When they turn the electricity off here in the village, everybody promptly shows up at Granny Shura’s. Because it’s so boring, sitting at home with no light. Granny has many a tale to tell, and she knows lots of sassy little ditties and funny jokes. The girls plump themselves down to knit socks, while granny’s at her wheel, spinning her wool and telling her stories. The girls are laughing their heads off, the samovar’s steaming, there are little poppy-seed bagels and gooseberry jam on the table. So there they sit, swigging tea. The candlelight sways, and the darkness lurks in the corners, so scary. Meanwhile, though, Granny Shura always has plenty to say.
“There now, you Natashkas, Lenkas, and Lyubkas,” she tells them. “You lot know nothing about life. A bunch of airheads, and you go shopping for a fiancé in the newspapers. What’s he like, in the paper? He promises you the moon and the stars, he’s a looker, doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, got all the money you could wish for, but how’s it come out? Psssht! What an eyesore! He looks a fright, and he drinks like a fish, and all he’s got in his pockets is moths.”
“But Granny Shura, how can you find out if he’s lying?” asks Natashka, who’s divorced already but is still young, with her white teeth, a braid down to her hind end, and her fresh-faced complexion.
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Russian Life is a publication of a 30-year-young, award-winning publishing house that creates a bimonthly magazine, books, maps, and other products for Russophiles the world over.
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