Shpitki. This is the name of the village, located on the twenty– eighth kilometer of the Brest– Litovsk highway from Kiev to the West. At the twenty– eighth kilometer of the highway, the road turns to the left and, along the stone– paved roadway, rushes towards the village. Until the seventeenth year in Shpitki was the estate of the famous sugar factory Tereshchenko. A rich landowner broke the beautiful park of the manor, dug a cascade of ponds. He built a church, an exact copy of the Cathedral of St. Vladimir. Inside the church was painted with the faces of saints. The students of Vasnetsov himself worked on the painting. After the revolution, before the events described in the book, the church still survived and even served. In the fifties the only brick house was my mother's house Zimoglyad Olga Andreevna, who she built for a bank loan. In fact, after the war, not everyone gave a loan in the bank. Since Olga Andreevna was elected a deputy of the Supreme Council of Ukraine of the 4th convocation, she was given a bank loan of 10,000 rubles for construction. The building materials did not have any problems, since the deputy of the Supreme Soviet of the Ukrainian SSR was supposed to be provided first of all with a guarantee of payment. And the house was built. Inside the house it was lovely in the summer. The coolness was refreshing when the heat was outside. And it was damp and cold in the winter. The stoves were always smoking, and there was a pungent smell of the briquette (a mixture of coal dust and resin). In the house, my grandmother, an old wrinkled woman with a trembling chin in a long skirt and apron, was standing by the stove and the heat was interfering. Her name was Eugenia Lavrentyevna, her surname by her husband Zimoglyad, and her maiden name was Sribna. My grandmother was from Pereyaslav Khmelnitsky, and on long winter evenings, I often remembered my home and my own brother, unfortunately I did not remember his name, I only know that he lived all his life in Pereyaslav– Khmelnitsky. That he was a fanatical devotee of pigeons. In his private home, he had a dovecote in his attic, where strict order and purity reigned.
Olga Andreevna's house smelt of borscht and a delicious aroma of stew. The village lived in prosperity, as they themselves grew everything – both vegetables and meat.
I kept spinning around my grandmother, involuntarily preventing me from casting stove forks. On what the grandmother was angry and grumbled: "I would have drowned myself in the Sartre, and I would not have suffered!" "Not evil, looking at me," she said. I never took offense at my grandmother, and now, simply did not pay attention to her words. Just asked: "Grandma, what's for dinner today?"
– I'm sorry, what? See! Grumbled my grandmother, "If only you ate?"
"I will eat only meat," I answered, "eat the fat yourself."
"Here's the wrecker." Will you, you scoundrel soul, bread crusts happy.
I felt hurt.
On the threshold in a green kerchief and a sweatshirt there was a ruddy and very thin my mother. Her bright eyes ran about the room, they found a stool. She tired, sat down, began to take off her boots.
"It's cold outside." Frost. She said, not looking at me. "Did the plum eat anything, or not?" She asked her grandmother.
"Let him tell you." "My grandmother answered unfriendly, starting to get food from the stove.
I began to tell what my grandmother had fed me, and my mother commented:
"Why did not you drink milk, eh?"
"I'm not a barrel." To burst?
Meanwhile, on the table, near the window, a smoking, deep dish of borscht and two pieces of pork appeared, issuing an appetizing aroma.
My mother broke off a clove of garlic and, dipping it into salt, began to eat.
I watched the mother's food, wincing at the displeasure. He imagined how stuffy and disgusting the bedroom would be full of this smell. And how hard it will be to hurt your head and chest from the garlic stench in an unventilated room where he slept in the same room as his mother. It so happened that the mother ate once a day, and it was in the evening.
In the morning she hurried to work still dark, and returned when it was already completely dark.
At the state farm, where she worked, she was known, loved and respected for her diligence, unselfishness and simplicity. Comrades to work with her was both difficult and easy at the same time. Her temperamental and nervous temperament caused her to be reckoned with. But the truth and justice, with which she spoke aloud and with everyone, evoked sympathy among all workers and hidden hatred of the leadership. They were afraid of her. They tried not to admit to the top of the administrative apparatus and suffered, remembering those ties that she had preserved since the time in the government with Nikita Khrushchev himself.
Khrushchev once served as secretary of the CPSU Central Committee of Ukraine, and now he is the head of the USSR. Many fellow villagers remembered how a glass of moonshine was drunk for home– warming at home by Zimoglyad Olga Andreevna, the KGB colonel, now the General Prosecutor of the USSR, Roman Andreyevich Rudenko. And which only front– line anecdotes fearlessly told about Stalin, Zhukov, Lenin and Krupskaya. Even in Khrushchev's thaw, tell one of them a mere mortal, they will not stroke the head.
My mother Olga Andreevna lived alone. She had four married sisters married. And I have cousins of different ages. None of them liked me. Everyone considered me a bastard, since I was born, albeit in a legal marriage, but from Albert's licentious drunkard.
Friendship with peers did not work. The village envied my mother, and quietly despised the fatherless. Good sated food, extreme conditions of life in an isolated "cocoon" hardened. I, like a wolf cub, have learned to snap, give change…
There was a spicy scent of flowers in the air. A light July breeze, slightly touching, moved the tops of high and succulent grass, fingering the leaves of the stems and from this, it seemed that the blades of grass whispered among themselves about the fabulous, secret secrets hidden in their impenetrable wilds. It would be better to get there into the greenery of these jungles, to be at least a minute, like a worker of an ant, to help him to drag a move that is huge in three ant growths. Later climb up a slippery, shiny polished stalk to a luxurious clover flower and drink a nectar like a bee. «Zhu– ju– ju– ju– y– y– y– y!» – buzzing bass drum. The black lump is spinning for a while over the flower, as if aiming, and finally, heavily sits on the pink velvet bud. With ease, moving an awkward, shaggy body from a flower to flower, he relishes the sweet nectar with obvious pleasure, completely ignoring the curious glance considering the bumble– bee breakfast. Yes, unless there is time to look around, when there are so many flowers nearby, let's just hurry, gather a juicy fragrant nectar. Yes, unless you notice in the midst of this sea of fragrant buds with multicolored buds, but do you really notice when the sky itself looks at the boy's eyes? They are so blue, blue. Or maybe it seemed to the bumblebee that these two cornflowers turned their heads under the light breath of summer. My fair– haired head froze in the forbs. Fascinated by the mysterious nature of nature, I looked with wide– open eyes at the untouched beauty of the grass, on scurrying, with insecure fussiness, insects, buzzing, rustling, chirring in the grass. On the trees of the old garden and finally my eyes meet with the sky. I look into his bottomless blue, lying on my back. How you want to fly into the boundless attracting space, soar in it, and watch, and look from the height to your native village. To the garden in which I now lie. To the apiary. At the ancient park. On your house, which is standing next to it, it's worth climbing over the fence and crossing the road. The sun rises higher and higher. The colors of the morning gradually lose their transparency, turning into discolored tones. The day flares up. It's getting hot in the sun, real sunshine. A hot breeze brings smells of pine resin. With difficulty, tearing myself away from the beckoning coolness of the herbs, I walked along the piley green pulp of the grass carpet toward the white little hive– houses, which were lined with apiaries, behind the netting, apiaries …
Through the glass, the only large window on the plank floor of the room falls a sheaf of sun rays, delineating a neat square with moving shadows of leaves in it. Close to the window sill, lined with straight lines (sundials), there is a table, at the same time it is a workbench for carpentry. It smells of tart, resinous aroma. The fresh shavings and spicy smell of wax coming from the frames, entirely hung on the walls of the room, create this amazing aroma of honey of wax and pine shavings. The furnishing of the beekeeper's utility room is supplemented by a stove laid almost to the ceiling. In the corner of the room, opposite the window on the left, is a metal barrel with a centrifuge inside. From the big handle through gear gearing the rotation is transferred to the centrifuge. An old man is sitting at the bench. He holds a thick book in his hands and carefully reads it. Through the round glasses, which have been lowered to the nose, the brown concentrated eyes from under the hanging gray eyebrows look into the book. The old man suddenly broke away from reading, listened. Behind the door there were footsteps. He turned his head and looked inquiringly at the door. A boy appeared on the threshold:
– Hello, grandfather!
– Ah, it's you, Valik. Come in, come in. "The old man said in a soft, kind voice.
– I'm driving, but it's time to see the bee already?
It's time, it's time. It's already been a long time. Oh– ho– ho. What did you do earlier?
– That's why I came so early. "I'm sorry," I answered, grief.
"Well, nothing." The beekeeper smiled crookedly.
He, with a puff, rose heavily and headed for the centrifuge with an old, shuffling gait:
"And I've prepared you a medication." And grunting, he took a frame from the barrel with heavy honeycombs full of amber honey.
– Take the mug and get the water.
Honey, mixed with wax honeycombs, melted in the mouth and was much more delicious than honey, which is eaten just a spoon. I took out the neat chewed lumps from my mouth and threw them in a bucket, where The beekeeper dumped pieces of wax to then fuse the wax ingot. These bars he exchanged for wax screensavers in the framework with marked on them neat hexahedrons, for future bee masonry. Having filled with honey, I drank two three sips of water from a heavy copper mug and again began to chew juicy honey combs. And so, relishing, ate and ate until the beekeeper stopped me: – Come on, show me your stomach.
I tore up the shirt, revealing a swollen, like a drum and a round belly.
He deliberately surprised, carefully examining and probing my belly with a rough hand. "So honey started to perform!"
«And maybe I'm full and I will have a turn in the intestines?" – I thought cautiously. And he did not dare to ask a clever beekeeper about this, instead he asked:
– I'm driving, but, what is this for your mug like that?
– What is this?
– Well, such here, like and small, and heavy. "I turned a copper mug in my hands,
– From our house and a large mug, and light.
– Well, so you have, and then we have.
This usually ended the conversation. But, I wanted to talk. I looked inquisitively at the gray, shaggy eyebrows of the old man, and continued:
– And what are you reading?
– What do I read? Err, it's still too early for you to know.
He closed the massive binding of the book and pushed the thick volume aside. Then he got up from his chair, attentively, examining some lines traced in pencil on the windowsill. The shadow from the window frame already coincided with one of them. Gruffly grunting, the old man said:
– Well, now it's time to go lady.
It was insulting in the heart of the old man. And what is he so taciturn, scares the honey that appeared on his stomach. Yes, apparently, the bee– keeper does not like the guests. On the way home, I stopped in front of the garden fence. He looked around at the sides, then hastily pulled up his shirt and carefully examined his stomach. The belly glistened with droplets of sweat that protruded all over its surface, and those droplets were so similar to the droplets of honey that the finger unwittingly reached out to the sticky beads and collected several on a bundle of finger. To taste, the droplets turned out to be the most ordinary bottoms and were bitterly saline. If only his boys noticed him, friends. Peace would run away from him forever. But they were not there and the boy continued to study his bulging belly. He even turned to the sun, but all in vain, except for small sparkles– drops of sweat, honey was nowhere to be found. So the beekeeper deceived him? Again, annoyance came to the throat of a treacherous lump. I frowned, tucked my shirt into my pants, put on my right shoulder a harness– brace, so that they would not fall off, jump over the fence …
Summer, hot season for rural workers working in the field. Summer day passes quickly, like one minute. For children running to kindergartens, and schoolchildren vacationing on vacation, the summer day rushes in a moment, changing the morning to noon, noon for the evening. And the herds are already roaring, returning from the pastures, in the brass rays of the setting sun. Hear calls from mothers calling home to play children.
In the evening, at dinner, I asked my mother:
– Mom, who's the beekeeper?
Mother replied in displeasure:
– You better ask your grandmother.
I scowled again.
"Well, why, why do not they talk to me kindly? Err, here Father Valchi always with a smile, always tells everything about everything in the world. " But, curiosity prevailed. And I went up to my grandmother, who at that time was busy, as always, by the stove. Grandmother turned to me a face, all dug with deep fine wrinkles, with an ever trembling chin: – What are you jumping from behind the table? Sit down, I hear. "I sat down again at the table." I'll get potatoes and meat now. " Grandmother, deftly using the pitchforks, removed the hot pot from the stove.
– Ba ah, ah, grandmother?
– Yes, I hear, I hear. Chogee to you?
– And who is the bee– keeper? – I was not building.
– Yes identity Fedos Kuzmovich, dyachek!
– Ba ah, ah, grandmother, what's that, dyachek?
– This is the one who reads the psalms in the church. Here you go with me to stick a pasture there and See.
My grandmother was my best friend. Always a defense, always an adviser – a friend in one word. My mother, busy at work on a state farm, practically did not work on me – once. And I grew up without proper motherly affection, on my own. I did not have a father. Who is the father? His appointment in the family I do not know. But the unconscious feeling attracted me to other people's fathers. And visiting my friends, at times I did not want to go home; my friend's father felt such confidence. Such a filial atmosphere surrounded my father by children, that I always regretted returning home. What can I say, I secretly envied neighbor Vale and her brother Volodya Sinilov?
One day, I remember this for life; my father took the children to the store. And I, like a homeless little dog, got stuck in the neighbors. There's nothing but no. And a gun shooting cork, and balls, and even a scooter. Father bought toys for children, to choose from. Volodya got a gun and a scooter. Valya, the ball and the doll. To me, of course, nothing…
It's time for the Easter holiday. My grandmother wore clean festive clothes, she gave me a white shirt and new breeches, just below the knees. On the pants of the bridge were buckles on the buttons under the knees. And my grandmother and I went to the church. From the basket that my grandmother carried, a spicy scent of puffs, pies with homemade cottage cheese, and baked crosses on buns, and dyed eggs emanated.
At the iconostasis, the priest in a long robe to the toe was standing with his back to the parishioners and singing a prayer book in a singing voice:
– Our Father, Thou art in heaven. Hallowed be Thy name. They will be done…
The church choir, from pious old women, sang along with his sonorous voices. Fedosy Kuzmovich stood facing the choir in a black suit and shiny boots, leaning on a narrow platform. On his long nose sat round glasses. Through them he examined the texts of the Bible and sang with a tenor with the choir. In the church hall a crowd of people was crowded, quickly crossed in the pauses of the choir. And the sign of the cross, and the choir, and the solemn silence of the parishioners, filled the space of the church hall and my imagination with the sensation of some mystery. And succumbing to the general impulse of piety, I folded the three thumbs of my right hand into the "bundle", as my grandmother taught me, and with a sinking heart – was baptized. The gesture made a trembling sense of expectation of a miracle. I suddenly thought that, here, something should happen. At that time the choir sang:
– God, have mercy, Lord, have mercy. Have mercy upon…
From church high and long windows, the sheaves of sunlight fell on the iconostasis, clearly appearing in the particles of the dust of the church. It seemed that just about, one more moment, and according to the formed rays Archangel St. Michael or Gabriel would come down and sanctify all the flock and Easter of the parishioners with his presence. But apart from the voices of the choir, and the rustling of the clothes of the baptized, nothing unusual happened. But my grandmother, I looked at my grandson, with tears of affection, the warmth gently and affectionately. I felt so much confidence in myself, my spiritual strength from this look, that there are no barriers in the world that I cannot overcome. There are no black evil forces that I cannot overcome now. Sighing at the full breast, absorbing the atmosphere of solemnity and significance of what was happening, I confidently crossed myself and listened to the and chorus singing …
Home from the church came back fun. Pious grandmothers praised my grandmother's grandson. And I felt at that moment not alone.
"Look, there he is!"
"Who?" Exactly he?!
"There's that boy among the devout old ladies, you see!"
"Are you sure it's our boy?"
– Scanning the temporary portal gave it to us. What do not you remember? This place. This church. And I'm here, here not far from the church and my female type lives.
"But will you have to check?"
"Commander, this is your prince– trust, but check, it only hinders." – A reproach in the voice.
I am five years old. One morning my grandmother said:
– You have not been in kindergarten for a long time. Get ready, today we'll go!
– And Where’s Mama? I rubbed my eyes with my fists.
– She's at a meeting in Kiev.
So the grandmother called the conference of collective farmers, where my mother was sent. Oh, how I did not like to go to this kindergarten, God only knows. In the kindergarten, children often teased me with the nickname "deputy", as the son of the mother of a former deputy of the Supreme Council of Ukraine, and now a deputy of the village council of Shpitki village. It hurt and displeased me. For this, sometimes, I was even angry with my mother for her deputyship. At all mother, as mother, and at me any not similar on all. She always has business. Everywhere she needs to have time, to visit both at work, and at gatherings and at a farm, and at an exhibition. Well, it's not a man, it's a matter. Of course, I did not understand the mother's conscientiousness, which had long earned her respect. She was loved by workers of the state farm, fellow– villagers. But their children almost hated her son. I rarely saw my mother. But, there were moments when she appeared at home and hurried to listen not to her son, but to his cousin Nyushu. My sister often speculated about her situation in the family and complained about my innocent pranks. And instead of kissing the long– awaited mother, often got a slap. I felt hurt at my mother, at my evil sister, at the children who teased me with the insulting word "deputy", and, finally, for the whole world, for being so handsome and affable, admits the existence of insults. Once, having received a dose of hysterical attacks from the mother's side greasy spiced with a rod, I could not restrain Nyska's snide laughs from undeserved insults, ran out into the street. At these moments, I firmly decided to leave home and never return. The road went to the center of the village, where there were shops and a pharmacy. After walking about twenty meters, towards the center, I began to ponder, and that if you go to the pharmacy and ask for a medicine, whatever be, so as not to take so much pain and resentment. This thought struck me ever more aggressively and prompted me to act when I got to the pharmacy. Not daring to go inside, I passed by. Then he returned and resolutely entered the spacious corridor with a wide window. After standing for a minute, he pushed the door firmly and entered. The chemist stood behind the counter. He saw the boy who had come in, and asked: – What, Valik, what happened to Mamma? – he looked carefully at my tear– stained face, waiting for an answer. Tears crushed me, I could not answer. The apothecary came out from behind the counter and came up to me.