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According to the story, Cheburashka is a funny little creature, unknown to science, who lives in the tropical forest. He accidentally gets into a crate of oranges, eats his fill, and falls asleep. The crate is eventually delivered to a grocery store in an unnamed Russian city (by some facts it may be Moscow) where the rest of the main story unfolds. Cheburashka is a name given to the character by the puzzled store manager who finds the creature in the crate when he opens it. The salesman takes the animal out and sits him on the table, but his paws are numb after the long time spent in the crate, and he tumbles down ("cheburakhnulsya" (чебурахнулся), a Russian colloquialism, "tumbled" in English) from the table onto the chair and then from the chair, where he could not sit, for the same reason, onto the floor. The store manager, who witnesses the scene, called him Cheburashka. Words with this root were archaic in Russian; Uspensky gave them a new lease on life.
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