Юмористические Рассказы на Английском

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In the Dark
(After J. K. Jerome)

Many years ago two friends, Joe and Tom, came to a small town. It was very dark when they came to a little inn. They asked for a room with two beds. The owner of the inn showed them a room and gave them a candle because there was no lamp in the room.

When they were going to the room the candle fell out of Joe’s hand. It became very dark. They found the door of the room and went in.

They took off their clothes and went to bed. The bed was very big and by mistake1 they got into the same bed: Tom from one side and Joe from the other.

After a few minutes Joe said, «You know, Tom, there’s a man in my bed. Here are his feet near my face.»

«Yes, Joe, there’s a man in my bed too. His feet are near my face too. What shall we do?»

«Let’s push them off our beds.»

And they began to push each other. After some time the two men fell on the floor.

«Joe!» cried Tom. «My man is stronger than I. He has pushed me down to the floor.»

«I’m on the floor too,» answered Joe. «I think we must go to the owner of the inn and tell him about it.»

Are You Angry, Sir?

One day Mark Twain was travelling in France by train. He was going to a small town near Paris. It was very late at night when he went to sleep. He asked the conductor to wake him up when they got to the town, and went to sleep.

It was early morning when he woke up. The train was already near Paris. Mark Twain was very angry. He ran up to the conductor and cried, «I asked you to wake me up! Why didn’t you do it? I am very angry with you!»

The conductor looked at him for a moment and then said, «You may be angry, sir, but not so angry as the American whom I put off’ the train instead of you.»

In a Small Town

Toscanini was a great musician. He lived in America. One day he came to a very little town. He was walking along the street when he saw a piece of paper in one of the windows. He read:

«Mrs. Smith. Music Lessons. Two Dollars a Lesson»

Then Toscanini heard the music. Somebody was playing Tchaikovsky.

«Mrs Smith is playing,» he thought, «she isn’t a very good musician. She doesn’t play Tchaikovsky well. I must show her how to play it.»

He went up to the door of the house and rang. The music stopped and soon a woman opened the door.

«Are you Mrs Smith?» asked Toscanini. «My name is Toscanini and I want to show you how to play Tchaikovsky.»

Mrs Smith was very glad to meet the great musician. She asked him to come in. Toscanini played Tchaikovsky for her and went away.

A year later Toscanini visited the same town again. When he went up to the house where he had played Tchaikovsky the year before he again saw a piece of paper. Now it read:

«Mrs. Smith (Toscanini’s pupil). Music Lessons. Four Dollars a Lesson»

A Great Painter and a Great Doctor

Joseph Turner was a great English painter. He had a dog which he loved very much. One day he was playing with his dog. The dog fell and broke his leg. Turner sent for a doctor. But he did not want to send for a vet.1 He sent for the best doctor in London.

When the doctor came Turner said, «Doctor, I’m glad you have come. My dog has broken a leg. I know that you are too great for this work, but please, do it. It’s so important to me.»

The doctor was angry but he did not show it.

Next day the doctor asked Turner to come to his house. «The doctor wants to see me about my dog,» Turner thought.

When Turner got to the doctor’s house the doctor said, «Mr Turner, I’m glad to see you. I want to. ask you to paint my door. I know that you are too great for this work, but please, do it. It’s so important to me.»

The Policeman and the Thief

In a small town a man stole1 some money from a house. The police began to look for the thief. Soon they found him and brought him to the police station.

There was a new policeman at the police station and they wanted to give him some work.

«Take this thief to the city,» said one of the policemen. «You must go there by train.»

The policeman and the thief went to the station. On their way to the station they came to the shop where bread was sold

«We have no food and we must eat something in the train,» said th° thief. «It’s a long way to the city and it’ll take us a long time to get there. I’ll go into the shop and buy some bread. Then you and I can eat in the train. Wait for me here.»

The policeman was glad to have some food in the train. «Be quick,» he said to the thief, «we don’t have much time.»

The thief went into the shop and the policeman waited in the street for a long time. At last he went into the shop.

«Where is the man who came in here to buy some bread?» asked the policeman

«Oh, he went out the back door,» said the owner of the shop.

The policeman ran out but he could not see the thief. So he went to the police station and told the others about it. They were very angry with him. All the police of the town began to look forthe thief again and soon they found him. They brought him back to the police station and called the same policeman.

«Now,» said one of them, «take him to the city and do not lose him again.»

The policeman and the thief went to the station and came up to the same shop.

«Wait here,» said the thief. «I want to go into the shop and buy some bread there.»

«Oh, no,» said the policeman, «you did that once and ran away. Now I’ll go into the shop and you’ll wait for me here.»

Not a Robber

A young man who lived in the suburbs’ of a big English city was going home from the railway station. It was a dark night and there was nobody in the street. Suddenly he heard somebody walking behind him. The faster he went, the faster the man ran after him. At last he decided to turn into a small street to see what the man would do.2 After a few minutes he looked back and saw that the man was still running after him.

«He wants to rob me,» the young man thought. He saw a high garden wall and jumped over it. The other man jumped over the wall too. Now the young man was sure that the man behind him was a robber. But he could not understand why the robber was not in a hurry2 to attack him.

The young man did not know what to do. Then he turned round and said, «What do you want? Why are you following me?»

«Do you always go home in this way? Or are you taking some exercise today?» answered the man. «I’m going to Mr White, but I don’t know where he lives. A man at the railway station told me to follow you, because I could find his house very easily as Mr White lives next door to you. Will you go home or will you do some more gymnastics?»

The Mouse and the Corn

Many, many years ago there lived a king who said that anyone who could tell a story for two years would get1 a piece of land.

First one man tried but his story lasted only two weeks. Another man finished his story after five days. A third man began his story like this:

«Once a farmer planted some corn. When the corn grew the farmer gathered it and put it into a shed. Then the mouse came into the shed and began to eat the corn.»

The man went on, «The mouse took a grain of corn, the mouse took a grain of corn, the mouse took a grain of corn. «

The King interrupted the story, «Well, what was after this?»

«I can’t tell you,» answered the man, «because the mouse hasn’t finished eating the corn yet.»

«All right,» said the king, «you will get a piece of land.»

For Those Who Like to Travel

One day a Paris newspaper gave an advertisement3 about a very cheap4 and pleasant way of travelling — for 25 centimes.5 Many people believed it and sent the money.

A few days later each of them got a letter. The letter read: «Sir, rest in bed and remember that the Earth turns. Paris stands at the 49th parallel. At the 49th parallel you travel more than 25,000 kilometres a, day. You may look out of the window and watch the beautiful sky.»

A Clever Fisherman

A fisherman brought a very large fish to a rich man’s house. The rich man asked the fisherman to name his price for the fish. «I don’t want money,» was the answer. «One hundred lashes on my back is the price of my fish. I won’t take one lash less!»

The rich man was surprised and said, «Well, this fisherman is very strange, but we must have the fish. So let the price be paid.»

After fifty lashes the fisherman cried, «Stop! Stop! I have a partner in my business and he must get his part, too.» «Where can I find him?» asked the rich man.

«He’s your own servant. He didn’t want to let me come into your house till I promised to give him half of the price of the fish.»

Two Brothers

Once there were two brothers, Peter and Bernard. Both of them liked to ride horses. One day they both went to buy a horse. Bernard bought a horse and Peter bought a horse, too.

«Oh, dear!» said Bernard. «How are we going to tell our horses apart? How shall I know which is my horse and which is your horse?»

«It isn’t difficult,» said Peter, «you cut the tail of your horse shorter than that of mine.»

So Bernard cut the tail of his horse and now they could see which horse was his. But then the tail of Bernard’s horse grew and the brothers began to think again.

«I know!» said Bernard. «You cut the mane of your horse very short and so we’ll see which horse is yours.»

But soon the mane of his horse grew.

«Do you know what we must do?» asked Peter. «We must see whose horse is longer. Perhaps, one is longer than the other.»

And at last they found that the black horse was three centimetres longer than the white horse.

Quick Thinking

One night a hotel caught fire1 and the people who were staying in it ran out in their night clothes.

Two men were standing near the hotel and looking at the fire. «Before I came out,» said one of them, «I ran into some of the rooms and found a lot of money there. People don’t think about money when they are in panic. When paper money gets into a fire, the fire burns it. So I took all the paper money that I could find. No one will be poorer because I took it.»

«You don’t know me,» said the other man, «and you don’t know what I am.»

«And where do you work?»

«Oh!» cried the first man. He thought quickly and then he said, «And do you know what I am?»

«No,» said the policeman.

«I’m a writer. I’m always telling stories about things that never took place.»

The child and his mother

A curious child asked his mother: “Mommy, why are some of your hairs turning grey?”

The mother tried to use this occasion to teach her child: “It is because of you, dear. Every bad action of yours will turn one of my hairs grey!”

The child replied innocently: “Now I know why grandmother has only grey hairs on her head.”

Перевод:

Ребенок и его мать

Любопытный ребенок спрашивает свою маму: «Мамочка, почему некоторые волосы у тебя на голове становятся серыми?»

Мать попыталась воспользоваться ситуацией и дать урок своему чаду: «Это все из-за тебя, дорогой. Каждый твой плохой поступок делает один мой волосок седым!»

Ребенок невинно ответил: «Теперь я знаю, почему у бабушки на голове только седые волосы».

Wrong email address

A couple going on vacation but his wife was on a business trip so he went to the destination first and his wife would meet him the next day.

When he reached his hotel, he decided to send his wife a quick email.

Unfortunately, when typing her address, he mistyped a letter and his note was directed instead to an elderly preacher’s wife whose husband had passed away only the day before.

When the grieving widow checked her email, she took one look at the monitor, let out a piercing scream, and fell to the floor in a dead faint.

At the sound, her family rushed into the room and saw this note on the screen:

Dearest Wife,
Just got checked in. Everything prepared for your arrival tomorrow.

P.S. Sure is hot down here.

Перевод:

Пара отправляется в отпуск, но жена едет с деловой целью, поэтому муж первым приехал на место, а жена встретила его на следующий день.

Когда он добрался до отеля, то решил оправить жене быстрое элетронное письмо.

К сожалению, когда он набирал ее адрес, он пропустил букву, и его письмо ушло вместо его жены к пожилой жене священника, муж которой скончался как раз день назад.

Когда скорбящая вдова проверяла электронную почту, она взглянула один раз на монитор, издала крик ужаса и упала на пол в глубоком обмороке.

Услышав этот звук, родственники бросились к ней в комнату и увидели записку на экране:

Дорогая жена,
Только что разместился. Все готово для твоего завтрашнего прибытия.

Will’s experience at the airport

After his return from Rome, Will couldn’t find his luggage in the airport baggage area. He went to the lost luggage office and told the woman there that his bags hadn’t shown up on the carousel.

She smiled and told him not to worry because they were trained professionals and he was in good hands.

Then she asked Will, “Has your plane arrived yet?”

Перевод:

Случай с Уиллом в аэропорту

После возвращения из Рима Уилл не мог найти свой багаж в багажном отделении аэропорта. Он пошел в бюро находок и сказал женщине, работающей там, что его сумки так и не появились на карусели.

Она улыбнулась и сказала ему, чтобы он не беспокоился, потому что у них работают профессионалы, и он в надежных руках.

Потом она спросила: «Ваш самолет уже прилетел?»

A police officer found a perfect hiding place for watching for speeding motorists.

One day, the officer was amazed when everyone was under the speed limit, so he investigated and found the problem.

A 10 years old boy was standing on the side of the road with a huge hand painted sign which said “Radar Trap Ahead.”

A little more investigative work led the officer to the boy’s accomplice: another boy about 100 yards beyond the radar trap with a sign reading “TIPS” and a bucket at his feet full of change.

Перевод:

Офицер полиции нашел идеальное скрытое место для наблюдения за автомобилистами, превышающими скорость.

Однажды офицера поразил тот факт, что все автомобилисты ехали на скорости, ниже установленного лимита. Он провел расследование и выявил проблему.

Десятилетний мальчик стоял на обочине с большой табличкой в руках, на которой было написано: «Впереди ловушка для автолихачей».

Дальнейшая исследовательская работа привела офицера к соучастнику мальчика: он увидел еще одного паренька, стоявшего в 100 ярдах позади полицейского с радаром, рядом была табличка с надписью «Чаевые» и ведро у его ног, заполненное мелочью.

A Professor was traveling by boat. On his way he asked the sailor:

“Do you know Biology, Ecology, Zoology, Geography, physiology?

The sailor said no to all his questions.

Professor: What the hell do you know on earth. You will die of illiteracy.

After a while the boat started sinking. The Sailor asked the Professor, do you know swiminology & escapology from sharkology?

The professor said no.

Sailor: “Well, sharkology & crocodilogy will eat your assology, headology & you will dieology because of your mouthology.

Перевод:

Профессор путешествовал на лодке. Во время пути он спросил моряка:

«Вы знаете биологию, экологию, зоологию, географию, психологию?»

Моряк отвечал «Нет» на все его вопросы.

Профессор: Что тогда вы вообще знаете? Вы же умрете от неграмотности.

Через какое-то время лодка начала тонуть. Моряк спросил профессора, знает ли плавалогию, спасениелогию и акулологию.

Профессор сказал нет.

Моряк: «Ну, тогда акулология и крокодилология съест вашу задологию, головологию, и вы умрете от болтологии».

A navy captain is alerted by his First Mate that there is a pirate ship coming towards his position. He asks a sailor to get him his red shirt.

The captain was asked, “Why do you need a red shirt?”

The Captain replies, “So that when I bleed, you guys don’t notice and aren’s discouraged.” They fight off the pirates eventually.

The very next day, the Captain is alerted that 50 pirate ships are coming towards their boat. He yells, “Get me my brown pants!”

Перевод:

Капитан военно-морского флота предупредил своего первого помощника о том, что к ним направляется пиратский корабль. Он попросил матроса достать ему красную футболку.

Капитана спросили: «Зачем вам красная футболка?»

Капитан ответил: «Когда я буду истекать кровью, вы, ребята, этого не заметите и не будете бояться».

В конце концов они победили пиратов.

На следующий же день капитан объявил тревогу о том, что 50 пиратских кораблей приближаются к их лодке. Он закричал: «Принесите мне мои коричневые штаны!»

The class teacher asks students to name an animal that begins with an “E”. One boy says, “Elephant.”

Then the teacher asks for an animal that begins with a “T”. The same boy says, “Two elephants.”

The teacher sends the boy out of the class for bad behavior. After that she asks for an animal beginning with “M”.

The boy shouts from the other side of the wall: “Maybe an elephant!”

Перевод:

Учительница просит учеников назвать животное, начинающееся с «E». Один мальчик сказал «Elephant» (слон).

Затем учительница попросила назвать животное, начинающееся с буквы «T». Тот же самый мальчик сказал: «Two elephants» (два слона).

Учительница выгнала мальчика из класса за плохое поведение. После этого она попросила назвать животное, начинающееся на «M».

Мальчик крикнул по ту сторону стены: «Maybe an elephant!» (Может быть, слон).

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Doctor: Could you pay for an operation if I thought that it was necessary?

Patient: Would you think the operation was necessary if I couldn’t pay for it?

Teacher: Tom, your homework, in which you wrote about a cat, is very much like your brother’s story. How is that?

Tom: Nothing strange about that, we have only one cat at home.

Little Girl: Mother, my cat can talk.

Little Girl: I ask her what is two minus two and she says nothing.

Mother: What are you jumping up and down for, Paul?

Paul: I took my medicine and forgot to shake the bottle.

Hello! Is that Ted Wells?

Yes. Who is speaking?

Who? I don’t hear.

I say Sam: Sid, Ada, Mary. Do you hear?

Yes, I do. But which of you three is speaking now?

Mother: You are seven today. Happy birthday to you, Tommy.

Tommy: Thank you, Mummy.

Mother: Do you like to have a cake with seven candles on it for your birthday par­ty?

Tommy: I think I better have seven cakes and one candle, Mummy.

Tourist: Excuse me, but does this bus stop at Tenth Street?

Passenger: Yes. Watch me and get of one station before I do.

Tourist: Thank you.

Are you still looking for your dog, Bill?

Why don’t you put an advertisement in the paper?

What’s the use! The dog can’t read.

The waitress brought the soup to everyone in the dining-room of a small hotel. Mr. Smith got the last plate, and the waitress stayed for a moment beside his table; she was looking out of the window.

“It looks like rain,” she said.

“Yes,” said Mr. Smith (he had tasted the soup), “and it tastes like rain too.”

Mr. Gray was on holiday by the sea. He was staying in a small hotel but it was not о good hotel. The meals were very small. One day he sat down to dinner. His plate looked wet. He held it up to the waiter and said, “This plate is wet. Please bring me another.” “That’s your soup, sir,” replied the waiter.

At last the visitor had to say something about food.

“I don’t like this pie, Mrs. Fiddles,” he said. “Oh, don’t you?” said the angry landlady. “I was making pies before you were born.” “Perhaps this is one of them.”

“I’m doing very well in my driving lessons,” Betty said. “Yesterday I went 50 miles per hour. Tomorrow I’m going to try to open my eyes when I pass another car.”

The policeman stopped a woman driver for going too fast.

“When I saw you coming round that corner, I said to myself, “At least 45” the officer told her.

“Well,” was the answer. “I always look older in this hat.”

“Why were you driving too fast, madam?” the policeman asked.

“My breaks aren’t very good”, she answered, “and I was hurrying home before I had an accident

A gentleman was sitting quietly in a first-class compartment. Two ladies got in. One of them saw that the window was open, and she shut it

before sitting down.

“Open it again,” said the second lady. “I’ll die of suffocation if there is no fresh air.”

“I won’t open it,” said the first lady. “I’ll die of cold if the window is open.”

A quarrel started, and it continued until the gentleman-spoke:

“Let’s have the window shut until this lady has died of suffocation, and then we can have it open until this lady has died of cold. After that it will be nice and quiet in here again.”

The young doctor had just finished his train­ing. He didn’t know what the patient’s illness was.

“Have you had this before?” he asked.

“Oh! Well! You’ve got it again.”

John Smith couldn’t sleep, so his doctor gave him some sleeping pills. He took a pill that night.

He felt well when he woke up, and he went to work cheerfully.

“I slept very well last night,” he told his boss.

“That’s good,” his boss said. “But where were you yesterday?”

“My boyfriend is wonderful,” said Helen. “He is rather nice, I must say,” said Kate. “He tells everyone that he is going to marry the most beautiful girl in the world,” said Helen.

“I am so sorry,” said Kate. “Perhaps he will change his mind and marry you after all.”

When a girl shows a ring and says that she is going to be married, it is usual to ask: “Who’s the lucky man?” It’s a silly question because everybody knows that the lucky man is her fa­ther.

“I love you so much! Do you think you could live on my salary?”

“Of course I could. But what would you live on?”

Mr. Brown finished his breakfast. Then he asked the waiter to bring the manager of the hotel.

«Yes, sir, what can I do for you?» said the manager when he arrived.

«You must have a very clean kitchen here,» said Mr. Brown.

«That is very kind of you to say so, sir,” said the manager. «But what makes you think we have a very clean kitchen?»

«Well,» replied Mr. Brown, «everything tastes of soap.»

‘What’s the meaning of this fly in my

«I don’t know, sir. I’m a waiter, not a fortune teller.»

A man was just finishing his lunch in a restaurant. The waitress asked if he would like coffee.

«Yes, please,» he replied.

The waitress went away but came back quickly and asked, «With cream or with­out, sir?»

«Without cream,» he replied.

Then, after a much longer wait, the waitress returned. «I’m very sorry,» she said. «There is no more cream. Will you have it without milk?»

Little Tommy liked to ask questions. One day he asked his father one more question. His father did not know the answer. «Don’t ask me so many ques­tions,» he said. «You have already asked me nearly a hundred questions today. I didn’t ask my father half as many ques­tions.»

«Well, Daddy, perhaps you would know more of the answers to my questions if you had asked more,» said Tommy.

Mr. and Mrs. White had a very good table in their dining-room. It was made of the best wood. When Mr. and Mrs. Brown visited the Whites, little Tommy White was hammering nail after nail into the costly table.

«Isn’t that a rather expensive game?» Mr. Brown asked.

«Oh, no,» Mr. White answered. ‘I get the nails at the shop on the corner. They are really quite cheap.»

Billy didn’t ask for a cake. He reached past the lady visitor and took one.

«Billy!» said his mother sharply. «Haven’t you got a tongue?»

‘Yes, Mum,» Billy replied. «But it won’t reach as far as the cakes.»

How Many Were There?

The police in a big city were looking for a robber. One day they caught him and took him to prison. But while they were taking photo­graphs of him — from the front, from the left, from the right, with a hat, without a hat — he suddenly attacked the policeman and ran away.

Then a week later the telephone rang in the police-station, and somebody said, “You’re look­ing for Bill Cross, aren’t you?”

“Well, he left here for Waterbridge an hour ago.”

Waterbridge was a small town 100 miles from the city. The city police immediately sent four different photographs of the robber to the police in Waterbridge. Less than twelve hours later they got a telephone call from the police in Waterbridge. “We have caught three of the men,” they said happily, “and we hope to catch the fourth this evening.”

The Sea on Strike

Many years ago, a London theatre performed a play with a terrible storm at sea in one of the scenes. The waves were made by some boys who jumped up and down under a large piece of green cloth. Each boy received a shilling a night for his work.

The play was very popular and the hall was usually full. But the director of the theatre wanted to make still more money from the performances, and he decided to lower the boys’ pay from a shilling to sixpence. This made the boys angry, and they decided to go on strike for a shilling a night.

During the next performance, when the storm began, there was enough loud noise on the stage, but the sea was absolutely calm, not one wave could be seen. The theatre director immediately ran behind the stage, raised a corner of the green cloth and shouted, “Waves! Waves! Why aren’t you making waves?!” One of the boys sitting under the cloth asked him, “Do you want sixpenny waves or shilling waves?»

“All right, all right!» the director said. “I’ll give you a shilling, only give me the waves!”

Tremendous waves immediately began to appear on the sea, and everybody agreed that they had never seen a better storm in the theatre.

An Anecdote About Mark Twain

One of Mark Twain’s hobbies was fish­ing, and he used to go fishing even in the closed season when fishing was not al­lowed. Like many fishermen, he some­times invented stories about the number of fish he caught.

One day during the closed season, Mark Twain sat fishing under a little bridge. A man crossing the bridge saw him fishing there. The man stood watching Mark Twain fishing, and then he asked, “Have you caught many fish?»

“Not yet,” Mark Twain answered. “I’ve only just begun. But yesterday I caught thirty big fish here.”

“That’s very interesting,” the man said. “Do you know who I am?»

“No,” Mark Twain said. “I don’t think I ever saw you before.»

“I’m the fishing inspector for this dis­trict,» the man said.

«And do you know who I am?” Mark Twain asked quickly.

“No, of course not,” said the inspector.

«I am the biggest liar on the Mississip­pi,” Mark Twain told him.

Tea Leaves

There was a time when drinking tea was almost unknown in European countries; many people had never even heard of tea. This anecdote is about an old woman and her son, who lived at that time.

The woman’s son was a sailor, and every time he returned from a far-away country, he brought his mother a gift. Naturally, he tried to bring something unusual that she could show to her friends.

Once, the young man came back from India with a box of tea for his mother. She didn’t know anything about tea, but she liked the smell, and invited all her friends to come and taste it. When her son came into the room, he saw cakes and fruit and sweets on the table, and a big plate filled with tea-leaves. His mother and her friends were sitting round the table, eating the leaves with butter and salt. Though they all smiled, it was clear that they didn’t enjoy eating the leaves.

“Where is tea, Mother?” the sailor asked.

His mother pointed to the plate in the middle of the table.

“No, no, that is only the leaves of the tea,” the sailor said. “Where is the water?”

“The water!” his mother said. “I threw the water away, of course! out of the set!” He smiled to himself, lit his pipe and began reading his favourite book


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