In 1987, an anonymous team of computer scientists from the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic wrote a series of children's books based on the popular //Choose Your Own Adventure// series. The books were hastily translated into English and a small number were exported to America, but the CIA, fearing a possible Soviet mind control scheme, confiscated them all before they could be sold. Now declassified, the books have been lovingly converted to a digital hypertext format and put online for the English-speaking world to enjoy. [[Next →|Title]]''1'' You are a young girl from the Kyrgyz village of Tash-Bashat. You live your life in the traditional style of a Tash-Bashat child, which needs no introduction. It is the night of a gibbous moon and your parents have wisely cautioned against entrance into the nearby woods. How do you proceed? [[If you enter woods, turn to page 17.|17]] [[If you remain quiety in bounds of homestead, turn to page 3.|3]]''17'' As a child you are no stranger of precocious activity. At the ends of the week you are known to be going from farmer's field to farmer's field without any leave or approval. Eating of the same spirit tonight, you sneak out of house and enter woods. Shortly, you are in the woods and now you can see: There is a path that goes straight ahead. There is a path that goes left, with bats. Furthermore, you could walk aimless through thick vegetation. [[If you go straight, turn to page 6.|6]] [[If you go down left path, turn to page 11.|11]] [[If you walk aimlessly, turn to page 9.|9]]''3'' You wisely adhere to parental strictures. No doom befalls you and you go on to live healthily. <span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span> You have completed this story in the optimal number of page turns. To claim your merit badge, write "I have done this" on a 76x127mm index card and post it to: (font: "Courier New")[''Building 34 7th Microdistrict Bishkek, Kyrgyz SSR Soviet Union''] //(Limit of first four hundred children to request merit badge.)//''6'' It is dark in woods, even than you were expecting. The moon in the air might as well not even be in the air, obscured as it is by dense branch. You sing a familiar child song at yourself, for comfort: //I will go walking in the woods I will go walk today Now I am in the woods and what will I find in the woods today Maybe I will find a stream Maybe I will find a stand of trees Otherwise my mother could come and say "Child, here you are in the woods."// As you sing, you forget your troubles and also your sense of direction. Lost! Perhaps this is what your parents were warning about. Now it's time to figure out all of what it is you should do. [[If you wait patiently for the wise old Sun to rise, turn to page 13.|13]] [[If you go on forward with bravery, turn to page 24.|24]] [[If it's time to find some food, let's go looking on page 2.|2]]''11'' You left. This path is gnarled in it very completely from the alternate you had bypassed. Every few tenths of a minute you find yourself stepping over a rock/bundle of twigs/two bundles of twigs. As you crackle at these and other things you draw the attention of overhead bats, that loop-de-loop around your forehead etc. They make patterns like the rotations of famed ballerina Bubusara Beyshenalieva. You think to yourself, "Bats in woods, bats in woods. Where have I heard this before!" [[If you have heard this in school, turn to page 8.|8]] [[If you have heard this from village crone, turn to page 29.|29]] [[If you have heard this from local chums, turn to page 23.|23]]''9'' As a foolish child, it seems like the ultimate joy for you to depart from the path. It is so dark that you walk into trees! What fun! But enough collisions leaves you disoriented. You try to find a path for a lot of time, but the only thing you find is a leopard. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span> (To be clear—the leopard eats you, leading to death.)''13'' You search around for an inviting rock and sit down cross-legged on its top. The minutes pass by like a parade of slugs. The great tragedy of childhood is that the prudent path is often the most boring. At long last, a glow from between the trees. Is it the sun come to kiss you good morning? Not at all, unless the sun has become a pale blue elf. "I'm am main elf of this neck of the area," it announces. "I did not expect to see a girl sitting around here deep in the night times. This is because all elves are neuter and thus unprepared to encounter the concept of gender." "Ahoy elf," you say. Elf looks at you wondering what it should do. [[If you say "please never eat me!", turn to page 7.|7]] [[If you say "transport me back in time.", turn to page 14.|14]] [[If you wait silently for elf's choice, turn to page 21.|21]]''24'' You stride deliberately along, causing quite a commotion in the forest as you go. Animals see you marching on and think "What is this girl all about, marching like that? Doesn't they know that human kingdom stops at the forests' edge?" With this new energy and everything you surmise now would have to be the best time to go to high ground and do a survey of the woods. You climb up top a cliff face, through the means of a winding and darting path, take your trusty pen and paper out of your knapsack, and begin your survey. "Woods!" You cry out "Are you primarily composed of A) grass cover, B) tree cover, or C) tractless desert?" You patiently wait for ten seconds and then dutifully circle B. "Woods!" you cry out a second time "Do you appear to A) have an easily discernable edge or B) go on forever into the distance, closing off all reasonable possibility of escape." You circle B again. This could be a real prickly time for you. [[If the despair of everything causes you leap down towards your death, turn to page 5.|5]] [[If you decide the best course is to assume the traditional elf summoning position (cross-legged on a stone) and then wait for an elf to materialize, turn to page 13.|13]]''2'' If one is to think of an image associated with this search for food, surely it would be a small child being pestered by a bat. Yes, the common forest bat—a familiar sight to the lumberjacks of this province—and one of them has settled at your vicinty. The creature flutters about as you think of options. Look to your right: Those berries don't look so poisonous to me. Look to your left: That tree's bark sure could be digested. Look to your bat: Maybe you should try and catch that bat. [[`If you pick the berries, turn to page 10.`|10]] [[If you peel the bark, turn to page 34.|34]] [[If you attack the bat, turn to page 28.|28]] [[If you give up and go to another place, turn to page 12.|12]]''10'' You consume a great handfull of berries and feel sated. I was right, the berries are not poisonous. Now it seems you can march forward with some vitality. [[If you do it, turn to page 24.|24]] BUT there's another option too. These buries are so delcious that perhaps you never need to return to your home again. Why, you could be a forest girl! You could live on all these fruits and then some more. Hey, no more school. Hey, no more chores. Hey, no more secret police disappearing your older brother. What do you say? [[If you do the second one, turn to page 25.|25]]''34'' You consume too much tree bark that you're allergic to. Gorp! It's death. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''28'' You swing wildly at the bat, over and over. Soon it seems that that your hand becomes a bat itself (albeit a bat of the flesh attached to a human arm). Your bat and the bat's bat do a dance of bat mating for a few minutes and then whoomp—down clamps the bat on your hand and up goes your body as it is pulled skyward by the bat. "Hey! What are you doing! I am a small child, not a thing to lift away from the ground!" The bat says "oh for the sake of god in heaven! I had no idea. Sorry deary. I am a bat. Bat is my name." "...ahoy bat..." you unease. "Well now we're in the sky. You're an immigrant here, ground person that you are. Ground people are allowed to visit, but only over the course of a short jump. This is much more serious. We'll have to take you to the Sky King and get your paperwork filed." You gulp dramatically and look down at the shrinking ground beneath. [[If you allow yourself to be taken to Sky King's Castle, turn to page 49.|49]] [[If you demand to be returned to the ground, turn to page 38.|38]]''12'' You are in a completely different part of the woods and no bats. Here is a grumply old bear sitting on a mushroom. How did he sneak up on you like that! Or you on him. "Harumph," he says. "This is where the bear lives. You're here in it now, little cub. >:(" "Comrade," you say, "I am having an explore in forist." But the bare explains that you are in his kingdom, and you must pay his toll. [[If you picked up the honey on page 36, and you wager that honey will do in this pinch, turn to page 22. (This will be when you give the honey to bear.)|22]] [[If you give him pocket change, turn to page 15.|15]] [[If you are too proud even to give him pocket change, well, turn to page 4.|4]]''8'' Silly child! You did not learn this in school. In school you learn fractions and agriculture. You had better try again before someone important hear about this. [[If you now remember it was village crone, turn to page 29.|29]] [[If you remember it was chums, turn to page 23.|23]] [[`If you insist you learned this in school, turn to page 20.`|20]]''29'' You know the crone well, for you live next door to her and said door has the word "CRONE" painted on it in white letters. You had a great deal of fear about that house, but that didn't stop you from entering it on the morning of your most recent birthday. "It's my birthday, you crone!" you said to the crone. "Do you want a present?" she asked. "Oh yes, oh yes." you said with excitement "Oodles of one." "The present is the memory of this event, which you will unwrap in the future. If you are ever in the woods child, and you will. The thing to remember is that a bunch of bats in the woods is evidence of a witch. I should know because I'm a witch (retired)." she showed you an older door with the word "WITCH" on it to prove that she wasn't lying. Memory ends. A witch is near, then. Would it be wise to go and walk deliberately in another direction? [[If it would be wise, run along to page 24.|24]] [[If it would be wise but you choose not to be wise today, turn to page 33.|33]] ''23'' Yes, your school chums. That was it. Gossips and grapeviners all. If a piece of knowledge enters them, it will escape if not sooner. You recall a time when you forgot to put on a stocking while going to school. The chums picked up on it just then and spread noise to everyone. Then you were known by the cruel and clever nickname: "the girl who didn't have one stocking." But that was different days, a lifetime ago now. Now your mind is thick with thoughts of bats in the woods and that fateful conversation "I hear there is a cluster of common forest bats in the woods these days," gossiped one chum. "I here they are drawn to the scent of sweetness from a candy tree," gossiped another. "Who would grow such a tree," an onlooker—no chum of yours—asked. The another chum said, "Pah! Who cares! Candy is candy is candy all the same." Nods of agreeing all around. So here it is in the present day and a candy tree is afoot in these dark woods. What's it to be? [[If you begin to chew from the nearest tree, beliving like a fool for it to be candy, turn to page 34.|34]] [[If you seek out that candy tree elsewhere in location, turn to page 42.|42]]''25'' You resolve to stay in woods during a period without definition. The squirrels call you princess and the robins call you president and you introduce berry-based currency reforms. Soon the animals are building statues of you for miles around. Farmers are perplexed to see crude representations of a little girl pop up next to hay bales or peaceful brooks. The talk of the town is this, and the mystery depends when research teams sent into the woods vanish without a trace. More buzz from the woods. Bee flights are erratic. The deer no longer fear the tread of a hunter's boot. Are the leaves themselves different? Priests are called in to perform restorative magic on the cursed place. Incense is burned to no avail. Panic compounds on panic as tourists fly overhead in hot air balloons desperate to get a glimpse of the activity below. What of you? You're looking dead into a camera (built of logs etc.) and giving heartfelt addresses to your forest public. You're telling them this is a time of great turmoil but also great opportunity. You're pinning an oak leaf to your shirt to show patriotism. You're in a debate with a beech marten about domestic policy and polling well among undecided forest bats. Building a presidential palace? Not now, there are more pressing matters! You are doing this for the people, after all. Someone has to decide which way the streams should be flowing. Someone should be seeing to it that the autumn leaves fall all the way down. If not you, then who? The beech martens? Their way will destroy everthing we've worked for. We've come this far and we can't turn back now. This is your home now. You feel more a creature of the forest with each passing second. Your hair grows long and uncouth. Every day you fatten yourself on 200 berries and wash it down with a refreshing bowl of tree sap. You give up your human name, or maybe you never had one at all. The hedgehogs and the pygmy shrews think you grew here out of the ground, that your memories of human civilization are illusion. They call you the messiah. One hedgehog has appointed himself your prophet and runs from tree to tree spreading his gospel. His faith imbues him with a supernatural speed. Those who catch even a glimpse of his lustrous blue coat as it darts between trees consider themselves blessed and cured of all ailments. The prophet preaches that you have the body of a human but the soul of a bird. Indeed, he says, there is a small bird within everyone and once we die the bird will burst free of our corpse. He vows to jump on the heads of the unbelievers and gather golden rings from undisclosed locations. You see the bloodlust in his eyes and the eyes of his followers. Your discomfort grows with every sermon but you cannot distance yourself now. Your presidency and his religion have melded together and cannot be separated. You and he are intertwined, as the plants of the forest have begun to intertwine with your limbs. You feel the vines creeping up your legs. Your knees are starting to creak like an old walnut tree in a mighty windstorm. When you open your mouth to speak only moths come out. Then the winter comes and you die of hypothermia. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''5'' You are so overcome with grief that you just gotta say goodbye to every little thing. What a turn around from the confident swagger of a previous page. Perhaps in another life you could be tested for an illness of the brain, which could be treated with electroconvulsive therapy and/or herbal remedies. But that is not to be your life. Your life is the one that goes all the way down a cliff ledge and then into the river below, which proceeds to break 1. your fall and 2. your neck (via significant rocks layer). You are quite dead because of all this. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''33'' Despite the words of the crone, you creep along the witchy path, presumably towards witches. As your eyes are attuned for such a thing, you definitely spy a witche's cottage. All of the features are there: the red door, the curiously curved chimney spewing thick blue smoke, the magical tree made of candy in the front yard, and the young woman on the veranda in wearing a traditonal witch's scarf. [[If you run feverishly at the candy tree, turn to page 26.|26]] [[If you spy on the witch from a distance, turn to page 47.|47]] [[If you take on a fisty attitude and confront the witch head on, turn to page 53.|53]]''20'' <span class="noright">A child who has misrepresented what she has heard in school gets a scolding from the mayor. Write an X on the cover of this book to indicate that you have received a scolding, then [[turn to page 12.|12]]</span>''42'' You sprint lightfully along the path, keeping head up to see the signs or portents of any candy plant. After rounding a bend (particularly heavey with bats) you see within the sky a cluster of orange, yellow, pink, purple, and cyan leaves. "A candy tree..." you silently mouth [[If you give into your urges and run headlong at the tree, turn to page 26.|26]] [[If you resist temptation, turn to page 46.|46]]''22'' "good :)" says bear Did you actually have the honey? The old man's face in the moon winks at you. No matter now. The bear gets up and grunts. This surely is the signail that he wants you to follow him to a treasure cave. [[If you follow the bear immediately, turn to page 35.|35]] [[If you follow the bear after some hesitation, wait for ten seconds and then turn to page 35.|35]]''15'' "I don't care for coins :|" says that bear. "But I don't dislike it either. Even even all around." Old bear shifts his bulk over to one side of the mushroom, revealing a path. And what else is more, the path looks quite lacking in tree cover. Could this be the edge of the woods? Are you at last safely towards the outside? There can only be one way to find out. [[`If you run down the path excitedly, turn to page 30.`|30]] <span class="fakelink">//If you stay put, leave the book open at this page.//</span>''4'' If there's one to be punished it sure is pride. The bear leaps off his toadstool and tears you into all sorts of pieces. He eats the pieces. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span> This is the true end of the story. Fetch your grandmother to read the Kyrgyz rhyming moral aloud. //If in the woods you're out to have a good time Don't guard your trinkets jealously Or a bear will have you for lunch and dinner!// `(`Advice: The rhyming moral may not rhyme in translated languages. If grandma is dead then stand in sight of her portrait as you read the moral silently.)''7'' You puff your face out all and say "Elf! I say that you should never eat me." The elf turns its neck 360° (gross...) and gives a disapproving look. "Child," the elf says, "all elfs are monarchs and above you in style besides. Never tell an elf what to never do. Now I gonna eat you." Your face registers as surprise. "But I thought if I ordered an elf it would do the best it could for me!" The elf turns its neck all the way back around (was it getting sore?) and giggles. "Silly silly! That only applies to an elf that crosses your house. An elf outdoors bows to not a soul." Gulp! It's curtains for sure. [[If you quickly build a house so that you can order the elf around, turn to page 39.|39]] [[If you scamper away in panic, turn to page 31.|31]]''14'' After the requisite curtsey, you ask the elf to transport you backwards through the time stream. It curls its lips. "You knowww what wil happen if I do this. You will go back to the very start. All the way as if you didn't happen." "Anything to put an end to the hell of the woods so I can go back home and live quietly." The elf jumps up and down with unlimited joy. "But how do you know you haven't said this before!" It says, while leaping from a branch to a tortoise's back. "Maybe you are trapped in a circle." You do not know what to say to elf. "We elves love circles you know!" it proceeds "We love to draw and make them. I arranged my pebbles and stones into a circle just this morning. Why, every day I twirl my finger around in the gentle stream and make a circle out of a ripple. //[this is where he mimics doing this behaviour with his hand -ed]// So you see, there's no guarantee you wont be imprisoned." [[If you take that risk and journey back in time, turn to page 45.|45]] [[If you break the cycle and punch the elf in the noggin, turn to page 32.|32]]''39'' elf eats you while youre gathering twigs dummy. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''31'' You scamper away with all the speed you can scamper with. You dart between trees and make leaps over your rocks. All the while the elf cries out at you in sing songs: //"I'm an elf and I will eat you. You should have been more cautious. You are getting your reward And your reward is to become my food.// At last you puncture the wall of the forest and spill out on to your village. You are free! But you have also led an elf to your village. On the other hand, this is a problem. The elf cackles and creates a blue energy cube around your village. "A brood of humans for my cube!" it squeaks in delight! Now you are all trapped in the cube. What will happen in here? No human has ever seen the inside of such a cube and lived to say, so that would be speculation. However, one can forecast that you will all become skeletons and not even anyone will be around to throw dirt on your funeral. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''21'' The elf takes from your silence that it gets to run the game of its choosing. It hops from left foot to right foot and then the reverse with a shoe full of glee. It rummages around inside its pockets and pulls out a tiny box, sized to fit a ring or other trinket that men of great status might exchange during the settlement of a dowry. It presents it with quite some flourish, saying, "This, my darling, is the Decision Box." Elf flips open the lid revealing a red shiny button with the label "Decision" on it. "If you press button here, you will instantly receive a new toy." Here is when it takes out the toy to show you how great it is. It certainly is very desirable and echanting, that much is certain. "BUT, as a direct consequence of this: 100 people you have never met will certainly die. Oh what a choice, what a choice, my kingdom for a choice! You've got to pick now." [[If you presz the button with no regret, turn to page 61.|61]] [[If you say "Elf, kill the people but do not give me the toy," turn to page 56.|56]]''45'' You breath in shortly. "Go ahead, alf. I know my destiny." The elf clucks its cheek very derisively and says: "So be it." The elf lustily removes the magic flute from its pants. It blows a mystical tune and you feel your whole body going to sleep and being sucked through a time vortex. Was this a misteak? ... [[Turn to page 1.|1]]''32'' You assume you are trapped in a terrible time loop, and you decide that it must end here. You cock your fist back and the elf stares at it. "What are you doing..." It almost says. But it doesn't say, because you punch it swiftly in the face. It falls back. A solid punch to an elf face is most certainly fatal. To the elf that is. It lies down on the ground and stares up at the night sky. "my only regret... is that I couldn't see one last circle... before I passed on into that night." "what about the moon?" u ask "A gibbous moon is not circular...." it says and then dies. After the elf gives its last breath, the entire forest is quaking. Of course, with the elf gone there is nothing to hold up the forest and it will collapse in on itself. You forgot all about all that but now you remember "Let's get out of here!" you say to no one. [[`If you return from whence you came, turn to page 50.`|50]] [[If you forget from whence you came and thus run around randomly, turn to page 48.|48]]''30'' You find yourself not outside the woods but within the woods. Indeed it is that familiar and beloved trickster: a clearing. If the forest was a hurricane, why this would be its eyes. You curse angrily with swears and then cover your mouth in suprise. How fortunate you are that your aunt and uncle weren't here to see that, not to mention any other adult relative. Still, it is quite the pristine meadow. You imagine it must be the crown jewel of bear kingdom, if there is such a thing as a crown for a bear. Now you're time for decision. [[If you sing a childish song of no consequence, turn to page 27.|27]] [[If you get your bearings, turn to page 37.|37]] [[`If you get your bear, turn to page 40.`|40]]''16'' You are surely the best in your school at the national sport of Kyrgyz Light Rugby. You place your feet, legs, torso, body, and arms into the preperatory stance, say "Hut! Ho!", and charge full the way out of the bushes. Kapow! A perfect collision! You smoothly tackle the witch lady down to the forst floor (e.g. the ground). A four-pointer for sure. Coach would be proud. The rumbling which just began stops even abruptlier. "y-y-you foolish egg..." the witch sputters. "You altered my delecate and precise hand motions. Do you know what the result of this will be??" Suddenly, without even a little warning, a large boiled sheep's head appears into God's creation and falls down out of the sky. "o," says a witch, "I guess the altered spell summoned a delicious snack food to this location instead of causing some catastrophe. No harm there." You two folks share pieces of the sheep's head and agree to settle your differences on a full stomach. Speaking in the language of metaphor: you and the witch bury your hatchets next to each other within the earth. <span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span> How do you get back home, you ask? Why the witch leads you back home and gives you a ribbon, of course. I shouldn't have to mention such mundane details after an ending like this.''27'' You sing a song which to your ears is pure and innocent: //I like candy I like fun I like jumping around over puddles and around them// What happy times to sing in a meadow. But the singing is interrupted by buzzing. ...oh no. ...the singing has woken a swarm of bees... You start to run away but you know it's futile. Once you bring on the bees, the bees will out. And they do. You are swept up in a flurry of bees, carried above ground on myriad of little backs. You are shuttled into a gigantic hive and deposited into a hexagonal wax compartment. A new cadre of bees begins to eat you and withdraw blood from you. You cannot imagine the awful fate that awaits you here, although you suspect it might have to do with royal jelly production. Next, the queen arrives and injects you with her mighty body syringe. Your last thoughts as your blood is being replaced with honey is the last words your mother ever said to you: "Child," she said. "Do not go into the woods on this night of a gibbous moon. Also before you go to sleep make sure to reread your favourite childrens book: //The Parable of the Little Girl who Sang to Bees.//" How impossibly ironic that you are felled by this impertience. So impossible that you realize this is a dream and you are safely snug in your bed! You happily drift back to sleep. However this realization was itself a delirium brought on by the honey poisoning and you are in fact dead. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''37'' You grab your cellular telephone with global positioning, trusty friend through thick and thing. You launch the mapping application and hold it to the sky. Aha, a great signal! "Phone," you say, "plot the quickest path out of woods." The phone beeps and whirrs and then a blue line appears on the map. You smile, knowing the hard times are deep in the forgotten past. Now that's what I call a completely succesful and fulfilling adventure in the wilderness. You stride off, confident in surely being out of here in no time flat! <span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span> EPILOGUE: You walked through the woods for a while and then exited them.''40'' Ignoring the well known idiom who says "never return to a bear which has granted you passage" (as you are a flagrant ignorer of idioms) you march back into the woods. You go to see where the bear was but all that's there is his toadstool and your loose coins. Was he a ghost??? You get spooked out. You get so spooked out that you have a heart attack and depart this earth. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''61'' You slam your fist down on the button with force, as if ordering a cool glass of fermented horse milk from the local malt shop. "I choose the toy, elf!" you say to the elf. The elf giggles and claps and stands on its head. "You think you chose wisdom," it says, "but in fact the 100 people that will die... ARE YOUR PARENTS AND OTHER LOVED ONES! How do you like this? I bet you like it not very much." You raise an objection with your finger: "Hold now, elfie, you said the 100 people to die would be strangers." The elf stops being glee. "Oh... I did didn't I... what a stupid elf. I always do this moral choice wrong." it breathes a heavy breathe (you might call this a sigh) and snaps its finglers. "Very well. Now the 100 dead people are from Duquense, Pennsylvania, United States of America and you have not met them and indeed never. Now enjoy your new toy." It gives you the toy and you have fun playing with it. What great times are to be had in a forest such as this. <span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span> What's the toy exactly? It is imprecisely described and only for the imagination of children to think about. This is what happens when there's an allegory about.''56'' Wow! How did you know the toy was a haunted trap?! That's some intuiting you've got on you. The elf puts his equipment back in his alchemist's sachel and disseapears into a cloud of robins-egg-blue-tinted fog. Far off in the distance, 100 lightning bolts strike out in rapid succession, presumably murdering 100 people that you have never encountered. You go to sleep right there in the woods, confident that you have made an unimpeachable choice. <span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span>''26'' Losing all of your controls, you heave your body outward in the direction of the tree, jaw first, watering your mouth as you engage. You feast in. The bark tastes of chocolate, the roots are as peppermint, the acorns are dragées, the leaves are all type of things: peach candy, elderberry candy, licorice candy, generic hardened sugar candy, &c. Every bite is a delicious tongue adventure for you to taste and discover. "THIS IS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE!" You loudly announce. "HOWEVER, I AM CONFIDENT THAT IT IS IN FACT TRUE!" Must I remind you of that old poem about confidence? I must, hey? Very well: //A cat was strolling along, With a half of a dozen of mice And every single mouse was confident And every single mouse expected to get cheese (for they were told) (and flattered about the excellence of their abilities) But every 60 metres the cat's paw would swoop down And collecte an overconfident mouse Until at last after 300 metres There was only one mouse And it wasn't so confident anymore If only it had listened to its aunts or uncles// Yes, overconfidence is the original poison; the extrapotent cancer that infects regular cancer and makes it even more cancerous. It is said that a fish is confident that the sun will rise until the one day that it is reversed upsidedown on a fisherman's hook and sees the sun falling instead. You are no fish, but you believed in the sun nevertheless and now you are paying the price. Well the price is not in rubles, but instead it is measured in the number of nets that you are caught in: 1. Were you aware that the candy tree was near the cottege of a witch? Did you see the signals? Perhaps you were explicitly told this on a previous page. Whatever it was, now you've got caught properly by her. You squirm and fiddle around -- even now! trying to get at a bit of candy or whatnot. It's no use, you are dragged in to the cottage via netting and placed on a dinner table. She (witch) puffs up her face and points her finger. Then she say: "HOY! I'm the witch around here and you fell into my child trap. What do you think about that." [[`If you say "I'm scared, ms.", turn to page 60.`|60]] [[If you say "You are no witch. I will not believe in witches until you cast a spell turning yourself into a harmless ant.", turn to page 57.|57]] [[If you try to bargain for your live through evil deeds, turn to page 58.|58]]''47'' You lean back amidst a bush and see the witch for a while. She sweeps a broom, then makes a potion, then reads a spell book, then makes another potion, then sits on a leather chair, then waters the candy tree with chocolate water. Suddenly the witch sniffs her nose. "I can tell from the smell out here that someone is laying eyes on me," she thinks (although you are incapable of reading minds so you do not know this.) "I will make the entire forest collapse on her." she continues to think. "That will give her a spook!" You see the witch wave her hands about. She has the look of a traffic policeman waving cars and horsemen through a major intersection. Then comes the rumble: It's big and all around you and the idea enters your mind that the witch has sensed your presence and is punishing your voyeurism by collapsing the forest on top of you. That would be pretty bad. [[`If you dart away down the woods from where you came (quickly now!), turn to page 50.`|50]] [[If you try to tackle the witch using your abilities, turn to page 16.|16]] [[If you think this is just one big optical illusion, turn to page 54.|54]]''53'' National hero Abdukadyr Urazbekov, the first Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Kyrgyz SSR, was famously quoted as saying: "The idealistic youth confronts social ills head on like a stubborn goat. He or she or it takes a full charge and the final result is generally neutral or positive." Well, that old Wise Uncle of the People might as well have been writing your biography back then, for you are a headstrong charger as well and therefore you charge headstrong. Out you spring from the bushes!, ignorant perhaps of the danger or perhaps just too brave for it. You have a mission, witch is to purge this earth of whiches. "I will assault you openly" is your warcry, and you cry it witchward. Naturally, the witch (being the off-spring of a human and a spider) sticks you with a spider web. You are all caught inside of it. "A dumb but noble child caught in a spiderweb," the witch observes/says. "What a metaphor for the history of Central Asia in the 1930s." Like Central Asia in the 1930s you have a limited time to exist. You suspect, however, that your limit is somewhat lower than ten years. [[If you engage the witch and make an evil bargain for your freedom, turn to page 58.|58]] [[If you pridefully stick to your morals, turn to page 64.|64]]''50'' You run back in haste, screaming too. Meanwhile: The path which was formally unblocked by a tree is now blocked by a tree! O the unspeakable irony! You look around for another way to go. First you look left and your path is blocked by brambles. Then you look right and your path is blocked by rocks. Then you look a little more to your right and your path is blocked by a rushing river. Then you look up and your path is blocked by your inability to fly. Then you look down and a tree falls on your head. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span> After you die you go up to heaven and get advice from Saint Jude the Apostle, whose bones lie approx. 100 miles northeast of the place where a tree collapsed on top of you: "You almost made it out, you did. If only you would have been a little more determined and put a little more faith in local folk traditon." "Does this mean I can return to the mother planet and get another chance?" you ask? "No, he says, I just thought you might like to know."''54'' You imagine you've outsmarted a witch and a confirmed sorceress. You sit beneath a tree in the middle of a falling down process, with expect it will pass right through you as a imagined trick. It doesn't. It's a real tree and everything and explodes your brain. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span> <span class="noright">I did tell you what the witch was thinking. It was very careless of you to disregard vital information. Now [[go back to page 47|47]] and do things properly. Or maybe just [[turn to the next page|55]] and see what's happening there.</span>''55.'' The werewolf tackles you down and tears your heart out with its bare claws and teeth. Looks like this one is a death too. Bad luck. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''60'' You express your fear at the which. She creates a subtle burp. Curious... you continue: "I'm really so afraid. Scared even." The witch responds to this by letting out a heavy sigh and rubbing her stomach with satisfaction. Could it be? Yes, it could! You try one last time just to confirm your supsect: "I do not like this at all. My palms are sweating and I'm like a little afraid mouse." The witch makes a notable gulping noise and even appears slightly larger. It is so clear now: The old legends have it backwards! The witch does not feed on child meat, it feeds on the fear of children as they know they are going to become turned into child meat. "I have so much fear!" You shout! "My heart is poundng very fast!" With every moment she goes larger and larger. "Hey now, no more of this." she belches out. You are unabated: "Snakes are scary; spiders are scary; you are a witch and that is scary; I am even afraid of large dogs!" The witch bloats up all the way " can't make me any fuller..........." says the witch. She realy is quite round today. This is it. You point dramatically at her and say. "And I also don't like it when birds fly at me." The witch lets out a catastrophic explosion all over the place. The rupturing sound wave causes the walls of the cottage to plummette. Her deadly acidic guts spew out everywhere, including on to your face and eyes and vital organs. You won a pyrrhic victory, but at what cost? The cost is your own death due to acid and collapsing structure. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''57'' Oh, says the witch, you are trying to confuse me with your trick psychology. You WANT me to not turn into an ant. Well I will show you. Hocus Pocus, Abrakazam, Now I'm an Ant! There's a puff of steam and the lady has become a tiny insect. You hop down off the table and smush it into pieces. Now you are the only person in this house and you can live here or something. <span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span> You have completed a classic four-stage hero's journey: born in a village, called into a woods, encountered with a witch, victorious over a witch. Now turn to last page of this book, write down "I am smarter than a witch" in the space marked "ACCOMPLISHMENT JOURNAL", and then return to this page. Once you are done that, close this book shut and go do some housework.''58'' You have an evil idea that involves sacrificing every youth in your village. You always hated the other youths, mostly, so this should be a slice of sweet cake. "Witch, I am but one child." "You could eat me today and get full on child for a while, but then you'd be hungry today." "But I come from a village of childs and they all contain roughly equivalent meats." "If I lead you out to them, would you consent to give me my freedom?" The witch likes this a whole lot. You can see from the expression on her cheeks. "I accept this offer, child. I will free you so you can lead me the way to." The witch frees you so you can lead her the way to. You have maximum mobility now. There's still a chance to not be so evil! [[If you decide not to be evil after all, turn to page 62.|62]] [[If it's evil for sure, turn to page 63.|63]]''64'' Like national hero Abdukadyr Urazbekov, the first Chairman of the Central Executive Committee of the Kyrgyz SSR, you choose to stick to your principals, even if it means becoming beheaded like national hero Abdukadyr Urazbekov. "Do with me what you will, witch," says you, "I will certainly be ready to enter martyrdom." "Okie-dokie" she says the witch "I will use you as ingredients for my stew then." You go to the cauldron stern-faced without showing a tear and are cooked and are eaten. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span> FURTHER READING: Does this death end also count as a victory end? Some would say yes and some would say no. Famous Kyrgyz poet Alykul Osmonov had this to say on the subject of death: //There is no greater joy that death for a cause Not sleeping through the afternoon Not giving birth to a doctor Not even giving birth to twin doctors Death is really the only important thing From the above list of four things// However, there is a contrasting folk saying which says the following: //To become the dinner of a leopard When your disposition is anti-leopard Is not productive but counter-productive// If one swaps the word "leopard" for the "witch" and changes the declensions and conjugations appropriately, one can see an obvious parallel with this situation. We leave the questions of philosophy to the reader, and to the elders of the reader (who are inherently wiser and more suited for philosophy than the reader).''46'' <span class="noright">You cannot resist temptation. [[Turn to page 26.|26]]</span>''49'' The bat explains what is going to happen: "Sky King is the King of the Sky Kingdom. But this was not always so. Not too long ago the Sky was a Republic ruled by a benevolent leader known as Sky President. But Sky King—who was at the time of course only known as Sky Man—was ambitious, and desired absolute power for himself. Furthermore, a fortune teller named Sky Fortune Teller told him that he could become a great and powerful wizard if he stabbed the Sky President 52 times in the back. So he lured Sky President down to the Sky Senate for a vote on important Sky matters, but when Sky President stepped into the chamber, Sky Man grabbed her and stabbed her 52 times in the back. Sky Man immediately became a wizard known as Sky Wizard and used his magic powers to conjure up a Sky Crown. By ancient Sky Law, any denizen of the Sky who manages to get a crown on their head automatically becomes a Sky Monarch, even if that crown was conjured by a wizard. Sky Wizard put the crown on his head and became a king known as Sky King, although he still had his wizard powers. He used those powers, in addition to his civil authority, to construct a mighty castle in the sky, built on top of a thundercloud, and made out of a special type of stone called cloudstone, which is more or less clouds. Sky King became paranoid about challenges to his rule. He liquidated the Sky Senate and had his family exiled to the distant kingdom of Outer Space. Now he roams the great empty Sky Corridors of Sky Castle, wailing to himself and processing immigration forms. But I believe you can help save our accursed land. You see, that same fortune teller also predicted that a— whoops!" The whoops is when Bat gets overexcited with his gesturing and drops you by accident. You fall all the way down to the ground and then a little bit through it due to the force of your impact. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''38'' "Put me down, Bat." you say. "I am from ground and I wish to return to the ground. Sky King need never know about these minutes." The bat shrugs its wings in a way that you frankly did not know a bat could do. "Very well. You requested this." The bat releases you from its grip and you plummet to the ground below. Your fall is broken by a tree, which impales your body. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span> That just goes to show: there's no winning with bats.''48'' As everything gets fat with problems all around you, you run around with no sense at all, turning down whatever forest path you come across. It is an intesely frustrating experience and you feel like you're running in circles. Then... that's it! Circles! The elf said they were his favourite, so they must be magical. It stands in front of reason. Using your innate math ability (you are the best at math class in your school) you trace a perfect 360 degree circle with your footsteps. Your path glows a brilliant blue. The colour of elfs, you no doubt recognize. The blue circle turns into a whirling vortex, sucking bushes/leaves/whatnot into itself. You will be pulled in too. All that remains is to decide what to say. [[If you say "VORTEX TAKE ME HOME", turn to page 18.|18]] [[If you say "VORTEX TAKE ME AWAY FROM HERE", turn to page 43.|43]] [[If you say nothing at all turn to page 51.|51]]''18'' You bound in that portal, instructing it to take you home. But since it is an elf portal, it interprets home as "home of the elfs". You pop through and pop out in the Elf Kingdom. Astounding! You are surely the first human to ever lay eyes on it. You are also the first human to ever set lay foot on the planet Saturn, which is where the Elf Kingdom is located. As there is no breathable air on Saturn you fail to breathe. The elfs gather and stair at your body through their breathing apparatuses. They look at each other and make their eyes roll. What will those kooky humans do next! <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''43'' As you leap in you order the portal to take you to a different place. It complies, depositing you 60m away from where you jumped in. Unfortunately that still puts you square within the collapsing forest. The next thing that happens is a rock falls on you. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''51'' You cover your lips with your hands and fall into the vortext. Since you have not given it an input, it defaults to a random location. You fall down into a ditch on the side of the road. It is muddy and gross but also wihout forest. Where are you?? A bright light appears on the road, next to a bright light of equal size, and attached to a much larger but much less bright truck. The truck is driven by a person who sees you through the windshield as you run into the road and flag them down. After some conversation, it emerges that you have been teleported across the world to a highway in the distant Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic! What a ways you are from home! But safe at least in the company of a random truck driver. Oh the stories you will tell about this night to your eventual children/grandchildren. <span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span> (Will there be a sequel to this book involving this truck journey back to home village? If the majority of readers arrive at this ending page and no other, then yes.)''62'' You chicken out from evil and lead the witch to a den of squirrels. The witch examines the squirrels with her magic goggles and witch's loupe and hums like a perplexed cicada. "These don't look like children to me," she says. "And I like to eat a lot of children so I think I know two or three things." You pretend to be taken to a back. "Are you telling me I don't know what my own fellow children friends look like?" The witch, sensing she has made a real faux-pas, bows low to you. WITCH: Forgive my insolence. YOU: That is fine. Don't worry. WITCH: Very good. Now it's time to go on to eating this child meat. YOU: Off you go then. You tip your toes away as the witch tries to catch those squirrels. She'll be busy for a while before she learns of your deception. This provides you of ample time to run away home, maybe board up your bedroom door, and other whatnot. <span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span> Secret extra content: Five months later the witch figures out what happens and sends you an angry letter. Do you open it? [[If you open it, turn to page 59.|59]] [[If you leave it closed, turn to page 19.|19]]''63'' You take the witch's hand and go back to the edge of woods. The rest of the witch is attached to the witch's hand and she also goes to the edge of the woods. With the combined two of you it feels like getting lost is difficult-to-impossible. This could be the effect of a witch's spell or potion. Before two long you reach out at your village. Boys and/or girls in every house. "This is it, witch. ¿está bien?" "You won't be meat today," she affirms. This is acceptable enough for you. The witch goes out from house to house to house to house, taking all types of children away and eating them on the spot. She can ever eat child meat, that is certain. People are upset about all this so the witch turns them into frogs or strikes them with lightening. A complete massacre due to your activity. But you are alive and according to the twisted morality you have demonstrated that is the only imp't thing. Suddenly, the witch turns to you! With open mouth! Seems like she's going to use her mouth to eat you! You back up like a coward, which is what you indeed are. "Y-y-y-y-y-you promised I wouldn't be meat today." The witch is glee. "You are saying what I said alright, but when I said it, it was yesterday. Midnight just happened right now. So I kept my promise and now I get to eat you. It's a witch's trick." "aaagghhh." "Don't fret little one. This is the balance of the world. Evil deeds will always be punished through the actions of a witch." <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''59.'' You can not resist the final tempting urges to open letter. Here it goes: Bzzzzip [the sound of a tearing open enevlope]; frlap [the sound of a letter unfold]; murrmrr murrrm [the sound of reading a letter somewhat aloud]; FWOOMP [the sound of a cloud of fire exploding out from the letter and burning your face off]! This stands to reason: A witch has magic powers and therefore can curse a letter to send evil magic at you, even if you are nowhere near you house. Therefore the fire death takes you and you are buried in the cemetary next to your cousins. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''19.'' You toss the letter in the kindling pile and some times later it is used for the creation of a fire, such as a newspaper or small twigs would be used to in that situation. You achieve a great deal of closure from ignoring the anger that arrives from a forest. <span class="end">''VICTORY END (AGAIN)''</span>''35'' You arrive at a rushing stream to rear of the bear. Salmon jump up and down and the bear pauses to swipe some out for his eleven PM snack. You grant him this, as you are comfortable with a bear's lifestyle. Full of flesh now, the bear wades into the stream and claws hard at a specified rock. With a tremending rumble, the tree behind you opens up like a door. The bear nods at you. His task is complete. Maybe he will go away to die? [[Of course you enter the tree. Turn to page 36.|36]] [[You don't enter the tree? Hmm... turn to page 52 then.|52]]''36'' Here you are on page 36. Isn't this where you got the honey before? Well now it is a mighty treasure trove filled with everything imaginable. You could become powerful wealth with this pile of jewels and crowns. Why you might even become class president? Ah but it is all well and good to be standing next to a pile inside of a tree. It is quite another to make a pile come out of a tree. How do you transport it....... [[If you take it all, every last gumdrop, turn to page 44.|44]] [[If you slip but a single gold chervonets in your pocket, turn to page 41.|41]] [[If you show the purest and truest virtue by walking out empty-handed, turn to page 52.|52]]''52'' The bear is plum shocked to see that you have rejected its merciful offer of treasure. It turns on you in an instant. The warm furry visage which seconds ago you adored and found adorable transforms before your eyes into a snarled red and orange and black collection of evil features. You consider supernatural influence but your consideration is itself influenced by being wrong. No, this is natural. This is the state of a bear. A powerful hulk of an object that can devour you and kill you {not necessarily in that order.} In this case, the devouring and killing proceeds in that order. What a fool slights a bear like this. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''44'' You are shocked to invent that the pile of wealth does not respond to normal rules of heavy vs. light. It might as well be a pile of cotton fluff. You gleefully endorse this wicked magic and pile item on top of item on top of item on top of item on top of item and so on for 50 more items. You carry a massive weight of treasure but it rests on your body easy as would a half full backpack. You emerge from tree licking your lips at all the things you going to buy. But since the magic only applies inside the magic tree, you immediately buckle under the actual weight of the gold etc. You are crushed by treasure and die completely. <span class="end">''DEATH END''</span>''41'' "Best just to take one," you think and/or say, "no need for greedy." You poke your head out holding a single gold chervonets which currently begins to glow and fidget. A tree nymph pops up from behind a rock and explains: this was a magic coin + it has chosen you as its owner + if you hold it out in front of you it will vibrate when you are pointing towards yr home. The nymph slips back down beneath rock cover. Bye bye nymth. Using this reckoning system of the shaking coin, you go to your house. You arrive in hold of a magic gold chevronets, which you convert into rubles. You get a premium over normal conversion rate due to its mystical provenace and ownership by a bear. With this money pile (wisely invested) you live a life of comfort but not extravagence. <span class="end">''VICTORY END''</span> <span class="title2">[Small Child in Woods]<start|</span> <span class="title3">Маленькая Девочка в Лесу</span> <span class="title1">//[You Will Select a Decision]<home|// — Book №1</span> <span class="title4">An Exemplary Product of the Kyrgyz Soviet Socialist Republic</span> (click:?home)[(gotoURL:"")](click:?start)[(goto:"1")](click:?bhen)[(gotoURL:"")](click:?twine)[(gotoURL:"")] <span class="copyright">© 2013 [Brendan Patrick Hennessy]<bhen| Created with [Twine]<twine| []<bhen| · []<home| · []<twine|</span>