Sergei Prokofiev was born on this day in 1891

Word of the Day – Monday, April 23rd



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SASHA (SAH-shuh)

1. Bird from Walt Disney’s “Peter and the Wolf”
2. Daughter of President Obama
3. Russian name – a short form of Alexander
Common clues:
"Peter and the Wolf" bird; Bird in “Peter and the Wolf”; Nickname for Alexander; Alexander, for short; One of the Obama girls; White House girl
Crossword puzzle frequency: 2 times a year
Frequency in English language: 43147 / 86800
Beatboxing Flute “Peter and the Wolf”

Peter and the Wolf is a composition by Sergei Prokofiev written after his return to Russia in 1936. It is a children's story (also written by Prokofiev) spoken by a narrator accompanied by the orchestra.

1947 coloring book cover

Stalin had ordered that art had to be reflective of the Communist ideal and that music had to be simple and understandable. Prokofiev, a child prodigy and enfant terrible, probably wrote this piece with tongue-in-cheek. Nevertheless it has been a great success not only with children everywhere but also with adults.

Peter and the Wolf is scored for flute, oboe, clarinet (in A), bassoon, 3 horns, trumpet, trombone, timpani, triangle, tambourine, cymbals, castanets, snare drum, bass drum and strings. Each character in the story has a particular instrument and a musical theme, or leitmotif:

Bird - Flute

Duck - Oboe

Cat - Clarinet

Grandfather - Bassoon

Wolf - 3 French Horns

Hunters (gunshots) - Timpani and Bass Drum (The hunters' theme is actually introduced by the woodwinds)

Peter - String instruments

Walt Disney produced an animated version of the work in 1946, with Sterling Holloway providing the voice of the narrator. This version makes small changes to the original Prokofiev story, particularly in providing names for the characters — Sasha the bird, Sonia the duck, and Ivan the cat, for instance. It was released theatrically as a segment in Make Mine Music, then separately on home video in the 1990s on.


Barack and Michelle Obama have two daughters: Malia Ann, born July 4, 1998, and Natasha (Sasha), born on June 10, 2001. They were both delivered at University of Chicago Medical Center by their parents' friend and physician Anita Blanchard. Sasha is the youngest child to reside in the White House since John F. Kennedy Jr. arrived as an infant in 1961. In 2014 Malia and Sasha were named two of "The 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014" by Time magazine.

Before his inauguration, President Obama published an open letter to his daughters in Parade magazine, describing what he wants for them and every child in America: "to grow up in a world with no limits on your dreams and no achievements beyond your reach, and to grow into compassionate, committed women who will help build that world."

While living in Chicago, the Obamas kept busy schedules, as the Associated Press reported: "soccer, dance and drama for Malia, gymnastics and tap for Sasha, piano and tennis for both." In July 2008, the family gave an interview to the television series Access Hollywood. Obama later said they regretted allowing the children to be included. Malia graduated from and Sasha attends the private Sidwell Friends School in Washington, D.C., the same school that Chelsea Clinton, Tricia Nixon Cox, and Archibald Roosevelt attended and that the grandchildren of Vice President Joe Biden attend. The Obama girls began classes there on January 5, 2009; Malia graduated in 2016. Before the family moved to Washington in 2009, both girls attended the private University of Chicago Laboratory School.

In his victory speech on the night of his election, President Obama repeated his promise to Sasha and Malia to get a puppy to take with them to the White House. The selection was slow because Malia is allergic to animal dander; the president subsequently said that the choice had been narrowed down to either a labradoodle or a Portuguese Water Dog, and that they hoped to find a shelter animal. On April 12, 2009, it was reported that the Obamas had adopted a six-month-old Portuguese Water Dog given to them as a gift by Senator Ted Kennedy; Malia and Sasha named the dog Bo. The White House referred to Bo as the First Dog. In 2013, the family adopted a second Portuguese Water Dog named Sunny.

As a high school student, Malia Obama spent a portion of the summer in 2014 and 2015 working in television studios in New York and Los Angeles. She spent the summer of 2016 working as an intern in the U.S. Embassy in Madrid, Spain.

During the week June 26, 2016, to July 3, 2016, Michelle, Sasha, Malia and Michelle's mother Marian Robinson went to Liberia to promote the Let Girls Learn Peace initiative, for which the United States has funded $27 million in aid for expansion. They met with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the first elected female head of state in Africa. Then they moved to Morocco, where they had a panel with Freida Pinto and Meryl Streep moderated by CNN's Isha Sesay in Marrakesh and delivered a substantive amount of money to aid 62 million girls lacking access to formal education. They arrived in Spain where Michelle delivered a message about the initiative. In August 2016, Sasha started working at Nancy's, a seafood restaurant in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. In the fall of 2016, Malia went on an 83-day trip to Bolivia and Peru. In February 2017, Malia started an internship for Harvey Weinstein at The Weinstein Company film studio in New York City. In August 2017, Malia started attending Harvard University.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Peter and the Wolf" & “Family of Barak Obama”.