The story happened in the city of Vilnius. More than a half century ago this place called Chimneys…
Boomba Doomba wasn’t dumb. Stomping up and down the slopes of Barren Bottom day in and day out, he got all sorts of ideas. But one day when nothing happened, he realized that “Spending time with just stones and clouds is very boring. I badly need friends.”
Although it was just at sunrise, the whole world was shimmering. The streets and paths, the trees and meadows were all covered in white. Even the electric poles were covered in snow. Where else could Boomba Doomba have ended up if not in a city? The man walked and marveled at each smell and thing in the city. Everything appealed to him in this new place: the castles and towers, the riverbanks and ponds, the houses and the churches.
But the streets were the most interesting. Some long and wide, some narrow and short. They seemed to know each other and get along very well. Walking down a big street, you could always get to any other one. But it took a while and it took patience. The small streets were a different story. Boomba Doomba enjoyed strolling in them.
In one of these places, he stopped. The street was neither long, nor short. You couldn’t mistake it for a wide avenue or a narrow dead-end. There were no pavements there. The cars were driving only in one direction. On both sides, the street was framed by rows of little wooden houses.
Suddenly, by one of the houses, something stirred. Boomba Doomba saw two human figures. They seemed to be looking for something. Boomba Doomba sneaked up and heard them mumble: “Other yards are normal, but not this one. Here you’ll never find what you need. Dangling Bagels Street is a perfect name for such a poky hole of a place.”
“Dangling Bagels Street?” thought Boomba Doomba, stunned. This place doesn’t smell of pastries – not even of rolling or dangling pastries. True, there was steam gushing out of the gaps in the pavement by the dumpsters. “Aaa, they must be baking bagels in this street! But why on earth do they do it under the ground?” wondered Boomba Doomba.
Boomba Doomba came closer and realized that these were just old sinkhole lids. Warm steam which formed in the underground pipes was rushing out of their holes. Boomba Doomba looked around. In front, he saw a few more such openings and behind his back, where the city was, a train drove by. It tooted and a dark ball of smoke rolled out of its pipe.
It was early morning. The rectangular windows were alit along the walls. The street filled up with people. Boomba Doomba heard voices of children and their parents’ prompting. A dog yelped. A car passed by. Staring at the car, he almost bumped into a road sign.
Boomba Doomba had no clue as to what the sign meant. But he thought it had the picture of a bagel inside a red circle. “No bagels?” Boomba Doomba shrugged his shoulders.
“Children!” he saw a group of boys with school bags. “They will know!”
Some children were accompanied by parents and others were walking alone. Boomba Doomba tailed behind them watching them attentively. Since there were no pavements and the cars were driving in the street, they all walked along the roadside, maneuvering between the hedges, wood stacks, and electric poles. Boomba Doomba thought to himself, “Where else would one go under such dreadful conditions, if not to get some bagels?“