en-fr  The building to break
Le permis de détruire — De « Histoires au téléphone » ( « Favole al TELEPHONO » ) — Gianni Rodari — 1961 Il était une fois, à Busto Arsizio, des gens qui s'inquiétaient parce que les enfants cassaient tout. Nous ne parlons pas des semelles des chaussures, des pantalons et des cartables d'école : ils cassaient les fenêtres en jouant au ballon, ils cassaient les assiettes de table et les verres dans le bar et ils ne cassaient pas les murs seulement parce qu'ils n'avaient pas de marteaux sous la main.
Les parents ne savaient ni que faire ni que dire et s'adressèrent au maire.
— Voulez-vous que nous leur donnions une contravention ?, suggéra le maire.
— Merci beaucoup, crièrent les parents, et ainsi nous paierions les pots cassés.
Heureusement, par ici il y a de nombreux comptables. Il y en a un pour trois personnes et ils sont tous très bien estimés. Le meilleurs de tous est le comptable Gamberoni, un vieux monsieur qui de nombreux petits-enfants et donc une grande expérience des pots cassés. Il prit un caryon et un papier et fit le compte des dommages que les enfants de Busto Arsizio avaient causé en détruisant de cette façon toutes ces belles et bonnes choses. Cela s'avaira être une somme astronomique : se vantant d'être entre quatorze et trente-trois
— Avec la moitié de cette somme, montra le comptable Gamberoni, nous pouvons construire un bâtiment à détruire et forcer les enfants à le réduire en pièces ; si nous ne les guérissons pas avec ce système, rien d'autre ne les guérira.
La proposition fut acceptée ; le palais fut construit en un rien de temps. Il avait sept étages, avait quatre-vingt-dix-neuf chambres, chaque chambre était remplie de meubles et chaque meuble était rempli de vaisselle et d'objets décoratifs, sans compter les miroirs et les robinets. On the day of the inauguration, every child was handed a hammer and at a signal of the mayor the gates of the palaces to be broken were thrown open.
Too bad that television did not arrive in time to broadcast the show. Who has seen it with his own eyes and heard it with his ears ensures that it seemed – heaven forbid! - the outbreak of World War III. The children walked from room to room like the army of Attila and smashed with a hammer as they met in their path. The shots were heard throughout Lombardy and half of Switzerland. Children as tall as the tail of a cat clung to large closets as cruisers and demolished them carefully to leave a mountain of chips. Kindergarten kids, beautiful and graceful in their pink and celestial aprons, diligently pounded the coffee servers by reducing them to a fine powder, with which they washed their face. At the end of the first day no glass was left intact. At the end of the second day there were few chairs left. The third day the children faced the walls, starting from the top floor, but when they arrived on the fourth floor, dead tired and covered in dust as Napoleon's soldiers in the desert, they planted a cabin and puppets, they staggered home and went to bed without dinner.
By now they had really let off steam and had no further desire to break anything, suddenly they had become delicate and light as butterflies and you could have them play soccer on a field with crystal glasses and they would not have chipped a single one.
The accountant Gamberoni settled the accounts, and proved that the city of Busto Arsizio had saved two zillion and seven centimeters.
What was left standing of the building to break, the City gave free citizens to do with it what they wanted. Then they saw some gentlemen with leather folder and glasses with bifocal lenses - magistrates, notaries, chief executives - armed with hammer and rush to demolish a wall or to dismantle a ladder, hitting with such enthusiasm that with every hit they felt rejuvenated.
“Rather than arguing with his wife,” he said cheerfully, “instead of breaking ashtrays and good service plates, a gift of aunt Marina ...” He hammered down.
To accountant Gamberoni, in gratitude, the town of Busto Arsizio decreed a medal with a silver hole.
unit 3
The parents did not know what to do and what to say and turned to the mayor.
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unit 4
“Do we give them a fine?” suggested the mayor.
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unit 5
“Thanks a lot,” cried the parents, “and then we pay it with the pieces.
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unit 6
Thankfully, in these parts there are many accountants.
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unit 7
There's one for every three people, and they all accounted very well.
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unit 10
It turned to be a ghastly sum: boasted to be fourteen and thirty three.
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unit 12
The proposal was accepted; the palace was built in no time at all.
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unit 15
Too bad that television did not arrive in time to broadcast the show.
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unit 17
- the outbreak of World War III.
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unit 19
The shots were heard throughout Lombardy and half of Switzerland.
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unit 22
At the end of the first day no glass was left intact.
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unit 23
At the end of the second day there were few chairs left.
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The building to break- From “Fairy Tales by TELEPHONE ("Favole al TELEFONO") - Gianni Rodari - 1961
Once, in Busto Arsizio, people were worried because the children broke everything. We do not speak of the soles of shoes, pants and school satchels: they broke the windows playing ball, they broke the table plates and glasses in the bar, and they did not break the walls, only because they did not have hammers available.
The parents did not know what to do and what to say and turned to the mayor.
“Do we give them a fine?” suggested the mayor.
“Thanks a lot,” cried the parents, “and then we pay it with the pieces.
Thankfully, in these parts there are many accountants. There's one for every three people, and they all accounted very well. The best of all accounted the accountant Gamberoni, an old gentleman who had many grandchildren and then in terms of shards had extensive experience. He took a pencil and paper and made an account of the damage that the children of Busto Arsizio caused by smashing so much beautiful and good stuff in that way. It turned to be a ghastly sum: boasted to be fourteen and thirty three.
“With half of this amount,” the accountant Gamberoni showed, “we can build a building to be broken and force the children to tear it to pieces; if we don’t cure them with this system, we will not cure them with anything.
The proposal was accepted; the palace was built in no time at all. It was seven floors high, had ninety-nine rooms, each room was full of furniture and every piece of furniture full of crockery and ornaments, not counting the mirrors and faucets. On the day of the inauguration, every child was handed a hammer and at a signal of the mayor the gates of the palaces to be broken were thrown open.
Too bad that television did not arrive in time to broadcast the show. Who has seen it with his own eyes and heard it with his ears ensures that it seemed – heaven forbid! - the outbreak of World War III. The children walked from room to room like the army of Attila and smashed with a hammer as they met in their path. The shots were heard throughout Lombardy and half of Switzerland. Children as tall as the tail of a cat clung to large closets as cruisers and demolished them carefully to leave a mountain of chips. Kindergarten kids, beautiful and graceful in their pink and celestial aprons, diligently pounded the coffee servers by reducing them to a fine powder, with which they washed their face. At the end of the first day no glass was left intact. At the end of the second day there were few chairs left. The third day the children faced the walls, starting from the top floor, but when they arrived on the fourth floor, dead tired and covered in dust as Napoleon's soldiers in the desert, they planted a cabin and puppets, they staggered home and went to bed without dinner.
By now they had really let off steam and had no further desire to break anything, suddenly they had become delicate and light as butterflies and you could have them play soccer on a field with crystal glasses and they would not have chipped a single one.
The accountant Gamberoni settled the accounts, and proved that the city of Busto Arsizio had saved two zillion and seven centimeters.
What was left standing of the building to break, the City gave free citizens to do with it what they wanted. Then they saw some gentlemen with leather folder and glasses with bifocal lenses - magistrates, notaries, chief executives - armed with hammer and rush to demolish a wall or to dismantle a ladder, hitting with such enthusiasm that with every hit they felt rejuvenated.
“Rather than arguing with his wife,” he said cheerfully, “instead of breaking ashtrays and good service plates, a gift of aunt Marina ...”
He hammered down.
To accountant Gamberoni, in gratitude, the town of Busto Arsizio decreed a medal with a silver hole.