Svet Sunday: Stories from Soviet Childhood!


Today we want to introduce: Stories from Soviet Childhood! (This became a blog by the way.)

Childhood is the most important period in the life for everybody. Most of our beliefs we get from childhood. We learn what is good and bad when we are kids. And these beliefs are very difficult to change later in life… So we [my generation] are like we were brought up in our Soviet childhood.

So in these series we’ll try to tell what was the cultural ground where we grew up. Another reason to make this series – we think that is just interesting to read and watch – and if you have your children maybe you would like to show or to read it for them? Believe The Stories from Soviet Childhood would not teach your kids something bad!

We plan to have this series on Wednesdays. But we’ll start today! Nikolay Nosov (Николай Николаевич Носов) wrote his stories about Mishka in 1945. Today we’ll read one of them:


When Mishka and I were little we wanted very badly to go for a ride in a motor car, but we couldn’t get anyone to take us. We begged all the drivers we knew but they were always too busy to bother with us. One day, as we were playing in the back yard, a car drove up. The driver got out and went off somewhere. We ran over to look at the car.

“It’s a ZIS,” I said. (ZIS is a car)

“No, it isn’t, it’s a Pobeda,” said Mishka. (Pobeda is a car)

“It’s a ZIS, I tell you.”

“And I say it’s a Pobeda. I can tell by the front.”

“In the first place it’s not the front, but the bonnet. Look at the back. See that luggage rack? Did you ever see a Pobeda with a thing like that?”

Mishka looked and said: “Let’s get on it and have a ride.”

“No,” I said. “I don’t want to.”

“You needn’t be afraid. We’ll go just a little way and then we’ll jump off.”

Just then the driver came back and got into the car. Mishka ran to the back, climbed on the luggage rack and whispered to me: “Come on! Hurry up!”

“No, I’m not going to.”

“Come on. Don’t be a coward.”

I ran up and hopped on beside him. The car started and before we knew it we were racing down the street. Mishka got frightened.

“I’m going to jump off!” he shouted.

“Don’t you dare!” I said. “You’ll get hurt.”

But he kept on shouting: “I’m going to jump! I’m going to jump!” And he already put one leg down. I glanced back and saw another car coming behind us. “Stop!” I shouted. “You’ll get run over.”

Passers-by stopped to stare at us. A militiaman (militiaman is policeman) at the intersection blew his whistle. Mishka jumped off, but he didn’t let go of the rack and his legs dragged along the ground. I leaned down and started pulling him up by the coat collar. I tugged and tugged until at last I got him safely back on the luggage rack.

“Now hold on tight, you silly,” I shouted. Just then I heard a laugh and looked up to see that the car had stopped and a crowd had gathered. I jumped down.

“All right,” I said to Mishka, “you can get off now.”

But he was too scared to move. I had to pull him off. The militiaman came running up and took the driver’s number. The driver got out and everyone jumped on him.

“You ought to be ashamed of yourself, letting children hang on behind like that!”
There was quite an argument and Mishka and I were forgotten.

“Let’s clear out,” I whispered to Mishka. When nobody was looking we dived into a side street and ran home. We were all out of breath when we arrived.

We did look a sight! Mishka’s trousers were torn at the knees and his knees were scratched and bleeding. He got a proper scolding from his mother!

“I don’t care about my trousers, and my knees will soon heal up too, but I’m sorry for that poor driver,” said Mishka. “He’ll get into trouble through us. Did you see the militiaman taking down his number?”

“Yes, we ought to have stayed behind and told them the driver wasn’t to blame.”

“I tell you what,” said Mishka. “Let’s write the militiaman a letter and tell him what happened.”
I agreed and we sat down to write a letter. We wasted a lot of paper before we got it done. Here’s what we wrote:

Dear Comrade Militiaman,

You took down the number of a car, and it isn’t right. That is, the number is right, but it wasn’t right to take it down because the driver wasn’t to blame. Mishka and me are to blame. He didn’t know we were riding behind. So please don’t punish him because he is a good driver and it was all our fault.

We addressed the envelope as follows: “To the Militiaman at the corner of Gorky Street and Bolshaya Gruzinskaya.”

We sealed the envelope and dropped it into the letter-box.

We do hope he got it!

Click the picture to read
the next story: “CUCUMBERS”. ———–>


comments always welcome

Windows to Russia!

Tags: coward, mishka, pobeda, Russia,

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