‘We always take our axes because there are dangerous animals in this forest – bears and wolves..’
‘And foxes!’ said one of his men quickly. Everybody laughed. Then the oldest of the men started to explain:
‘We got up this morning and we were hungry. We wanted to have breakfast, but we couldn’t make fire because we didn’t have wood.’
‘Yes, yes, yes…’ all his men were saying. They all agreed with their leader.
‘And so, we took our axes and went to the forest to find some wood. While we were walking in the middle of the forest, where many big bears and hungry wolves live,..’
‘And big hungry foxes!’ the other man interrupted again.
‘And big hungry foxes,’ repeated the leader and continued. ‘Suddenly, we found a tree.’
‘Yes, yes, we found a tree,’ everybody agreed.
‘Someone cut it down, but we found it on the ground. We found a lot of footprints on the ground and I think I know what happened.’
‘Do you?’ smiled the stranger. ‘Could you, please, tell me what happened? I am very curious and I would like to know.’
‘Yes, tell us! Tell us what happened! Please!’ all the men were saying, too.
‘Well, I am sure that it happened like this: Early in the morning, when we all were still sleeping, some thieves took their axes and went to the forest to steal some wood. They took their axes to cut down a tree, I am sure,’ said the leader of the men.
‘Please, go on!’ said the stranger.
‘It was still dark in the forest, but they chose one tree and started to cut it down,’ he said. ‘The policemen, who were looking for the thieves that morning, heard that someone was cutting down a tree with an axe. They came quietly, very quietly, near the thieves.’
All the men were sitting on the trunk of the tree now and they were listening to their leader with their mouths open. Nobody was speaking.
‘The policemen were waiting for the thieves to finish their job. The tree fell down. Suddenly, the policemen jumped up and they tried to catch the thieves. But the thieves did not wait for the policemen to catch them. They took their axes and they quickly started to run away. The policemen started to chase them. The thieves were running away and the policemen were running after them.’
‘I see.’ said the stranger. He was listening to the man’s story with a smile on his lips. Then he asked, ‘Did the policemen shoot at the thieves? Did you hear anything?’
‘No. We didn’t hear anything. I don’t think that the policemen shot at the thieves. I don’t think that they took their guns with them to the forest,’ said the man.
‘Really? And why do you think that the policemen didn’t take their guns?’ asked the curious stranger.
‘You see, when you are in the forest, you mustn’t disturb animals. It is against the law and the policemen know it. I think that they also took only axes to the forest. That’s the reason why they didn’t shoot at the thieves, when they caught them,’ said the leader of the men and and they all were quiet for a few moments.
‘When we found the tree, there were no thieves. There were no policemen, either. I went around the tree and looked at it carefully. I couldn’t see any name on it. The tree was on the ground and there was no name on it. So we took it. We don’t have to pay for it,’ said the man and then he hit his thigh with his hand, ‘I think it’s time to go. I am hungry, boys!’
The men laughed. They got up from the trunk and they slowly picked it up and put it up on their shoulders again.
Then the stranger asked, ‘Did the policemen catch the thieves?’
‘Who knows,’ said the men’s leader wisely. ‘Maybe they did and maybe they didn’t.’
And then they started walking home with the wood on their backs and shoulders to make their late breakfast.
The stranger looked at them and smiled one last time. Then he turned around and started walking, too.
interrupt /ˌɪntəˈrʌpt/ – prerušiť
footprint /ˈfʊtprɪnt/ – stopa (nôh)
disturb /dɪˈstɜːb/ – rušiť
It is against the law – je to protizákonné
thigh /θaɪ/ – stehno