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B-14-44. a bathtub love story by barbarasobczynska B-14-44. a bathtub love story by barbarasobczynska
This is how I imagine B-14-44 to look like.

You know, encouraged by the utterly gorgeous :iconernestabacus:, primarily I wanted to write a short story in English, a tragic love story between a humble random bacterium and a human taking place in a bathtub , of course before actual writing it i obviously imagined it to be a heart-touching love story, both romantic and tragic, but as I started actually writing it I noticed my knowledge of English - even though it's rather enough for writing short comments or something- is definitely far too imperfect to try to write a short story:blush:.

so - not to try to play an-English-language writer - I decided to submit it simply as an illustration with my clumsy short story put under the picture just as an artist's comment, I hope at least some of the most patient of you may read it:fingerscrossed: so here I go:


B-14-44. a bathtub love story


We have always lived here , in the white land, all formed in endless rows of regular hills and valleys.
None of us ever got to know how far the land is spread, because each of our kind lives thirty minutes at most, so we can never make it in one lifetime to go behind the millions of distant hills and valleys and see if there is something behind the white land.

Some of us claim however that on bright times one can see a misty shape of an enormous crystalline wall at the edges of the world, and that it is behind the wall where the giant comes from, once for every forty eight generations, as they say. Along with the giant there always comes a poisonous flood, and even though it destroys many of ours, each of us dreams deeply so that the coming of the giant would happen during their life.

It is said a flood always begins unexpectedly with enormous drops of water suddenly beginning to fall on our lands, and every one of them is so huge that they simply get stuck between the tops of our hills and never reach the bottoms of our valleys, so after a few first minutes of a downpour all our land is covered with a thick translucent parasol of water and some poisonous substance, yet those of us who stay deep in the valleys tend to survive safe there beneath the shimmering liquid covering.
The flood and the giant always come together, so we assume there must be some connection between them, for just before the flood begins we always hear the powerful beat of the giant's steps. We still don't know why he visits us, with such mysterious regularity, but from beneath the water, from the depths of our valleys, those of us who happen to stay alive during a flood we eagerly drink the fascinating sight of the strange impressive creature above.

There are other tribes that inhabit the white land as well, and as far as we know they all await the comings of the giant with an excitement similar to ours, and are also all at once enamoured scared and fascinated by the mysterious great being.

It is believed sometimes the giant sings, and the sounds of his singing fall mildly onto our land, surely distorted by the water they're going through before reaching us, still they manage to shake our land powerfully, like a huge mighty foghorn or howling of some ancient dragon.
It has been reported by our ancestors, the giant sings either of "blue suede shoes" or "strangers in the night" or "streets of philadelphia", during other comings he seems to be just humming.

We try to guess what the giant is thinking as we look at the huge mysterious body above our wide lands, but none of us all ever tried to make contact with the giant. None until the famous B-14-44-08-71-49-43-96-84 was born, the one who fell in love with the giant.
Nowadays we call it just B-14-44 because everyone knows who the one who loved the giant was.
It is the B-14-44 that I wanted to tell you about before my own life goes to an end and I have to devide into two children of mine like all of our kind do when their time comes.

B-14-44 was born on one of the hills, just around the moment when one of the floods many generations ago, just before a coming of the giant.
It was strange that B-14-44 survived the flood, for everyone else, if it was born on a hill, would die immediately because of the poisonous liquid matter that normally appears in the waters of floods, but strangely - B-14-44 did not die.
It wasn't the only strange fact that happened in B-14-44's life though.
The very first thing it heard was the giant's deep powerful voice, saying murmuringly: "Oh, I've run out of soap".
Even though we basically decrypted the language the giant uses by analizing his singing, but we still don’t know what "soap" means, we suppose however that that the phrase giant used could be a kind of a protecting spell, that made B-14-44 survive the flood.
Just a minute later B-14-44 experienced the warm tender touch of the bottom of the giant’s foot.
Was it the murmuring voice that it heard or was it the touch of the giant, the effect was B-14-44 suddenly felt like it was melting with love, and wanted to be as close as possible to the gigantic ancient creature.
So it caught the foot tightly, determined not to let it go, even though it required a great strength because the giant's movements were incredibly fast and powerful and there was water all around B-14-44.
Then the giant lied back on our lands and all of ours with bated breath were watching the little silhouette of B-14-44 climb heroically at the great heights high above them. All felt it was a historical moment for our kind, and that the B-14-44's affection was going to start something great and memorable, that progenies will still keep repeating many centuries later.
It was a bright beautiful minute, light was gently passing through water, illuminating B-14-44's attempts high up there, as it was climbing consistently upward and upward and finally reached the giant's lips.
All the living ones of our kind saw as it waved at them just before disappearing in the giant’s mouth.
Somewhere deep within them everybody knew what B-14-44 was going to do, it wanted to unite with the giant fully, by being devoured, and then dividing inside of it, still the view of one of us disappearing inside of the giant was immensely thrilling.
Everyone watched it in fearful stillness and silence from the low bottoms of our valleys.
And apparently it all did work, B-14-44 did manage to divide in the depths of the giant and to become a part of it, because as the later generations observed for during the next seven comings of the giant, what equals three hundred thirty six generations of ours, the giant would behave differently, he didn't sing, but instead would make strange sounds like sneezing and coughing, and somehow we knew it was because of the B-14-44 and its progeny, as if he was honouring the memory of the B-14-44 that loved him so much that it decided to become a part of him.
This is how B-14-44 as the very first of us affected the life of the great white giant.
Unfortunately my life is slowly going to the end, so it time for me to thank you all for reading my words, be aware please it was the very first time when B-14-44's story was told in a language of the giant.

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:iconjennymajeske:
jennymajeske Featured By Owner Sep 18, 2011   Traditional Artist
enchanting story and painting!
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:iconablueskyday:
ablueskyday Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2010
your picture and story are gorgeous... and your english fantastic! :)
Reply
:iconnanajiloh:
nanajiloh Featured By Owner Apr 17, 2009   Photographer
Oh that is so fantastic! The whole story and the drawing... In the end, it went really funny! I loved it!
Reply
:iconmrs-jessicat:
mrs-jessicat Featured By Owner Feb 23, 2008  Professional Traditional Artist
:heart:
Reply
:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Feb 24, 2008  Professional General Artist
:bow:
Reply
:iconcharonferryman:
charonferryman Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2008  Student Photographer
Remarkable how you can feel yourself into the smallest of things and give it a happy, funny and slightly wicked story :D

I'd love to hear this told or see it acted out.
Reply
:iconthe-forgotten-dead:
the-Forgotten-dead Featured By Owner Jan 12, 2008
You really under rate your abilities. Your drawings are beautiful and look proffesional and your writing is superb. You don't need to be worried about how things come out.
Reply
:iconthe-forgotten-dead:
the-Forgotten-dead Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2008
I'm just telling the truth. you have a gift don't be afriad to show it.
Reply
:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Jan 14, 2008  Professional General Artist
why thank you so much:smooch:
Reply
:iconleeannekortus:
LeeAnneKortus Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2008  Professional Digital Artist
a wonderful artwork and a delightful story!!
very imaginative and well told!
Reply
:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Jan 15, 2008  Professional General Artist
oh thank you :floating:
Reply
:iconsensij:
sensij Featured By Owner Dec 30, 2007  Professional General Artist
:D very imaginative!
Reply
:iconpellucidmind:
PellucidMind Featured By Owner Dec 29, 2007   Traditional Artist
Pozwoliłam sobie featurować tą cudną pracę [link]
Mam nadzieję, że nie masz nic przeciwko:)
:wave:
Reply
:iconsmoldering075:
smoldering075 Featured By Owner Oct 31, 2007
aww, that story is so cute! and the little bacterium :D i'll feel so loved next time i'm sick

very cool bacterium...love the details and whatever effect you use on the edges
Reply
:icontylarking:
tylarking Featured By Owner Oct 23, 2007
Wonderfully creative!
Reply
:iconkatya-h:
katya-h Featured By Owner Oct 20, 2007  Professional General Artist
A most unexpected and amazing story. I already love you for your amazing, atmospheric artwork, but the story that accompanies this was just too much for me. The descriptions are wonderful, of the bacteria's lifetimes and their own folk history. I think the English was quite fine! (then again, I'm a native speaker and I still suck at it ;) ) And the way you wrote it, with any error possible, made it that much more charming. I'm honestly in awe and jealousy of the concept, really. Who would think to write folk tales from a bacterium?

Amazing stuff.
Reply
:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Feb 28, 2008  Professional General Artist
thank you so much:floating:
Reply
:iconbluecharlotte:
bluecharlotte Featured By Owner Oct 14, 2007
you've been featured! [link]
Reply
:iconwhite-tean:
White-Tean Featured By Owner Oct 8, 2007
a truly touching story!
Reply
:iconskeletoninadress:
skeletoninadress Featured By Owner Oct 7, 2007  Student Photographer
Wow, you are so imaginative!
And don't be so hard on yourself, you have very good English.
(I'll never look at a cold the same way again. lol)
Reply
:iconadoradora:
Adoradora Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2007
That's just about the sweetest thing I've ever seen/read. I think it'll make me marginally less miserable next time I get a cold (unless it's viral -- I dunno, do you suppose even viruses are capable of love? Fungi? Prions? Liver flukes? Tape worms...?)
Reply
:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2008  Professional General Artist
:) yeah, i suppose so, and who knows , maybe cancers for instance are extremely passionate in their overpowering love for human creatures;), they are just destructive in their passion
Reply
:iconblisterine66:
blisterine66 Featured By Owner Oct 2, 2007
nice work
Reply
:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Feb 29, 2008  Professional General Artist
:) nice that you think so:cuddle:
Reply
:iconkakazpl:
kakazpl Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2007
Jak zwykle piekne;-)
Reply
:iconnightmare-orchestra:
nightmare-orchestra Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2007  Professional General Artist
oh the distorted perspective... love the text and the illustration
Reply
:iconthistly:
Thistly Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2007
This is the coolest story I've read in a long, long time. Very touching! I think your english is more than capable of getting your message and feeling across.
Reply
:iconcreamcircus:
creamcircus Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007
so lovely, you seem like a beautiful person. the story was very sad and endearing.
Reply
:iconshittykid:
ShittyKid Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007
...I don't like you, your creativity, your talent, etc. I think, because of you, I will forever be green (with envy).
Not fair.
Reply
:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007  Professional General Artist
and I in turn don't like you, Paperboy, your closeness to where Kenneth lives, your talent, your wittiness, your apparently exsiting talents in cooking (Ken once wrote you two were going to cook something together*I'm so jealous, since I can't even make scrambled eggs properly*), so highfive for not liking each other:highfive:
:whisper:oh, you know I was kidding, I do like you:hug:(even though I really can't make scrambled eggs^^;)
Reply
:iconshittykid:
ShittyKid Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007
Talent, wittiness, cooking?! I can understand the jealousy with Ernest-A, but you have much more talent, wittiness is at an all-time low, and I barely cook anything-I only get him ingredients, chop up stuff, etc. It's child labor I tell you!
I empathize with your inability to scramble eggs; mine are always either burnt or undercooked. Gross.

But I truly do like you too. Just not the things that you do that make me jealous. :D
Reply
:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2007  Professional General Artist
oh :giggle: so that's how it works? I formerly thought it was you playing a part of a young master of cooking with some magnificent talents:giggle: heh, you definitely comforted me, so it's not only me who finds making scrambled eggs quite a challenge:phew:
oh, and that's quite devilish of Ken, how can he use child labor? :omg: he's a bad immoral capitalist, I tell you!;)
I also like you truly,Paperboy :) despite of the things that make me jealous in you:) and despite you said to Ken you loved him in a comment on your last picture:O_o:
Reply
:iconkawo:
KaWo Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007
this is really beautiful and amazing! I love it! ^^ *fav* Keep up your good work!
Reply
:iconawol1966:
awol1966 Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007
Seldom have I come across such beautiful work as this. Your illustrations are beyond compare, and are like a romantic oasis in a world at odds with your vision.

Thank you Basia for sharing your work with us :hug:
Reply
:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007  Professional General Artist
oh thank you, those words mean a lot while coming from such a talented artist as yourself:bow:
Reply
:iconawol1966:
awol1966 Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2007
You are too kind to an old fool such as me. Your work reminds me that there is still things of beauty in this world, when there are so many storm clouds on the horizon.
Reply
:iconcelleh:
celleh Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007
Ahhh leave it up to you to make such a beautiful story about bathtub bacteria and taking baths!!! I love it!
Reply
:iconmuka:
Muka Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007
Basiu :heart: cudne :)
Reply
:iconinsomniacs-nightmare:
insomniacs-nightmare Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007   Traditional Artist
Basia my lovely, that's a gorgeous story. I don't think anyone has ever written about taking a shower from the perspective of bacteria before. And the illustration is stunning too!

You know, I think if you wrote a couple more of these little stories, and illustrated them, you would have a fabulous children's book sitting right there in front of you. If I was a publisher, I'd publish it.
Reply
:iconmalgorzata-skibinska:
Malgorzata-Skibinska Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
Powiedz, jakie uczucia chciałaś wywołać w Czytelniku, a powiem Ci, co czuję :D Jakżeś zgrabnie się wyjęzyczyła, dokonując niezwykle ujmującej, natchnionej rewizji stereotypowego myślenia o bakteriach :aww:

Ze spokojnym sercem mogę myśleć o tej historyjce w kontekście :reading: "Przygód Guliwera", "Folwarku zwierzęcego", "Wodnikowego wzgórza", "Sprawiedliwości owiec":sheepish:, filmowego "Interkosmosu" :teevee: czy chociażby tego teledysku: [link] , w którym głos zabrała guma do żucia :P :excited:

Imię nietuzinkowego bohatera (czy może bohaterki... - zważywszy na basioidalne emanacje literki "B" - jak Bardzo Bystra Barkuda :giggle:)
B-14-44... nasuwa skojarzenia z numerem wydrukowanym na koszulce Hannibala Lectera :love: - B-1329-0, że nie wspomnę o znanej planecie B-612 czy Mickiewiczowskiej Liczbie 40 i 4 :D Jestem przekonana, że to wszystko - niczym stado rezolutnych bakterii - chodziło Ci po głowie w trakcie tworzenia :work: :)

Ach, opowiastka ta wręcz kipi erotyzmem! :flame:, zwłaszcza we fragmentach:

"Just a minute later B-14-44 experienced the warm tender touch of the bottom of the giant’s foot. (...) the giant would behave differently, he didn't sing, but instead would make strange sounds like sneezing and coughing, and somehow we knew it was because of the B-14-44 and its progeny, as if he was honouring the memory of the B-14-44 that loved him so much that it decided to become a part of him."

Gbybyś do "sneezing and coughing" dodała jeszcze np. "sighing and groaning" :excited: , to... lepiej nie mówić! :hump: Dodam, że zilustrowana barbakteria ;) prezentuje się wyjątkowo zalotnie (seksowne fimbrie z pewnością rozbudziły zmysły Kena :nod: ...); i jeszcze to zainicjowanie aktu miłosnego pieszczotami skoncentrowanymi na stopie olbrzyma (fetyszyzm? :dizzy: ), choć muszę przyznać, że obszarowi rozciągającemu się od stó;p do ust poświęciłaś stanowczo ZBYT MAŁO uwagi.

Motyw rozmnażania przez podział (w wyniku czego powstają dwie IDENTYCZNE komórki potomne) zharmonizował się w mojej pamięci ze wspomnieniem pewnej naszej ekscytującej konwersacji, obfitej w rozpalone do czerwoności fantazje na temat sklonowanego Kena :clone:

Wiesz doskonale (nie dam się zwieść afektowanej skromności!), że z filologicznego punktu widzenia jest to tekst dobry! (miej na wzglęcie fakt, że pisząca te słowa uprawia i preferuje zupełnie nieco rodzaj prozy, a mimo to - jest zachwycona) :flirty: , miejscami może zbyt behawiorystyczny dla tak namiętnego i żądnego pogłębionej eksploracji psychiki bohaterów homo legens, jak ja :hexentanz:

Zastanawia mnie, jak dokładnie rozumiana jest miłość w kulutrze bakterii...:gadget: A może nie da się tego wyjaśnić w czysto opisowym, niedoskonałym języku olbrzyma? :worry: (nie myślałaś o cytatach w języku B-14-44? :D) A może bakterie (pozornie?) ograniczyły się do celebrowania miłości jedynie w jej CIELESNYM aspekcie?:disbelief:

Basieńko bajeczna (i kochliwa :eyes:), Twoje słowa żyją w doskonałej symbiozie z Twoimi obrazami! Pielęgnuj tę symbiozę! :hug:
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:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007  Professional General Artist
tak, masz racje, fragment o wedrowce wzwyz ciala byl stanowczo zbyt skrotowy, wytlumaczyc mnie moze jedynie fakt, ze zycie mojego narratora stopniowo zblizalo sie do konca, wiec chcial juz pewnie troszke przyspieszyc rytm opowiadania i nie bawic sie zbytnio w szczegoly, ale oczywiscie, gdybym to ja byla bakteria, a osobnikiem ludzkim jakis ponetny amerykanski zombie, to oczywiscie wedrowka bakterii bylaby znacznie bardziej szczegolowo eksplorujaca i nie nastawiona wylacznie na szybkie dotarcie w okolist ust:giggle: (hahaha, jak to dobrze, ze Ken "nie panimaju" po polsku:giggle:, omijaja go wszystkie najpikantniejsze kawalki:phew::giggle:). wiesz, to bylo raczej takie testowe opowiadanko w jezyku angielskim, "zeby sie rozpisac" jak to mowia, na moje niepokoje Ken doradzil mi sprobowac pisac z perspektywy polskiego zolnierza np., bo to by tlumaczylo ewentualne niezrecznosci stylistyczno-gramatyczne, ale ja nie znam wystraczajaco dobrze tematow militarnych, zeby sie porywac z motyka na "polskiego zolnierza", wiec postanowilam uczynic narratora bakteria :)
aha, i dodam jeszcze, ze bardzo mnie cieszy, ze dostrzegasz w tym opowiadanku rysy behawiorystyczne :dance: jestem osobiscie Hemingwayo-holiczka, wiec pewne elementy fascynacji proza nieco behawiorystyczna na pewno gleboko we mnie tkwia :dance:
Reply
:iconmalgorzata-skibinska:
Malgorzata-Skibinska Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007  Hobbyist Photographer
No wiesz, żeby w odpowiedzi na tak wyczerpujący, w pocie czoła i duszy pisany komentarz nie uraczyć mnie ANI JEDNYM "złotkiem"! :fork:
"to bylo raczej takie testowe opowiadanko w jezyku angielskim, 'zeby sie rozpisac' " - Wać;panna próbuje zamydlić mi oczy "otium negotiosum", hę?:boo:
Biedny Ken - toż On katusze musi przeżywać, widząc jak ochoczo szafujemy Jego boskim Imieniem, i nie mogąc zrozumieć kontekstu (chyba że ktoś systematycznie zdaje Mu relacje z naszych poga-duszek, hiperbolizując wszystkie pikantne szczegóły :evillaugh: )
Może olbrzym z Twojej opowieści jest polskim żołnierzem lub przynajmniej chciał nim być za młodu? :D
Ach, zapomniałabym - należy Ci się złota cytrynka :lemon: za tę ilustracyjną iluzję... Otóż - w miniaturze "B-14-44..." wygląda jak połączenie kudłatej gąsienicy-zalotnicy z Crittersem, kreskówkowym Tazem oraz Jabbą z "Gwiezdnych Wojen" - jakiś czas po użyciu przezeń płynu na porost włosów... czy raczej na porost glonów :P (to, co w powiększeniu okazuje się głową, wygląda z daleka jak oko) :boogie: Całusy! p.s. mój przyjaciel z Ameryki przesłał mi kiedyś zdjęcia z muzeum Hemingwaya. Byłaś? Widziałaś? Przesłać?
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:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007  Professional General Artist
Au! Au! Au! Au! Gosiu moje Drogie
Z L O T K O
Z L O T K O
Z L O T K O
Z L O T K O :heart:
mam nadzieje, ze tym samym uzupelnilam Twoj przejsciowy niedobor metali przejsciowych:giggle:
W muzeum Hemingwaya nie bylam, nie widzialam, nie przeslac (co tez ja plote! oczywiscie, ze przeslac:please:(moze na barbarakonczarek@wp.pl, tam mam duzo wolnego miejsca) chyba zahipnotyzowalas mnie tymi negatywnymi pytaniami, bylabym Ci strasznie wdzieczna za zdjecia z muzeum Hemingwaya:excited: a gdzie sie to muzeum znajduje? W Idaho?)
Reply
:iconjezhawk:
Jezhawk Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007  Professional Digital Artist
oh good grief :faint: that is quite incredible. You are a wonderful story teller and a wonderful illustrator :clap: :+fav:
Reply
:iconwulfi:
Wulfi Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007
Aww, that is such a great story :D I love how you present the bacterias - there is none of the typical "yuk - bacterias!" which often comes when people think about all of them that are all around us.. They are just presented as another race of beings, with feelings and language and communication just like us.. :aww: Really a great story ^^ You could very well put it as a poetry-deviation (but of course include that wonderful illustration!), your English is no problem :)
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:iconsaderakki:
saderakki Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007
You know, I really do believe you're a demon. And not just by the inhuman beauty of what you do, but for the fact that no human could have such queer perspectives as you. You have such alluring otherness about you (and by you I mean your work because that's all I really know about you) :heart:
Reply
:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Sep 30, 2007  Professional General Artist
:dance: oh do you,sweetheart? at least someone believes in my true identity:phew::D
alluring otherness you say? your words made me want to float:floating:
Reply
:iconnifflheim:
nifflheim Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007
im so very touched with this story in so many different ways that i dont even know how to comment...the description you make of the bathroom space and the live of the bacteria there is so great (at least for me) that for a moment i felt a bacteria in the bathroom myself....we are indeed at the end just bacterias in other beings bathrooms...trying to crawl into somebody else to feel loved........:no:

im pretty speechless rightnow...and as the drawing goes i love it, it seem as if it was done with algae or mud and plants? its very rich in texture.:love:

ps. i almost got hit by the train today!!! i thought about you all the afternoon
ps2. there is a polish girl (another one!) in the spanish classes im working as a teacher. O_O
Reply
:iconbarbarasobczynska:
barbarasobczynska Featured By Owner Sep 29, 2007  Professional General Artist
oh, and you know Lottie,I'm so touched that you liked my writing, even though it was clumsy and not in my first language, really it makes me happy and makes me wonder......:meditation: whether the future-blue-trains-picture wouldn't require a story to go along with the picture:excited::smooch::hug:
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