past the asteroid. One of them braked with squeal and opened its hatch. "Why are you sitting here for a long time?" cried a strange creature leaning out of the hatch. The creature looked like some mixture of an owl and an octopus (if only exist orange octopuses), "Are you blind? It is the space piranhas!"

"The space… Who?" asked the Elemoont that never heard about these bloodthirsty fishes swimming in the Universe with only one aim: to eat anybody.

"Piranhas!" repeated the creature, "If you sit here, they will gobble you with your asteroid up!" "And where can I run away?" asked the Elemoont, but the hatch closed with a bang and the space ship rushed away like a lightning. The Elemoont looked around and understood that the red sparks he formerly considered as stars, were in reality the terrible, bloodthirsty space piranhas' eyes! The piranhas wandered around the asteroid, cast cruel glances at him and licked their lips. "At last, we have found something eatable!" thought they all together. And one of them, which was the most disgustful, thought, "This Elemoont is very lean."

"It's me is very lean?!" was indignant the Elemoont and flung the asteroid into the piranhas. But that is not how it turned out! The crunching sound was heard; the piranha's jaws begun to work and in a second, the asteroid was eaten. The Elemoont losing his support helplessly floundered in the space. "It seems that I shall perish at present," despondently thought he.

"We'll now wash our hands and begin…" thought the piranhas with malicious joy, and the very freethinking piranha added, "The asteroid was stale! And what will the Elemoont be?" The Elemoont closed his eyes and prepared for inevitable death "They’ll eat me and did not say ‘thank you’ although I am lean..."

Some minutes passed, but the ruin did not come. Instead of it, indignant shouts were heard "It's scandalous! Where is the cat here from?" "Where are the police?" "Hey! Hey! Why do you bite?" The Elemoont opened his eyes again and to his great surprise saw that the piranhas took their heels, and the striped cat of the circus rearing its hair chased them.