“In one huge forest, there lived a forester named Blackbeard.” He had two sons, the Elder of the twelve years, and the Younger was a nine-year-old. The brothers often quarreled, “like strangers,” so the forester was fun only in the forest. Once, on December 28, Blackbeard told his sons that they will not have a Christmas tree this year. Christmas decorations must be bought in a distant city. Mom alone will not send it through the forest, the forester himself “does not know how to go shopping”, but leave the brothers alone – “the elder brother of the younger will completely ruin.” And then the Elder swore that he would not hurt the Younger for three days – until his parents returned.
Mom prepared dinner, and my father brought firewood and gave the Senior a box of matches. And then my parents left. “The first day went well, the second one is even better.” The trouble happened on the evening of December 31. The elder read an interesting book, and the Younger was bored, and he pestered his brother. Then Elder grabbed his brother and shouted “Leave me alone!” threw it out the door. For a moment he felt sorry for the Younger, because it was cold outside, and the kid – without warm clothes. Then the boy decided that in a few minutes nothing would happen to his brother. He wanted to read a few lines, but he read himself and remembered Younger when it was already dark outside. The elder jumped out into the yard, but Younger was nowhere to be found.
At this point, the parents returned. The black-bearded man knew what had happened, and his beard turned gray with grief. He sent the Elder in search of his brother, and ordered without Younger not to return.
The boy went to the mountains. Before them was seven weeks of fast driving, and the Elder got to the night – because of grief, he did not notice the passing time. Suddenly he heard a distant ring of light, and went to him. A few hours later, the Elder found himself in a forest of transparent ice trees with clear ice ground. The wind swayed the icy pines, and they rang softly. This forest was the home of Great-grandfather Frost. Grandfather Frost was his son, and the old man cursed him for his good nature. The main thing for Grandfather Frost was peace, so he decided to take the Elder as a pupil. Frost ordered that the cold until the day did not touch the boy and brought him to his ice house of 49 rooms.
Along the way, the old man reported that Junior was locked in the very last room. All this Frost spoke in a dispassionate voice, as if reading a book.
The old man instructed the eldest to “calm down” forest birds and small animals. Frost brought them from the forest half frozen, and the boy had to turn them over the black ice flames until they became transparent. He found the Room 49 at once, but the door of the room was made of icy oak so hard that even the ax did not take it.
For many days, Elder thought about how to save his brother, and Grandfather Frost praised him for his calm. Finally the boy remembered that in his pocket he had a box of matches. One day, when the old man went to get a new portion of animals, Elder ran for firewood into a living forest and lit a fire at the doors of the 49th hall. By the evening the door was a little thinned, and the next day, Senior tried to hold a half-frozen bird over a warm flame. The bird came to life. Since then, the Elder has revived forest birds and animals every day and built snow houses for them in the corners of the hall. This was followed by his great-grandfather Frost. He breathed on the flames, and it became black, and the door froze again.
The elder cried all day, and at night he was awakened by forest friends. They took out the keys from the snow-cap of Grandfather Frost, and the boy was able to open the 49th door. The younger “was all transparent” icy, and a tear stiffened his cheek. The elder grabbed his brother and ran. He managed to get out of the ice house and almost ran to the living forest, when Great-grandfather Frost rushed in pursuit. Forest friends rushed to the old man’s feet, and he fell. They did it again and again until the boy got to the living forest.
The senior ran, carrying the Younger carefully, so as not to break. He hoped that his father would cure his brother. For joy, the boy did not notice how he got to familiar places. There was already spring, only here and there lay the remains of snow. On such a snowball “cake” the Elder slipped and heard the gloating voice of Great-Father Frost. The younger hit the root and crashed.
The elder cried until he fell asleep. In the meantime, the squirrels collected the Younger in pieces, glued them with birch glue and laid them on the sun. When the Elder woke up, Junior was already alive and even a tear on his cheek melted. Together, the brothers returned to their parents. Blackbeard’s beard again turned black with joy. Since then, the brothers have not quarreled. Sometimes the Elder asked his brother to leave him alone, but not for long, and Jr. always obeyed him.