Unusual school by Sunčana Škrinjarić

Prijevod: Marija Novoselec

Gimnazijalci nastavljaju prevoditi hrvatske pisce. Kratku priču Sunčane Škrinjarić iz 1964. prevela je Marija Novoselec

A long time ago all the months had to attend school, too. They had to learn the rules of good behaviour, modesty in expressing anger, properly using cold and warm days. Then they had to learn the length of particular seasons, but also the duration of particular months. They had to learn which is the shortest and which longest day in a year; then why do we have an extra day every fourth year and that it falls exactly in February… Today’s children learn many of these things in schools as well. Therefore, the twelve months sat in school benches and listened to their teachers. The most important among them were Sun, Rain and Wind. The teacher of Winter was some old, very fat snowman, who often coughed and his throat was hoarse. Despite that, he couldn’t stand the oven in the classroom and he had always looked suspiciously at it. He regularly gave his lectures standing near the window. Rain was boring as a teacher. She quietly murmured over and over, so most of the pupils fell asleep at the end. Sun was yet too bright and warm. During his lectures pupils fled to the rear benches. Wind, on the contrary, was very capricious. He tended to change his mood all the time. The pupils feared him the most, because they never knew beforehand what his mood would be like. Sometimes the fog gave the lectures. She was a very withdrawn old woman in a grey cloak. Her neck was always wrapped in a thick woollen scarf.

School time was mainly fun. The months were pupils like everyone else. Some of them stood out in particular subjects. January had a huge A written in the snowman’s notebook. He had always known winter well. August, on the other hand, was Sun’s favourite pupil. He splendidly spoke of the summer. Wind’s favourite pupil was, however, unsteady and shifty April. He would sometimes answer the teacher’s questions brilliantly, and occasionally would be quiet as a mouse. He had always been able to come up with new jokes. He was happy and funny, a real jester. He would often play tag with the clouds, and would even play peekaboo with the serious and dignified Sun. And so it has remained to this day. April is rampant and cheerful and always prepares surprises for us. After the most beautiful sunny and clear day, he would think of one that’s completely grey, sad and windy.