Peter and the wolf
Read and play the instruments that correspond to each character
One fine morning Peter opened the garden gate and went out into the green meadows. On the highest branch of a tall tree perched a little bird, Peter’s friend. “All is quiet here.” it chirped happily. Soon a duck came waddling in, happy that Peter had not closed the garden gate. He took the opportunity to go for a dip in the pond in the middle of the meadow.
Seeing the duck, the little bird came and landed on the grass near him.
“But what kind of bird are you, that can’t fly?” he said, shrugging his shoulders.
To which the duck replied:
“What kind of bird are you that can’t swim?
And he dove into the pond. They talked for a long time, the duck swimming in the pond, the little bird fluttering on the edge.
Suddenly something in the grass caught Peter’s attention, it was the cat that was crawling towards him.
The cat was thinking:
“The bird is busy talking. I’ll make my lunch out of it.”
And like a thief, he advanced on his velvet paws.
Peter shouted, “Be careful,” and the bird flew up the tree. While from the middle of the pond the duck threw indignant “quacks” at the cat. The cat hovered around the tree, saying to himself: “Is it worth climbing so high? By the time I get there, the bird will have flown away.”
Suddenly Grandpa appeared. He was unhappy to see that Peter had gone to the meadow. The place is dangerous. If a wolf came out of the forest, what would you do?”
Peter did not pay any attention to his grandfather’s words and said that big boys are not afraid of wolves. But Grandpa took Peter by the hand, took him home and locked the garden door.
It was time. No sooner had Peter left, than a big gray wolf came out of the forest.
It was a big grey wolf;
In a flash, the cat climbed the tree. The duck rushed out of the pond, quacking. But despite all his efforts, the wolf was running faster. The wolf came closer and closer, caught him, grabbed him and swallowed him in one go.
And now here’s where things stood: the cat was sitting on a branch, the bird on another, at a good distance from the cat, of course, while the wolf went around the tree and looked at both of them with greedy eyes.
Meanwhile, behind the door of the garden, Peter observed what was happening, without the slightest fear. One of the branches of the tree, around which the wolf was circling, extended to the wall. Peter grabbed the branch and climbed up the tree.
Then Peter said to the bird:
“Go and flutter around the wolf’s mouth, but be careful that he does not catch you.”
With his wings, the bird almost touched the head of the wolf who jumped furiously after him to catch him. Oh that the bird annoyed the wolf! And that the wolf wanted to catch it! But that the bird was much too skilful and the wolf was worth it.
Meanwhile, Peter tied the rope into a noose and slowly lowered it. He grabbed the wolf by the tail and pulled with all his might. The wolf, feeling trapped, began to leap wildly to try to free itself. But Peter tied the other end of the rope to the tree, and the wolf’s leaps only tightened the noose.
It was then that the hunters came out of the forest.
They followed the wolf’s tracks and fired their guns. Peter shouted to them from the top of the tree:
“Don’t shoot. Little Bird and I have already caught the wolf. Help us take it to the zoo.”
And now imagine the march the triumphal march: Peter is in the lead; behind him, the hunters dragged the wolf, and, closing the march the Grandfather and the cat. The grandfather, displeased, shook his head and said:
“Yeah! And if Peter hadn’t caught the wolf, what would have happened?”
Above them, the bird fluttered and chirped:
“How brave we are, Peter and I. Look what we caught.”
Composed by Serge Prokofiev in 1923, Peter and the Wolf is a musical tale for children. Its purpose is to introduce children to the instruments of music in the orchestra. While the narrator tells the musical story, the orchestra plays. And each character is a musical instrument:
- Pierre = the strings (violin, viola, cello, double bass)
- The Wolf = the horns
- The Grandfather = the bassoon
- The Cat = the clarinet
- The bird = the flute
- the duck: the oboe
- the hunters: woodwinds and brass
Musical engraving by Lily Pond
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