Today our magazine, for the first time ever, offers you the prose by a 12-year-old author — a Chukchi girl by the name ...But then, the author will introduce herself in her still very brief autobiography. Read a story by her, pure as the lake water in the tundra...
A GIRL AND THE TUNDRA
MY FAMILY AND I
My name is Yevgeniya Bargurayeva. I am 12. I was born in the Uelkal village in the Iultinsky District of the Chukchi Autonomous Okrug. My Granny and Grandpa still live there. Since 1994, I lived in the city of Anadyr. My Dad's name was Yevgeny Vasilievich. He was a border guard, but, alas, he died from the kidney cancer in 1997. Now I live with my Mum, who works for the National College of Arts, and my brother, who is a student at a vocational school where he studies to become a driver. I have another senior brother. He is in the army intelligence in the rank of a captain. Currently he is in Chechenia. We are of course worried but hope that nothing bad will happen to him. We are a very close family. In September of 2000, we had to leave Chukotka forever into the city of Oryol, because I have asthma. It was hard for me to part with my native land Chukotka. To leave behind my grandparents and friends. I will forever remember and love them.
A BEAR WHO HAD A SWEET TOOTH
Several kilometres off Uelkal, my Grandpa had a hunting cabin. My Grandpa and his friends would rest up there when hunting and fishing. Once, when everybody was asleep, Grandpa was reading and keeping the oven going. For in Chukotka nights are very cold even in summer. Suddenly he heard somebody wandering around the cabin and grumbling. He thought that it was the fishermen from the nearby village. He got up, came to the door and was about to open it, but the door would not yield. It felt like it was propped on the outside. Quietly, so as not to wake his friends, Grandpa started reasoning with the stranger who clearly was playing a practical joke. Grandpa was asking to let him out. But this stranger remained seated by the door. He would only barge gradually aside, but still would not let the door open. At the same time he was groaning disconcertedly and munching with obvious pleasure. Something heavy was moved around. At this moment Grandpa smelled a specific animal odour and realised it was a bear. But why sitting by the door? What is it amusing itself with?
And this is what it was. The previous day fishermen gathered about two buckets of great bilberries and, made some jam out of it. A huge tub with deliciously smelling jam was left under the bench near the door for the night. The bear must have smelled it and came by. As soon as my Grandpa guessed it all, the bear — as if to prove him right — started drumming on the tub and throwing it around. It was displeased that there was no more jam. So it went looking around the cabin. To placate the uninvited visitor, Grandpa opened the door and put a box with sugar on the ground. As soon as he closed the door, the bear was back. Having approached the box, the bear tried to understand what this new smell was. But it still put several lumps into its mouth and started chewing reluctantly. Clearly, sugar did not impress it after jam. Grandpa heard the bear bring down its paw on the box and grumbled. «Now the bear will kick up a row, wake everybody up and then there will be real trouble». But the fears proved unnecessary. The bear must have been full already, so it quietly left for the tundra.