Original (in Russian) is here.]
“So, what’s the problem?” asked Fox, choosing a place to sit at safe distance from the Wolf.
“This… this one is stopping me from having my breakfast!” Wolf pointed a fork to Hedgehog. The accused moved away from the empty plate and curled in the defensive ball.
“What do you mean he stopping you?”
“He’s kinda stubborn, keeping to say ‘No means no’, ” confirmed Bear, “Like, ‘Let’s everyone go hungry, I don’t care’.”
“Did you tried to reason with him?”
“Yep, over and over again,” Wolf nodded, “I’ll eat him as my breakfast, what not to understand there? And he’s still fretting over all it.”
“Oh? He just trying to haggle,” sighed Fox, “Why don’t you offer a bargain? This fatty worm, for example. His breakfast for yours – it’s a fair deal!”
“I tried! I’ve offered him three-course meal, and the sucker doesn’t accept the exchange,” Wolf hushed his fork towards Hedgehog; the latter hissed and spread his spikes.
“Hedgehog, why do you behave like that?” Fox sighed again, “Remember that you aren’t living in this forest alone. You can’t be a part of ecosystem and be free of it at the same time. Even Rabbits understood that, and your behavior is totally uncouth.”
“Hedgehog, you are on official negotiations!” Bear decided to join the discussion and slightly hugged Wolf and Fox; something cracked audibly, “We need to reach the middle ground!”
“I don’t,” mumbled Hedgehog, “End of story.”
“But you came here.”
“It’s my burrow. It’s you who came here.”
Fox looked around.
“Well, I can’t see any of your burrows…”
“Wolf sat on it, and still sitting. I can’t get back to my home.”
“See?” Fox’s smile was wide, “Wolf sat on it, and therefore it is his burrow, not yours. Enough of this foolishness. How many dishes you want in exchange? Two, three, maybe five?”
“None. I don’t want to be eaten at all.”
“But why? It is a common practice, and usual course of things.”
“I’ll die and vanish then,” explained Hedgehog.
“What means ‘vanish’?” Fox got riled, “Can’t you remember the Conservation Law? You can’t vanish, you’ll just turn into something else.”
“And why do you detest that? Rabbits turn into shit, Squirrels turn into shit. It’s Nature’s way. Why put yourself above it?”
“I don’t want to become some shit. I’m Hedgehog.”
The rest of company sighted deeply.
“What a jerk,” said Bear gloomily, “How can we make sure he understands it?”
“I’ve understood. I just don’t agree.”
“You’re totally uncooperative!”
Hedgehog silently spread his spikes.
“That’s a provocative aggression,” noticed Fox, “Hedgehog, if you don’t let eat yourself at once, the consequences would be dire.”
By some reason, Hedgehog kept silence. Others exchanged glances.
“Because of that idiot, our dear Wolf still hasn’t a breakfast. And me too,” dryly said Fox, “We have to finish this. Wolfie, show him.”
Wolf slowly stood, opened his maw so widely that it could accommodate Bear, and showed Hedgehog into it without help of a fork.
“And what this hissing fool tried to accomplish?” rhetorically asked Fox.
“Hey, Wolf, what’s wrong?” asked Bear, “Are you ok?”
“Oww,” mumbled Wolf in return, “He stitches me from inside.”
“Doesn’t he understand the impunity of his actions?” asked Fox again, “Doesn’t he understand that he is… kinda in Wolf’s private property right now?”
“And how we should get this thought to Hedgehog?” mused Bear.
“IT HURTS!” howled the Wolf, “I can feel his spikes everywhere!”
“Shush. He’s probably dead already,” spoke Fox with soothing voice, “He can’t afford to put those out forever. Wait a little and he’ll turn into usual shit.”
Wolf howled very loudly in return; Fox decide to move slightly away.
“I think we’ll go. Situation is basically defused, and I need to find someone to breakfast on.”
“O-w-w?” the voice of Wolf was becoming quieter and quieter behind their backs.
On the next their meeting Fox said to Bear: “We need to teach Hedgehogs how to behave during negotiations. They always make unnecessary complications out of nothing. By the way, have you met Wolf lately? He hasn’t appeared for a week. Maybe something wrong had happened, and we don’t know what…”